7-year-old at center of state Supreme Court case dies after cancer battle


Seven-year-old Jocelyn Dickhoff of Belgrade, Minn., whose cancer battle ultimately led to what may be a precedent-setting state Supreme Court ruling, has died, the Star Tribune reports.

Jocelyn was an energetic, chatty girl who was looking forward to second grade, and who just celebrated her birthday with a special advance screening of the movie "Despicable Me 2" in the hospital, the newspaper reports.

Her parents have pressed a legal battle against a Willmar doctor and practice, arguing that the girl's cancer was originally misdiagnosed, which ultimately hurt her chances of fighting the disease.

The Minnesota Supreme Court made a landmark ruling in March when it allowed a lawsuit based on the "loss of chance" for medical treatment that might have prolonged her life. Critics of the court's 3-2 decision have said it was judicial overreach that could lead to a dramatic increase in malpractice claims. Family lawyers now plan to pursue the matter as a wrongful death case, the Star Tribune reports.

For now, however, the family is grieving, and celebrating the life of the thoughtful, witty child, the Star Tribune reports.

Services are scheduled for Friday.

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