NewsLEX 18 Investigates


Lawsuit alleges cover-up at Kentucky hospital after missed cancer diagnosis

Posted at 5:49 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 17:49:11-05

FLEMINGSBURG, Ky. (LEX 18) — Breast cancer runs in Kimberly Johnson's family.

"My mother died of breast cancer, It was a horrific death," said Johnson in an interview with NBC News.

Johnson told NBC News how relieved she was in 2015 to receive a letter from the Fleming County Hospital stating her mammogram results showed no signs of breast cancer. But the letter was wrong. After another doctor confirmed the missed cancer diagnosis about a year later Johnson sued for malpractice and settled.

Now in a second lawsuit against the hospital, Johnson alleges workers tampered with her medical records to cover up the mistake. That's a claim her attorney says happens more than you think.

"I've been getting calls from all over the nation," said attorney Dale Golden who is handling the case.

Dale Golden says less than 24-hours after Johnson's story he talked to many medical personnel who shared similar experiences. "People all over the country told me they do see medical records and medical data being changed," said Golden.

He claims similar incidents have happened at other Kentucky hospitals. "There are cases we have where records have been deleted, we have cases where records have been changed then we have cases where records have been fabricated," Golden told us.

He says after he filed Johnson's case the Kentucky legislature enacted a law requiring a review panel to look at all medical malpractice cases before they move forward. Golden says the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional, otherwise Johnson would have no recourse.

"If you looked at the face of her records you would not know about the changes and it would have been labeled as frivolous," stated Golden.

As Johnson's case sits before the Kentucky Supreme Court, she says her cancer which went untreated because of the misdiagnosis, is spreading. She believes this case is about more than her.

"If they're doing this to people. People need to know about it. I mean, it might help somebody else out there," said Johnson.