The Palm Beach Post/Friday, June 25, 1993



By Michael Lasalandra/Palm Beach Post Staff Writer


PALM BEACH--A Palm Beach woman has won $2.2 million from a Connecticut

doctor she accused of failing to treat and diagnose iron overload disease, her attorney said Thursday.


Joyce Hyland, 46, received the money in an out-of-court settlement made the day her malpractice suit trial was to begin in Superior Court in Stamford, Conn., June 2.


The defendant in the lawsuit was Dr. Arthur Harrison of Stamford.


Michael Koskoff, attorney for Hyland, said Harrison was the woman's family

doctor and treated her from 1972 through 1987 for a variety of problems, including menopause at the age of 32, arthritis, liver disease and diabetes.  The doctor did not link the problems to the illness, however.


In 1987, he said, she went to another doctor who diagnosed her with hemochromatosis or iron overload disease, and treated her for it. The treatment is bloodletting.


Koskoff said the treatment prevents the disease from getting worse, but does not reverse damage already suffered. As a result, she has permanent disabilities, he said.


The award was the largest of about a dozen recent malpractice settlements for the illness.


Iron overload disease is a genetic disorder that allows iron to build up in the blood, causing damage to joints, organs and glands.


The complaint against Harrison said he failed to perform the proper tests and failed to properly interpret the tests he did perform.


Harrison referred questions to his attorney, who could not be reached Thursday.


The June 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine said three to 10 people per thousand are estimated to carry the double genes that cause the abnormality.


According to the association, more than 1.25 million Americans are affected with iron overload.