$990,000 settlement for delayed cancer diagnosis
DISCLAIMER: The results are specific to the facts and legal circumstances of each of the clients' cases and should not be used to form an expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances of each client's case.
Some cases and clients remind us why we do what we do. This was one of them.
C was a young man who came to our office with a problem. He'd had a slow growing lump on his knee for several years. C had done the right things; he'd been to multiple orthopedic physicians, and one in particular on multiple occasions. The recent doctor had performed some testing (of so C thought), and had determined that the mass was benign (non-cancerous). C was a composer, who was in graduate school and lived at home with his single mother. He was her only child.
Unfortunately the mass was not benign; it was a rare form of cancer known as a synovial sarcoma. And within a year from his last appointment with the orthopedic physician, C's mass had grown significantly in size. When he came to see us he had just been told that he had cancer.
We immediately gathered C's medical records and retained the nation's foremost experts on synovial sarcomas. What we collectively found was that the orthopedic physician had failed to follow up on a basic diagnostic test that could have confirmed the presence of the sarcoma early on; and significantly improved the likely outcome.
We accepted C's case and filed a lawsuit. Several months into the suite C's condition worsened significantly. His cancer had metastasized, and he had been given a poor prognosis. We had a conversation with C in our office, during which he asked that we do whatever we could to take care of his mother. We pledged to do whatever we could for her.
C passed away while the case was still going on. We amended the case to have C's mother appointed as administrator of his estate and continued to pursue the case vigorously. We used our experts to help prepare for the deposition of the doctor, which established that he never took appropriate follow up steps to ensure that the mass was benign.
We were prepared for trial when the doctor's attorney approached us about mediation. C's mother was devastated by the loss of her son, and we knew that putting her through a trial would be extremely painful. We went to mediation and settled the case for nearly one million dollars.
The settlement did not ease C's mother's pain; but it did ensure that she was taken care of, as C had asked. At the end of the case she gave us a large and long hug.
We are confident that the medical practice of the doctor has evolved, and that the doctor will never make that mistake again.
This is why we do what we do.
Practice area(s): Medical Malpractice