Woman Blames Kaiser for Hole in Chest, Sues for $3M
9-6-2016 19:05:00

FAIRFAX, Va. (CN) – A woman has a permanent hole in her chest because Kaiser doctors missed a tumor growing in her sternum, the woman claims in a $3 million lawsuit filed in Fairfax County Circuit Court.

Michelle O’Connell sued Kaiser Foundation, the Midatlantic Permanente Medical Group, and several doctors for medical malpractice.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, O’Connell underwent a lumpectomy that July and had both breasts removed a month later, according to the complaint.
During the breast reconstruction process, she started feeling pain in her sternum and the surrounding areas. She repeatedly told her doctors about it, but none of them bothered to order any diagnostic tests until early 2014, the complaint states.
When the results showed a mass in her chest, the doctors initially told her it was simply scar tissue from her mastectomies or a leakage from her breast implants. But further tests indicated it was something far more severe: a possible tumor in the connective tissues of her chest, according to the complaint.
Shortly afterward her doctors operated to remove the tumor, removing several of her ribs and parts of her sternum in the process. A biopsy of the tumor revealed that it was, in fact, malignant, the complaint states.
O’Connell claims that if the doctors had listened to her and diagnosed her years ago, she would not have had to undergo such invasive surgery or have a permanent hole in her chest, which makes it hard for her to breathe and do physical activities.
She seeks $3 million in damages and is represented by Douglas Coleman of Alexandria.