Jon Campisi Jun. 9, 2011, 5:06pm

The widower of a woman who died from ovarian cancer is suing the medical facility and doctors who treated her for an in vitro fertilization procedure, claiming his deceased wife was not told of a cyst she had that doctors discovered while performing an ultrasound on her.

Philadelphia attorneys Marc G. Brecher and Susan A. Morgan, of the law firm Wapner, Newman, Wigrizer, Brecher & Miller, P.C., filed the medical malpractice lawsuit at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas June 8.

Named as defendants in the suit are the University of Pennsylvania Health System, The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Fertility Care, and Clinical Practices of the University of Pennsylvania.

The plaintiff, Michael Luck, is in charge of the estate of his deceased wife, Raemma P. Luck, who died on April 20, 2010 from complications of ovarian cancer.

According to the complaint, Raemma Luck underwent a pelvic ultrasound examination in late November 2008 in connection with an in vitro fertilization treatment she had been undergoing at Penn Fertility Care.

The ultrasound showed the presence of a complex right ovarian cyst.

“A finding of a complex ovarian cyst requires testing to rule out a malignant ovarian cancerous mass,” the lawsuit states.

However, appropriate diagnostic testing was not recommended, and Raemma Luck did not find out she had cancer until she underwent a transabdominal pelvic ultrasound at Temple University Hospital in August 2009, a test that revealed a “large, complex, solid and multiseptated cystic mass,” which was determined to be the origin of Stage III ovarian cancer, the lawsuit states.

The complaint accuses the defendants of various stages of negligence, including failing to recognize the gravity of the decedent’s condition at the time of the first ultrasound.

The complaint states that the defendants should have realized the complex ovarian cyst might have been the result of an “ongoing neoplastic or malignant process within the ovary.” It also accuses the defendants of failing to timely treat and remove the cyst that ultimately led to Luck’s death.

If Luck had been diagnosed with cancer at the time of her initial ultrasound, the disease could have been cured, the lawsuit states. Instead, she ended up having to undergo extensive medical treatment.

In addition to the negligence count, the lawsuit also contains claims against the defendants of wrongful death and a survival claim on the part of Luck’s widower.

The plaintiff seeks compensatory damages against the defendants jointly and severally in an amount in excess of the arbitration limits, which in Common Pleas Court is $50,000.

A jury trial has been demanded. The case currently awaits listing.

The case number is 1106000384.

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