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$500,000 Settlement After BOP Failed To Diagnose Employee's Tumor

Minnesota Bureau of Prisons (BOP) employee Ruth Sonnek brought a federal tort action against the United States in 2000 after BOP medical examiners failed to diagnose and treat her for a tumor. Their pre employment x ray clearly showed that the tumor existed. The suit settled for $500,000 in 2002.

Sonnek sought employment with the BOP in 1998 and underwent a medical examination. A chest x ray revealed a 2.5 by 3.5 centimeter tumor. The x ray was not timely inspected and Sonnek was not notified of its presence. No follow up procedure was ordered and she was hired by the BOP. Approximately eight months later, at another institution, an x ray again revealed the tumor, only larger. Sonnek was subsequently diagnosis with metastic synovial sarcoma. Sonnek brought suit under the Federal Tort Claims Act after her administrative claims were denied for the negligent breach of the duty of care the plaintiff owed her leading to her worsened condition.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota approved the settlement which included court costs and fees in 2002. See: Sonnek v. United States, USDC, D. Minn., Case No. 00 1070 BWF/AJB (May 14, 2002).

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Sonnek v. United States

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