Lab Reporting Error Leads to $1.8 Million Settlement

The Zaytoun Law Firm of Raleigh, North Carolina reports a pre-suit $1,800,000 settlement of a dispute arising from a laboratory testing company reporting the wrong results to a customer (“Ms. A”). In 2009, Ms. A hired the lab to perform certain testing. The results Ms. A received indicated certain medical risks. Relying on these results, and in consultation with her healthcare providers, Ms. A elected to take prophylactic surgical action, including an immediate and irreversible surgery followed by a second such surgery in 2018. Prior to the 2018 surgery, Ms. A asked the lab to provide another copy of her test results to her healthcare provider, which it did and which were a replica of the wrong 2009 test results previously communicated to her through her local healthcare provider.

According to the lab company, in 2020, it was notified through an internal reporting system that there may have been a reporting error for a batch of 2009 tests that included Ms. A. Not until a year later did the company inform Ms. A of this discovery. Ms. A was immediately re-tested, which revealed she was, in fact, not at medical risk, and that the surgeries she underwent had been unnecessary.

In response to demands and the threat of litigation by Ms. A, the lab denied any liability and further asserted that any such claims by Ms. A would be for medical malpractice under North Carolina law, and thus were barred by the applicable medical malpractice statute of repose. Ms. A responded by arguing her claims sounded in ordinary negligence, and that to the extent a statute of repose applied, the lab was equitably estopped from asserting such a defense. The parties ultimately reached a resolution before the initiation of litigation.

Ms. A unnecessarily underwent irreversible surgeries and the physiological and emotional pain that came with those surgeries due to the lab company’s errant reporting,” said Robert Zaytoun, who along with Matt Ballew, represented Ms. A. “As we do for every client, we made clear to the company that absent an acceptable pre-suit resolution, we would hold them fully accountable before the court and the public for the immeasurable physical and emotional damage caused by its negligence. We are pleased the company responded as it did, which not only compensated Ms. A but also eliminated her having to relive this painful experience through the litigation process.”


Amount: $1.8 million

Injuries alleged: Negligence

Attorneys for Ms. A: Robert E. Zaytoun, Matthew D. Ballew of Zaytoun Law Firm of Raleigh, NC

Attorneys for laboratory testing company: Confidential 

State and location of laboratory testing company: Confidential

Settlement Confidential, except as to amount which has been paid in full.