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Recent Verdicts: Estate of Cadou v. Hematology-Oncology of Indiana (March 2009)

Article By Johnson Jensen in Recent verdicts

A nurse for an oncology practice administered the wrong chemotherapy drug to a 63 year old female patient, a Stage III lung cancer patient. The mistaken drug (Rituxan) was meant for another patient who had non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Six days after receiving the Rituxan, Bettie Cadou died of overwhelming sepsis. Bettie was in her second week of a 6 week chemo regimen and died as a single adult with no dependents.

Despite the obvious medical malpractice, the medical provider defended the case arguing the Rituxan was not a factor in her death. The defendant hired two experts in addition to one panel member who found the Rituxan was not a causative factor.

Because Rituxan is a relatively new drug and never given lung cancer patients, there was very little data available to determine its role in Bettie’s death. After a three day jury trial in Marion County, the jury returned a verdict for $229,000 for Bettie’s three surviving adult children.


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