Doctor Failed to Recognize Cancer Symptoms Leading to Plaintiff Verdict
Written By: Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, Ruffo & Giuffra LLP
In February, 2011 the Plaintiff decedent presented to an internist with claims that she was suffering from symptoms that included a buildup of gastrointestinal gas, impairment of her audition and respiration, and pain that stemmed from her abdomen. After a series of tests, the internist could not diagnose the symptoms. Plaintiff was referred to a pulmonologist, who similarly, could not identify or determine the cause of any impairment in plaintiff's respiration.
More than a year later plaintiff presented to a gastroenterologist seeking a determination of the cause of her symptoms. Ultimately, a test revealed a cancerous tumor occupied her abdomen, and only a portion of it could be removed. It was determined that plaintiff's cancer could not be eradicated, which eventually claimed her life. It was alleged that the tumor existed at the time she saw the internist and pulmonologist one year earlier.
At trial, plaintiff's expert oncologist opined that the caner could have been diagnosed back in 2011 and that she should have been referred to a gastroenterologist at that time. A Bronx County jury rendered a mixed verdict, finding that the internist departed from an accepted standard of medical care. The jury did not however, believe that the pulmonologist departed from an accepted standard of medical care. The jury determined that the estate's damages totaled $880,000, including $525,000 in loss of pecuniary contribution.