HAINES CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – A former Polk County woman is suing a Haines City doctor’s office and some of its staff after she claims they ignored her breast cancer symptoms.
Michelle Gomer, a 41-year-old mother of three, has since been diagnosed with stage four breast cancer.
“She just wants to be a mom and snuggle her kids at night and play with them during the day and she can’t do that,” said Brad Sohn, from Brad Sohn Law, who is representing Gomer. “Very, very sadly this cancer is going to overwhelmingly likely end Michelle’s life.”
According to the lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court of the 10th Judicial Circuit, Gomer visited her primary care doctor at Doctor Today TLC in Haines City in 2018 to seek care for a painful lump on her breast.
Dr. Enrique Ortiz-Guzman and Cynthia Diaz-Pineiro, a nurse, “declined to physically examine the painful breast-lump” and “failed to perform the proper diagnostic workup,” the lawsuit reads.
“She went back multiple times and continued to just be told ‘this is your [menstrual] cycle, don’t worry about it. Ignore it all together,’” said Sohn.
Gomer moved to Indiana and, in November, visited Cameron Hospital with “excruciating pain” in her breast.
After a mammogram and ultrasound, she was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer that had spread to her lungs.
The American Cancer Society encourages women to report any changes to the way their breasts look and/or feel to their health care provider “right away.”
“Finding breast cancer early and getting state-of-the-art cancer treatment are the most important strategies to prevent deaths from breast cancer,” the website reads.
Gomer is suing Doctor Today, Dr. Ortiz-Guzman and Diaz-Pineiro for medical negligence, among other counts.
“Is this a one-time horrible mistake or is this a pattern or practice of really negligent behavior?” asked Sohn. “We are going through this lawsuit to investigate and uncover how often and pervasive Doctor Today TLCs have been failing to do these diagnoses properly and failing to the appropriate workup across the state of Florida.”
8 On Your Side reached out to Doctor Today to get its side of the story. A representative said “no comment.”
Sohn is seeking “very, very substantial” damages for Gomer and her children.
For information on early detection and symptoms of breast cancer, visit the American Cancer Society’s website.