UW Medicine sued over patient's lost tumor

Seattle-based UW Medicine lost a patient's tumor before it could be tested for cancer, according to a lawsuit filed by the patient, who is suing the hospital for medical negligence. 

The plaintiff, Jeremy Morton-Maxson, said UW Medicine physicians surgically removed a tumor in his bladder in August 2022 and lost the sample, according to court documents obtained by Becker's

Mr. Morton-Maxson, 39, told The Seattle Times he experienced painful urinary issues in spring 2022. The first available appointment with a specialist was late summer at a UW Medicine urology clinic, where a urologist allegedly found a tumor that was "likely cancer." Two days later, the tumor was removed at UW Medical Center-Northwest. 

Weeks passed without any communication, so he began messaging his care team daily asking for updates. A month and a half after the surgery, he said his urologist called him and told him the sample was lost before it could be analyzed. 

The system admitted that the tumor did not make it to the pathology team for cancer tests and, "to date, [the hospital] has been unable to locate this specimen." UW Medicine denied most of the other allegations, including that Mr. Morton-Maxson's urologist said the tumor was "likely cancer" and he was not given a post-surgery treatment plan. 

Mr. Morton-Maxson told The Seattle Times the urologist — who he's still seeing every two months — was apologetic over the phone, but he said he wants the system to admit fault and commit to preventive solutions. Whether he has cancer remains unclear, The Washington Post reported. 

In a court filing, the system agreed the failure to deliver the tumor sample was "a violation of standard care" but denied the medical negligence claim. A spokesperson told Becker's that UW Medicine could not comment further on ongoing litigation. 

Mr. Morton-Maxson is seeking damages for emotional distress and legal fees.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars