N.L. breast can­cer law­suit ends in deal

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - Canada -

— Marie Hickey was thrilled that a $17.5-mil­lion deal to set­tle New­found­land and Labrador’s big­gest pub­lic health fail­ure will spare her and other breast can­cer pa­tients a pro­tracted court bat­tle.

Hickey, one of hun­dreds of pa­tients whose breast can­cer tests were botched, said Fri­day she’s lucky to be healthy enough to see a res­o­lu­tion.

“I’m just so happy that this is not go­ing to be dragged out any longer, that it’s not go­ing to end up in court,” said the 52year-old St. John’s res­i­dent.

“And I’m more than happy with the set­tle­ment that they did reach.”

Hickey was 42 when she was di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer and un­der­went a lumpec­tomy and chemo­ther­apy.

It was six years be­fore she re­al­ized that a test to help de­ter­mine her best course of treat­ment was botched.

In a joint state­ment Fri­day, the prov­ince’s largest health board and the law firm spear­head­ing the law­suit an­nounced the set­tle­ment. It in­cludes about 2,000 peo­ple and must still be ap­proved in court.

“Class mem­bers wanted a fi­nan­cial set­tle­ment that demon­strated sin­cer­ity and re­spect,” Ros­alind Jar­dine, one of the class mem­bers, said in the state­ment. “ This set­tle­ment does that.” East­ern Health CEO Vickie Kamin­ski apol­o­gized for the dev­as­tat­ing toll the er­rors took on pa­tients and their rel­a­tives.

“ We rec­og­nize that a num­ber of peo­ple lost a lot — some of them their lives and some of them their moth­ers, their sis­ters, their daugh­ters,” she said.

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