An Indiana jury has awarded a $2.5 million verdict to a former police officer who claimed that his doctor committed medical malpractice by failing to diagnose his colon cancer in 2004. The verdict will be reduced to Indiana’s cap of $1.25 million on medical malpractice cases. The man claimed that he complained of rectal bleeding and other gastric complaints to the doctor, who failed to order either a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy to rule out colon cancer, although an upper G.I. test was ordered due to some other complaints. The man later moved to another state and went to another doctor several years later with the same complaint of rectal bleeding. That doctor ordered testing in 2006 that found the cancer was at Stage 4 and incurable. The man now is 42 years old and has been given a prognosis of less than a year to live. A copy of an article regarding the case can be found here.
As an experienced Baltimore, Maryland medical malpractice lawyer, I have handled many medical malpractice and wrongful death cases involving failure to timely diagnose and treat cancer. I have handled failure to diagnose cancer cases alleging medical malpractice involving brain cancer, spinal cord cancer, nasopharyngeal cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, stomach cancer, bone cancer, etc. A number of these cases involve relatively young people whom the doctors do not suspect of having cancer because the patient does not fall into the typical age group of cancer patients. That can be a catastrophic mistake. Another terrible mistake that doctors make in these type of cases is failing to refer a patient to a specialist when the patient has signs and symptoms that are consistent with cancer. There is no excuse for a doctor who fails to refer a patient to a medical specialist when such a referral is appropriate and available.