Discovery starts in malpractice suit over breast cancer treatment

By David Yates | Nov 30, 2012

Discovery is now underway in a medical-malpractice lawsuit over the treatment of a breast cancer patient.

As previously reported, Houston resident Addie Akins filed suit against Dr. Gaylon Gonzales on May 10 in Jefferson County District Court, alleging the Beaumont physician failed to administer the correct type of care for her breast cancer.

Court records show that on Sept. 20 Dr. Gonzales filed a certificate of discovery, giving notice of his intent to take the deposition of Akins.

The suit alleges that Akins was referred to Gonzales in September 2010 for evaluation of a right breast mass. On Dec. 9, 2010, Akins underwent a right breast lumpectomy and axillary lymph node dissection.

Pathology showed low-grade invasive ductal carcinoma, according to the suit. Thirteen lymph nodes were negative for malignancy. Post-operatively, Akins developed lymphedema and continues to undergo treatment, which includes lymphatic drainage, vasopneumatic pumping, exercise, diet and nutritional counseling, the suit states.

“The standard of care for breast cancer patients with clinically negative lymph nodes is to perform sentinel lymph node biopsy at the time of the lumpectomy … instead of an axillary lymph node dissection,” the suit states.

In her suit, Akins alleges Dr. Gonzales did not adequately observe, diagnose and treat her and the failure to perform the correct procedure has caused her personal damages.

She is suing for her alleged past and future medical expenses, mental anguish, pain, impairment, disfigurement and lost wages, plus all court costs.

Houston attorney Steven Davis of Davis & Davis represents her.

Attorney James Boston Jr. of the Houston law firm Boston & Hughes represents the defendant.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case No. E192-433

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