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Jury rules in doctor’s favor, finds no negligence in Dickhoff case

WILLMAR — A Kandiyohi County jury has found that a Willmar doctor was not negligent in the care of a 7-year-old child who had a rare form of cancer and died last summer.

The verdict was rendered Wednesday in a civil case filed by Joseph and Kayla Dickhoff on behalf of their daughter, Jocelyn, against Dr. Rachel Tollefsrud and Family Practice Medical Clinic in Willmar.

The Dickhoffs filed the suit in 2009, contending that Tollefsrud, then practicing medicine under her maiden name of Green, failed to diagnose Jocelyn with a rare form of cancer when she was an infant and alleging that the girl could have been cured of the cancer if she had been diagnosed on a timely basis. The parents claimed they showed the doctor a suspicious lump on the girl’s buttocks shortly after she was born in 2006, but that the doctor told them to keep an eye on it and not to worry.

According to the case documents, the lump was not documented in the girl’s medical files until she was a year old and she was soon diagnosed by other doctors with cancer. Jocelyn died on July 6, 2013, according to her obituary.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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