N.L. court to determine awards in class action over flawed cancer tests

Staff ~ Transcontinental Media
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ST. JOHNS, N.L. Lawyers will seek the courts help next spring in determining the amount breast cancer patients affected by hormone receptor testing errors in Newfoundland should receive in compensation.

ST. JOHNS, N.L. Lawyers will seek the courts help next spring in determining the amount breast cancer patients affected by hormone receptor testing errors in Newfoundland should receive in compensation.

Ches Crosbie, lawyer for the class-action lawsuit, said that process will likely take place for about three weeks in March in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.

He said the cases of about 10 patients will be presented, and from what is decided on those, calculations will be made for the overall class action.

At the moment, I cant tell you whether its $10 million or $30 million really, Crosbie said outside Cameron inquiry, which is examining the flawed hormone receptor tests.

He said theres not a lot of precedent across the country to assess the damages. Its hoped a settlement will be in place by the end of 2009.

It is massive ... its going to take a lot of work, said Crosbie.

The last day of testimony at the inquiry is tentatively set for Oct. 24.

Some 386 breast cancer patients received inaccurate results from hormone receptor testing from 1997 to 2005 at the General Hospital immunohistochemistry lab in St. Johns.

An Eastern Health tumour panel, which assessed the cases after the breast cancer tissue samples were retested at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, determined that about 117 patients received treatment changes as a result of their new results.

But the class action disputes that figure.

Crosbie said the treatment of upwards of 200 patients was adversely affected.



Organizations: Supreme Court, General Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Toronto

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