LPGA's Farr files malpractice suitProfessional golfer Heather...

LPGA's Farr files malpractice suit

Professional golfer Heather Farr, still recovering from skull surgery last month, has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit alleging that two physicians misdiagnosed her breast cancer in 1989.


Attorney Charles Brewer filed the suit on behalf of the Phoenix resident in Maricopa County Superior Court against Drs. Gordon Davis and Luiz S. Lisboa, both of Phoenix.

Farr was diagnosed with breast cancer on July 3, 1989. A modified radical masectomy, numerous chemotherapy and radiation treatments and, in April, a bone-marrow transplant failed to stop cancer from appearing elsewhere in her body.


Farr, 26, is undergoing radiation treatment to her skull as a follow-up to the skull surgery she underwent last month to remove a tumor.

At 20, Farr became the youngest player to qualify for the LPGA Tour. Her playing career has been shelved by her health problems.

The suit said Farr originally saw Davis on Feb. 28, 1989, about "pain and tenderness in her right breast." At Davis' direction, the suit said, Farr underwent an ultrasound procedure that revealed a solid mass, which Davis diagnosed as a fibroadenoma, a benign, fibrous tumor.

According to the lawsuit, Farr again sought treatment from Davis on April 19, 1989, when she discovered "that the previously discovered mass had grown significantly."

At that point, Davis referred Farr to Lisboa, a surgeon who specializes in tumors. He examined Farr on April 20, 1989, and also diagnosed the mass as a fibrodenoma, the lawsuit said.

But because of "constant tenderness in her right breast," Farr requested of both doctors in July 1989 that she undergo a biopsy, the lawsuit said.

On July 3, 1989, Lisboa performed the procedure that ultimately revealed that Farr had a cancerous tumor, the lawsuit said.

Davis declined to comment on the suit. An operator for Lisboa's answering service said he was not available to comment.


Brewer said the lawsuit did not specify an amount sought, "just what's reasonable and just."


* Michael Jordan cut his left eyelid during an exhibition basketball game yesterday in Greensboro, N.C.

The Chicago Bulls' star was treated and released in the emergency room of Wesley Long Community Hospital, but a nursing supervisor there wouldn't say whether Jordan required stitches to close the cut.

The incident took place in an exhibition for children with other NBA and Atlantic Coast Conference basketball players, called "The World's Greatest Pickup Basketball Game."

Jordan was hit in the face by Detroit Pistons guard Lance Blanks' finger, causing the cut with about a minute and a half remaining.



* Hometown racer David Donner won the open wheel class in yesterday's Pikes Peak Hill Climb in Colorado Springs, Colo., posting the fastest time of the day, but falling short of his late brother's record.

Earlier, Rod Millen won the open class, bettering the old standard by more than a minute during the 69th running of the race up the 14,110-foot mountain.

Donner's time of 11:12.42, while fastest of the day, was 11 seconds shy of the mark set two years ago by his brother, Robert Donner III. Robert Donner set the record of 11:01.41 shortly before he was killed in the Teller County Hill Climb.


* James Van Alen, who helped modernize tennis with his invention of the tiebreaker, died after falling off a terrace at his home. He was 88.


Van Alen's wife, Candace, said his vision was impaired and he apparently didn't see the three-foot drop off the terrace. "It was a freak accident," she said.

Van Alen, who founded the International Tennis Hall of Fame in his hometown of Newport, R.I., was a familiar and flamboyant figure in the sport.

His most famous innovation was the tiebreaker, which was designed to speed up the game. It was part of a comprehensive new scoring system Van Alen introduced in 1958. The system, based on pingpong rules, featured a limited number of points in each game and set.