Visitor Question

Misdiagnosed tumor and fired from my job…

Submitted By: Cynthia (Washington, IA, USA)

In March 2010(?), I hurt my wrist at work when a clothing rack tipped over and I tried to catch it. It was reported. It hurt some but I kept working, but then it started bothering more and more. I told my manager about how sore my wrist was getting and filled a workman’s comp report and went to their doctor.

The doctor checked me out and took x-rays. Finally I was told that it wasn’t a workman’s comp injury but a bone tumor. Later that year I was fired. After more than a year I was able to get Iowa Care and had my wrist checked out again. This time I was told it wasn’t a bone tumor but a bruised bone and some inflamed ligaments. The bruise was on an inside portion of my wrist. That exam was in 2011 I believe.

I went for more than a year thinking I had a bone tumor. I didn’t have insurance or money for a doctor. I also couldn’t work because of my wrist. When I was fired I had medical excuses and both hands in braces. The one wrist I had surgery on a week after I was fired (they knew about the surgery). I do believe that I was really fired due to my medical problems.

What can be done about the misdiagnosis, etc., or is it too late?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Cynthia,

You state “The doctor checked me out and took x-rays. Finally I was told that it wasn’t a workman’s comp injury but a bone tumor.” The question is who told you your malady was a bone tumor? If it was the doctor, you may have the basis of a medical malpractice claim based on a misdiagnosis.

If the doctor had made a correct diagnosis at the time, your bone bruise may have been able to be treated. At a minimum you would have received some form of pain medication to subdue the pain and discomfort you suffered, and continue to suffer.

It is a violation of Iowa law for an employer to fire a worker for filing a workers compensation claim or for attempting to file one. While in your case a clear violation may have occurred, it will be difficult for you to prove.

You will need an attorney. An attorney can issue subpoenas for your employer’s records, including emails, faxes, and other documents which may have within them some reference to your illegal firing.

You would be best served by seeking out several personal injury attorneys with substantial experience in medical malpractice cases. In addition, your should seek out several workers compensation attorneys. Neither should charge you for an initial office consultation. Bring with you all your medical records and any documents you may have related to your discharge from your employment.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: September 16, 2013

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