Quest Diagnostics sued over allegedly misreading woman's pap results

By Jon Campisi | Sep 7, 2011

A Norristown, Pa. woman who blames her cervical cancer diagnosis on faulty testing on the part of a lab working with healthcare providers is suing the company that allegedly misread her results.

Attorneys Mitchell J. Shore, Nadeem A. Bezar and Shaune E. Ferrara, of the law firm of Kolsby, Gordon, Robin, Shore & Bezar, filed the medical malpractice complaint Sept. 2 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of Netta Raffeo.

The defendant named in the lawsuit is Quest Diagnostics Clinical Laboratories, Inc. of Madison, N.J.

According to the civil action, Raffeo had a pap smear performed at a Norristown-area gynecological center back in late November 2008 at the request of her healthcare provider.

About a week later, the defendant issued a gynecological cytology report stating that the “interpretation/result” of the pap smear was negative for malignancy.

The following September, Raffeo again underwent a pap smear at the same gynecological center, and days later, the results were the same: no malignancy.

In mid-November 2010, Raffeo was admitted to the hospital with “severe back pain radiating to her abdomen, nausea, vomiting, constipation, persistent vaginal bleeding and a lump protruding from her vagina,” the lawsuit states.

The day after she was taken to the hospital, Raffeo was diagnosed with State IV cervical cancer, the lawsuit claims. Raffeo subsequently had to undergo various forms of treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and nephrostomy tube placement.

“As a result of the delay in diagnosis of her cervical abnormalities and/or cervical cancer, Plaintiff, Netta Raffeo has a shortened life expectancy,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit accuses Quest Diagnostics of negligence for failure to properly interpret the cytology study collected in November 2008, failing to diagnose the cancerous cells, failing to recommend coloposcopy based on the test results, and failing to recommend further evaluation.

The lawsuit claims that Raffeo has suffered a loss of earnings and earning capacity due to her illness, as well as suffering “severe physical pain and mental anguish.”

Raffeo has also been caused to spend various sums of money on medical attention related to the treatment of her cervical cancer, the suit states.

Raffeo demands judgment against the defendant in a sum in excess of $150,000, plus interest and related court costs.

The plaintiff has demanded a jury trial.

The case number is 2:11-cv-05524-AB.

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