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Litigation Funding Blog

Medical Negligence Lawsuit Filed After Young Child Dies of Cancer

August 18, 2014

In 2009, the Dickhoff family filed a lawsuit alleging that the doctor who treated their 7-year-old child failed to diagnose her rare form of cancer. The family claims that their daughter could have been cured had she been diagnosed promptly in 2006, when she was born with a suspicious lump on her buttocks.

Court documents suggest that Dr. Rachel Tollefsrud told the parents to keep a watchful eye on the lump, but not to worry about it. Inexplicably, documentation relating to the lump did not appear in the child’s medical file until she was a year old. By then, several other doctors had diagnosed the lump as cancerous. The child died in July 2013.

During the trial, the doctor commented that the Dickhoff child was the first she had treated with cancer — and because of that, she is now more aware of such anomalies when they appear. In her defense, she argued that she provided the child with the accepted standard of care, did not do anything wrong and wished she could have acted sooner. 

The outcome of the case may have interesting legal ramifications. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a judgment that allows a family or patient to ask the court for damages if a doctor’s medical negligence results in a reduction of an individual’s chances of recovery or survival.

The Dickhoff family faced enormous medical bills as they cared for their daughter until her death. They may have been in a precarious financial situation and unable to handle all their usual financial obligations with the medical costs for their child. One solution may have been for them to seek litigation funding, also called a lawsuit loan. 

Pre-settlement funding is approved and send within 48 hours for qualified plaintiffs, provided that their case meets certain criteria and that they are working with an attorney of record.

There are many benefits for plaintiffs when they apply for litigation funding. They do not have to entertain any insurance company offers to settle and do not need to have a job when they apply. There are no credit checks, no fees to apply, no monthly fees and, should the case lose in court, the lawsuit loan funds are the plaintiffs to keep, no strings attached.

Litigation Funding