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Grady Obtains Defense Verdict in BRCA-2 Prophylactic Mastectomy Case

April 13, 2021

Michael Grady (Partner-White Plains, NY) obtained a defense verdict in the first in-person jury trial conducted in Supreme Court, Westchester County since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The case involved a woman who was found to be BRCA-2 positive and opted to undergo a prophylactic bilateral nipple-sparring mastectomy, performed by our client, a breast surgeon. The surgery reduced the plaintiff’s risk of cancer to 3-4 percent and there were no complications. The plaintiff later had a third child and suffered swollen and deformed breasts due to unilateral milk discharge. A second opinion from another breast surgeon initially indicated too much tissue had been left behind, but he later opined that the plaintiff had significant risk reduction of cancer and there was “no absolute need” to  remove additional tissue. Six months later plaintiff elected surgery for larger implants and had additional breast tissue and fat excised. Mike proved to the jury that (1) our client removed as much tissue as physiologically possible, greatly reducing the plaintiff’s risk of breast cancer; (2) the excess tissue was visualized after pregnancy due to the influence of pregnancy and lactation hormones; and (3) the subsequent surgery was not medically necessary and was in whole or in part performed due to the plaintiff’s desire for larger breast implants. After a two-week trial, the jury returned a defense verdict in under 30 minutes. 

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