A jury Monday rejected the claims of a woman who alleged that a Lawndale oncologist’s 2013 misdiagnosis left her mistakenly believing for two years that she had stage 4 breast cancer.
The Los Angeles Superior Court panel deliberated for nearly a day before finding in favor of Dr. Olukemi Wallace and against 38-year-old Briana Owens of Long Beach.
The verdict came after the jury heard extensive re-reading of testimony from experts on both sides.
Wallace denied any wrongdoing. In their court papers, the doctors’ lawyers state that Owens’ allegations “have no merit whatsover.”
Owens testified she first learned she might have breast cancer during visits to other medical clinics, where she had gone after suffering from inflamed breast tissue and other problems. She said she was advised to see an oncologist and that she chose Wallace at the recommendation of her mother, with whom she lived at the time at a Hawthorne home near Wallace’s office.
Owens said Wallace arranged for her to have a device placed in her chest so she could receive chemotherapy, although none was ever administered.
After believing for two years that she had breast cancer and could die within months, if not days, Owens said she changed doctors in 2015 and they told her she instead had rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, an inflammatory autoimmune disease.