Misdiagnosed Canadian Patients to File Class-action Suit

by Gopalan on Jul 23 2008 4:22 PM

Thousands of patients who were reportedly misdiagnosed during biopsy and other procedures at a hospital in Miramichi between 1995 and 2007 are to file a class-action suit.

The New Brunswick province is reviewing more than 23,700 cases from the hospital dating from 1995 to 2007 while a public commission is examining the rate of breast and prostate cancer misdiagnoses. The pathologist involved, Rajagopal Menon, is now suspended.

"They suffered great mental distress, frustration, and needless anxiety while awaiting confirmation that the original results were correct," Raymond Wagner, the lawyer who will file the suit said.

Filing a lawsuit will hold the system accountable, Wagner said, adding that arguments revolve around allegations of negligent hiring and poor quality control at the pathology department.

"The suit of course is to assist the people in the community surrounding the Miramichi with respect to their health care," he said. "It is to bring to account the hospital administration with respect to oversight and quality control and to assure the community that their health care is of sufficient quality for them to have confidence in that health care."

A judge will have to decide if the suit will go ahead, which will involve testing whether the lawsuit is the most efficient way to proceed, Wagner said.

"Is it more appropriate and more efficient to have the case determined in one case, or is it better for everybody to bring their own individual cases, in other words 8,000 cases?" he said.