Today’s post is about a delayed diagnosis/medical malpractice case.
I saw in the Legal Intelligencer that a woman whose cancer diagnosis was delayed for more than four years by her doctor’s failure to report a mass on her lung, just went to trial. A Jefferson County, Pennsylvania jury awarded her $3 million dollars for the doctor’s malpractice. This is significant because Jefferson County, Pennsylvania is a traditionally conservative area for verdicts.
The $3 million verdict was the largest ever reported in Jefferson County..
What’s involved in a delayed diagnosis malpractice case?
It should be fairly obvious from the title. Namely some medical provider, either the victim’s family doctor (PCP) or gynecologist or radiologist or other specialist had certain information or objective findings and did nothing to attack the problem. The law does not require a doctor to be 100% right in their treatment of a patient. Far from it, the law recognizes that doctors and hospital make mistakes like everyone else. However, what triggers a verdict like this is, in fact, the medical providers have clear evidence in front of them of a potentially life threatening problem and fail to take appropriate action under the circumstances.
At the very least, the patient could be referred to a specialist to deal with whatever issues the patient is going through. But to just do nothing and hope that the problem goes away is obviously a recipe for disaster.
A lot of times what the doctor or hospital try to argue is that it would not have mattered anyway, whether they diagnosed the problem or not. Sometimes they will have an expert of their own come in and say this was going to happen regardless of any treatment because a tumor or cancer can spread despite the best treatments.
The issue then becomes if the doctors had taken a more aggressive approach could they have made a difference in the patient’s life?
Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death Attorney Bernie Tully has handled many malpractice cases in which victims have been seriously hurt or even worse, due to the actions or inactions of a hospital or medical provider.
Allow Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death Attorney Bernie Tully to at least meet with you and go over your situation and then we can determine the best way to help you. You are, of course, under no obligation to retain the services of our firm by having a free meeting with us.
A little while ago we represented a victim of a radiologist and/or hospital error which caused blindness to the client. Basically what happened was a catheter was placed in my client’s leg going up to his heart and they missed the heart and went up to the head, which then hit an optic nerve and caused the blindness.
That, of course, doesn’t make the hospital, doctor or radiologist or anyone else bad people or bad institutions. It just caused a life threatening condition for a person who put their care and trust in the hospital and medical staff.
When that happens, a medical malpractice case is appropriate.
Part 2 Tuesday.
Thanks for reading.
Bernie the attorney.