Failure to Diagnose Cancer Leads to Lawsuit

The Tribune Star shared the details last week of a verdict in a medical malpractice lawsuit. The case was filed against a doctor who failed to diagnose colon cancer in a patient in 2004. The victim, a former police officer, alleged that his doctor at the AP&S Clinic failed to perform necessary tests that could have detected his colon cancer. With earlier detection, the victim would have had a better chance of beating the deadly disease.

The victim, then only 35 year old, visited the doctor with rectal bleeding and other gastric problems. However, the doctor failed to order a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy to determine if cancer was present. A reasonable physician would have performed those tests under the circumstances. A while later the patient went to another doctor who performed the necessary tests and discovered that the cancer had developed, was at Stage 4, and incurable. He has been given less than a year to live.

The medical malpractice lawsuit went to trial last month, with the jury reaching a verdict in favor of the victim. They awarded him $2.5 million for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and decreased life expectancy. However, that award will be cut in half because of an arbitrary cap on damages that exists in medical malpractice cases in the state.

The doctors’ failure to diagnose life-threatening problems with their patients is one of the more egregious forms of medical malpractice. Patients have the reasonable expectation that when they visit a doctor with medical concerns, the doctor will be able to properly diagnose their problems if possible. All too often however, they are sent home before receiving the proper care-often with deadly consequences.

As our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti know, failure to for doctor’s to recognize and identify problematic conditions can have deadly consequences. Please contact our attorneys if you know of anyone who has similarly suffered at the hands of a failure to diagnose cancer.

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