Kidney Cancer Malpractice Settlement: $1.5 Million
2012 Medical Malpractice Trial Report
57-year-old man dies from delay in diagnosis of kidney cancer
The plaintiff’s decedent was a 53-year-old male who died on April 8, 2009 from renal cancer following a four year delay in diagnosis. An abnormality was detected on a CT in February, 2004, but it was not followed up on for almost four years. The radiologist saw the abnormality during an ER admission and suggested a renal ultrasound, but it was never done. The patient was diagnosed in December, 2007 when his cancer was stage 4.
On 2/25/04, the patient presented to an ER with complaints of sharp right lower quadrant pain radiating to his back. . He was examined by an ER doctor who ordered a CT urolith. The study was interpreted by a defendant radiologist who documented a 3 mm distal right ureteral stone. He further noted a lobulate contour to the left kidney which he determined was likely a variation of normal, but he nonetheless recommended a renal ultrasound. The patient was discharged from the ER before the formal radiology report was completed.
On 2/27/04, the patient presented to the defendant urologist who had a copy of the CT report in his chart. The urologist ordered a urinalysis, told the patient to continue taking percocet for the right sided kidney stone, and to follow-up in two weeks. There is no indication in the medical record that the urologist notified the patient of the abnormality on his left kidney. The patient did not keep the follow up appointment.
According to the affidavit of the patient dated 10/2/08, the right sided kidney stone passed prior to his two week follow up with the urologist. As such, the patient thought it unnecessary to follow up as the symptoms he was being seen for had resolved. Further, according to the patient’s affidavit, he was not informed of an abnormality in his left kidney by the urologist.
The urologist claimed he told the patient that the area in his left kidney required further testing and could be cancerous and needed follow-up. The patient, however, did not keep the follow up appointment and never came back to see him.
The case settled during jury empanelment for $1,500,000.
Massachusetts: Middlesex Superior Court
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