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$30M suit launched against the Ottawa Hospital

OTTAWA – The law firm Connolly Obagi has commenced a $30 million dollar class action lawsuit against The Ottawa Hospital on behalf of David John Watts and all other cancer patients who claim to have received wrong doses of radiation at the Civic Campus of The Ottawa Hospital during a three year period commencing November 8th, 2004.

The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that The Ottawa Hospital failed to correctly calibrate a machine designed to treat cancer patients with prescribed doses of radiation. As a result, at least 326 patients with cancer may have received significantly less radiation than the doses prescribed by their doctors.

The representative plaintiff, David John Watts, underwent radiation treatment at The Ottawa Hospital in March 2006. However, during his treatment, he received 17% less radiation than was prescribed by his oncologist because of the calibration error. The radiation therapy he received was unsuccessful and the cancer returned, requiring invasive surgery.

According to Connolly Obagi, the error was discovered by The Ottawa Hospital in November of 2007. However, Mr. Watts first learned of the error following a public announcement by The Ottawa Hospital in April 2008. “This five month delay in telling patients that they didn’t receive enough radiation isn’t acceptable,” said Mr. Watts. “People’s health was at risk and The Ottawa Hospital didn’t act fast enough.”

The lawsuit goes on to allege that the mistake has caused numerous prolonged health-related problems and great distress to all affected patients and their respective family members. The long term effects of the incorrect treatment are not yet fully known. Mr. Watts, on behalf of himself and all other proposed class members, seeks damages for the recurrence of cancer and associated mental distress and anxiety.

“While The Ottawa Hospital is a first class institution, it made a serious mistake,” said Thomas P. Connolly, lead counsel for the representative plaintiff and the proposed class. “This mistake may have had a serious effect on the lives of a large group of cancer patients.”

Connolly Obagi LLP is an Ottawa-based law firm practicing in the area of personal injury and specializing in medical malpractice and class action lawsuits.