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Woman who suffered brain damage sues doctors' group

A New Port Richey woman is suing a doctors' group for malpractice, saying they refused to order neurological tests that would have diagnosed her brain tumor.

The woman, Emilia Giudice, 74, suffered brain damage and other complications because the tumor went undiagnosed for more than two years, said her husband, Olimpio.

Giudice first complained to a doctor at Coastal Physicians Group of Florida in June 1993 about headaches and balance problems, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in Pasco-Pinellas Circuit Court. Giudice repeatedly told doctors at the clinic that she was afraid she had a brain tumor, the lawsuit said.

But it was not until 1995, after Giudice visited a hospital emergency room, that she was diagnosed with a tumor.

The individual doctors who treated Giudice are not named as defendants in the lawsuit. Coastal, a company that offers office management services for doctors and runs clinics, is the sole defendant.

One of the doctors, Mariam Ohn, said she could not comment on the lawsuit because her attorney had asked her not to.

Olimpio Giudice said he and his wife had asked doctors several times if Mrs. Giudice's symptoms might indicate a brain tumor.

"They told me not to worry," he said. "She was a very, very healthy person and now they really can't do anything for her. I've got to take care of her 24 hours a day."