West Virginia Record

Friday, February 21, 2020

Putnam woman sues after treatment for cancer she didn't have

By Cara Bailey | Sep 2, 2008

CHARLESTON - A Poca woman has filed a suit against a pathologist after she received radiation and chemotherapy for cancer she did not have.

Charlotte Mollohan filed the lawsuit Aug. 26 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Charleston Area Medical Center and Ho-Huang Chang, the medical director of CAMC Laboratories and director of anatomic pathology.

Her husband, Michael Mollohan, is also named as a plaintiff in the suit.

According to the suit, Charlotte Mollohan developed a shrunken esophagus after receiving six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy treatments for small cell lung cancer, an often fatal diagnosis.

However, the cancer for which Mollohan was being treated was actually a small tumor in her lung. Mollohan must now undergo a procedure every five weeks, which stretches her esophagus enough to allow her to eat. A plastic ball is inserted in her throat and expanded to stretch her esophagus.

"This is the case that proves that bad things really do happen to good people," attorney William Harvit, who is representing the Mollohans, told the Charleston Daily Mail. "This has wrecked their lives."

Chang, who has practiced medicine at CAMC for 35 years, told the Daily Mail his diagnosis of small cell anaplastic carcinoma was made to the best of his ability.

"We do our best," Chang said. "There was no deviation of standard care. You cannot be 100 percent accurate."

According to the suit, Mollohan claims she was hospitalized for severe neutropenia, an abnormally small number of neutrophil cells in the blood, and anemia. She also claims she has developed chemically induced numbness and tingling and is still being treated for those problems.

Charlotte and Michael Mollohan seek unspecified compensatory damages.

The case has been assigned to Judge James Stucky.

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