An Indian American doctor, Meenakshi Singh, is accused of misdiagnosing a disease and then covering it up.
The lawsuit filed by Wendy Ann Noon Berner, 46, of Kansas accuses Singh and Timothy M. Schmitt of the University of Kansas Hospital of fraud, negligence and civil conspiracy.
According to the Associated Press, Berner was misdiagnosed with a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor, which is fatal within five years in most cases, however she didn’t know until after she had part of the pancreas and multiple other body parts removed during surgery in September 2015, that it was a misdiagnosis.
The lawsuit states that the discovery of Berner’s misdiagnosis occurred when tissue samples from her pancreas were examined after her surgery and it was determined that the organ was not cancerous.
Berner also added in the lawsuit that she had learned of the problem after Lowell Tilzer, a pathologist and one-time chairman of the pathology department, had filed a lawsuit more than a year ago claiming that the hospital never listened to him when he discussed the case, but he later dropped his lawsuit and is now semi-retired.
Dennis McCulloch, a hospital spokesman told The Kansas City Star that the health of its patients is the hospital system’s top priority.
“We need to be respectful of patient privacy and confidentiality, and because of that we are limited in what we can say on this matter. That said, we do believe that our physicians and staff acted appropriately and with the best interests of our patient in mind.” he said in a statement.
A report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also stated that the hospital’s “deficient practices placed all patients receiving services at (the) hospital at risk for receiving care that does not meet acceptable quality and standards.”
Singh, who was the head of the pathology department at the time of the incident, remains to be on staff but is no longer the chairwoman of it.