Miramichi Pathology

Gay et al v. RHA B and Estate of Menon

New Brunswick Court File: N/C/41/08

In cooperation with Chesley F. Crosbie, Q.C. of St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador and George A. McAllister of Fredericton, New Brunswick, the Wagners Law Firm is investigating the recent announcement of possible pathology errors and misdiagnoses which may have occurred at the Miramichi Regional Hospital in New Brunswick.

On February 11, 2008, the Miramichi Regional Health Authority announced that in December 2007 and January 2008 independent reviews were conducted on a number of biopsy and other pathological procedures. 227 cases of prostate and breast cancer biopsies from 2004-2005 were examined. These independent reviews found that 18 per cent of the cases had incomplete results, and 3 per cent were misdiagnosed. 41 cases included incomplete protocols or examinations and or miscalculated the stage of the cancer. There were seven cases of undetected cancer, with perhaps as many as four other cases from the 227 examined that might be cancerous, contrary to the original diagnosis.

On the same day the Minister of Health for the Province of New Brunswick, Michael Murphy, announced that as a result of the independent reviews, approximately 15,000 results related to tests for breast and prostate cancer would be reviewed as a result of possible misdiagnosis or errors attributed to a former pathologist with the Miramichi Regional Health Authority. The number of pathology tests to be reviewed has now increased to 24,000.

A pathologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing diseases by examining tissue, blood and body fluids in a laboratory.The 24,000 cases that are to be re-examined encompass the tests performed by the former pathologist from 1995 to February 2007, while he was employed with the Miramichi Regional Health Authority. The re-examination will also include about 100 cases the former pathologist reviewed while working for a brief period for Regional Health Authority 4 in Edmundston in 2002. While it appears that many of the 24,000 cases involve either breast or prostate cancer, there are other illnesses that may have been misdiagnosed.

Minister Murphy has also asked the RCMP to investigate the matter to determine if any criminal charges are warranted.

Justice Paul S. Creaghan, a semi-retired judge of the New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench, has been appointed to head a public inquiry into and report and make recommendations concerning:

a) The delivery of pathology services at the Miramichi Regional Health Authority from January 1994 to date;

b) The sufficiency of the review and response to complaints regarding such pathology services; and

c) The adequacy of the procedure for granting hospital privileges to and disciplining medical practitioners both at the Miramichi Regional Health Authority and elsewhere within New Brunswick.

The inquiry is expected to begin hearing witnesses on May 5, 2008 at 9:30AM at l'Université de Moncton, Pavillion J.R.-Frenette, 55 Chemin Crowley Farm Road Moncton, New Brunswick.

We are presently accepting enquiries from individuals who have had a biopsy or other pathological procedure performed in the Miramichi Regional Health Authority between 1995 and February 2007.

If you, or a member of your family, have had a biopsy or pathological procedure performed and injury, death or other losses have resulted, you may be eligible for inclusion as a Class Member in our proposed class action lawsuit.

To sign up and determine if you qualify, please fill out this registration form:

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