Quest Lawsuit –

Missed Cancer Diagnosis

Matthews & Associates Law Firm is investigating a Quest Lawsuit over allegations that Quest Diagnostics and Clinical Pathology Laboratories have missed diagnosing cervical cancer. Quest Laboratories and CPL are entrusted to diagnose cervical cancer following a Pap Smear, but the companies have allegedly missed diagnosing cancer in some cases.  Missing cancer diagnoses, according to CBS News, has reportedly led to serious problems for several Irish women.

Quest Diagnostics & CPL

Lab giants Quest Diagnostics and Clinical Pathology Laboratories (CPL) are being hit with lawsuits in Ireland over missed cervical cancer diagnoses. CBS reported that in Ballydavid, Ireland, Quest reached a 7.5 million euro ($8.76 million) settlement on June 28, 2018. The plaintiff was an Irish woman who said Quest mistakenly cleared her of cancer years ago. She is just one of more than 200 women in Ireland apparently misdiagnosed in a screening program that involved two American laboratories – Quest and CPL.

Emma Mhic Mhathuna – now 37 and a single mother of five – was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2016.  She said she would have had a better chance of survival if Quest hadn’t missed the warning signs on her earlier screening tests. She is still fighting for her life.

In the past decade, New Jersey-based Quest, Texas-based CPL, and an Irish-based lab processed smear tests for Ireland’s Health Service.  In 2014, a government audit found the labs had erred in clearing 209 women of cervical cancer who were later diagnosed with cervical cancer.  Eighteen (18) of those women have since died, but most were never told of their plight.  Then everything  changed when one of them, Vicky Phelan, found a page from the audit in her medical file in January 2018.  Ms. Phelan then blew the whistle for the others to hear.

Ms. Phelan found that she had had cancer in 2011, though it had not been properly diagnosed.  She said she then “contacted solicitors and decided I’m going to take this further.”

The first to go to court, Ms. Phelan reached a roughly $3 million settlement in April 2018 with Ireland’s Health Service and CPL.  She said she would use the settlement monies mostly to buy herself time to participate in clinical trials to keep herself alive and spend more time with her children.

Since Ms. Phelan’s case went public, dozens of other women have sued Quest and CPL.

The Irish attorney handling Ms. Phelan’s case and more than 60 others said she believes women in the US who used Quest and CPL should also be concerned. She said there were “multiple errors” in a number of cases in the labs’ work.

Misdiagnosis Concerns include US Women
The Irish attorney believes women in the US who used Quest and CPL labs should also be concerned, because, “not only did (Quest and CPL) get the tests wrong, but they got them very, very wrong.”

Irish Government on the Hot Seat
People angered by the missed diagnoses across Ireland have rallied to support the affected women. Many have accused their government of withholding information about the audit.

An Irish parliament member, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, said, “We need to receive full explanation as to why there was such a high level of misdiagnosis.” Ms. Ó Caoláin had (presciently now) warned against outsourcing the tests to the U.S. years ago.

Quest Fails to respond to CBS
Quest did not respond to requests for an interview.  The company serves half of all doctors and hospitals in the U.S.  CPL said in a statement that “[N]o screening program is 100% effective.”

American Pathologists investigating CPL
The College of American Pathologists told CBS News it is investigating CPL over the misdiagnoses in Ireland.  CAP helps inspect and accredit American labs.  It said it is not looking at the Quest lab in Teterboro, New Jersey, which processed Mhic Mhathuna’s tests.

The federal agency in the Department of Health and Human Services in charge of regulating U.S. lab testing is The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Asked by CBS if it was investigating CPL and Quest over the missed diagnoses in Ireland, a spokesperson offered what amounts to not even a tepid peak behind the secret government curtain, “It’s CMS policy not to speculate on ongoing or forthcoming survey activities.”  (It’s hard to believe these people are working on our tax dollars.  In case after case after case, whether it’s our Monsanto-poisoned food, the aerial spraying of our atmosphere, or our secretive vaccination compensation program, government spokespeople always err on the side of covering for industry.)

The spokesperson did, however, add that there is no federally set “error rate” for processing cervical cancer tests in the United States.”  Each laboratory is free to design and monitor error rates for their own facility,” said the spokesperson.

Mhic Mhathuna said on June 29, 2018 that her settlement and an expected letter of apology from Quest will bring her some comfort, though it fails to change the fact she is still going to die.

“There’s no cure for me in Ireland,” she said, “so I’m hoping to reach outside Ireland so that someone might be able to help me stay alive.”

Someone has set up a Facebook page for the women in Ireland whose cervical cancer was misdiagnosed by Quest and/or CPL.

Quest Lawsuit – Missed Cancer Diagnosis
If you or someone you love was misdiagnosed in a test for cervical cancer by Quest Diagnostics or CPL (Clinical Pathology Laboratories), contact our law firm for a free legal consultation regarding a potential Quest Lawsuit against Quest Diagnostics or CPL.  We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not get paid at all unless we win your case in court or settle it.