Delayed Diagnosis of Spinal Tumor Results in $47,950,000 Medical Malpractice Jury Verdict - Defendant Appeals Claiming Lack of Causation and Excessive Damages


Shania-Gay Ffrench was 21 years old on February 3, 2000 when she went to the emergency room at Mount Vernon Hospital complaining of back pain. Doctors there suspected uterine fibroids and she was told to follow up with her primary care physician and her gynecologist. She did so. She saw her internist Keith Edwards, M.D. who referred her to an orthopedist and she saw her gynecologist who performed a lysis of adhesions. Ms. Ffrench’s pain persisted, though, and the cause was never diagnosed until a year later when an MRI revealed that her back pain was a product of a spinal tumor – an intramedullary astrocytoma (the white spot on the MRI).

The tumor took three surgeries and six years until it was finally and fully removed in 2007. Ms. Ffrench was left substantially unable to use her legs and she blamed her doctors for failing to diagnose and remove the tumor early enough so that her injuries could have been avoided.

A medical malpractice lawsuit was started (Ffrench v. Agnant - Supreme Court, Westchester County; Index # 14401/02) against nearly everyone involved in Ms. Ffrench’s care since 2000

After several years of litigation, on July 23, 2007, the judge issued an order absolving the neurosurgeon who removed the tumor and his hospital from any fault.

Four defendants settled after opening statements for a total of $875,000, as follows....

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