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Chrissie Cole
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Family Awarded $5 Million In Medical Malpractice Case

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A Spotsylvania County jury ruled against Dr. Donna Gamache, in favor of the family of a woman who died after a delayed diagnosis of breast cancer.

The $7.5 million award is one of the largest malpractice recoveries in the state and is the second malpractice award against Gamache, a Fredericksburg family practitioner, in less than five years.

The award will be reduced to $1.65 million, the state-mandated malpractice cap at the time of the negligence.

The case, which was ongoing for six years, began when Eleanor Browder, the plaintiff, found a lump in her right breast. In March 2003, Browder, then 53, visited Gamache’s office. A nurse practitioner ordered a mammogram of her right breast which came back negative.

Bowder’s attorney contended the results of the mammogram were delivered to Gamache’s mailbox at Mary Washington Hospital where she examined them and wrote “Need chart.”

Only, that is when the ball was dropped. Dr. Gamache never got the chart – no further tests were requested.

Eleanor Browder died of cancer last April before her complaint reached trial. Her husband and two children continued the case after her death.

A Fredericksburg jury awarded $1.8 million to a Spotsylvania man in 2005 who alleged that Gamache failed to diagnose and treat a severe spinal condition.