Failure To Diagnose Lung Cancer Lawsuit Settles for $1.9 Million

2015 Medical Malpractice Trial Report

Plaintiff claims radiologist at Boston Medical Center was negligent when he failed to recognize a lung nodule had grown significantly from a prior CT scan

The plaintiff had a history of being diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Because of this history, the plaintiff underwent routine chest and neck CT scans.

In January of 2007, the plaintiff had a chest CT scan that showed multiple scattered pulmonary nodules that appeared benign. However, there was one nodule in the right middle lobe that was larger than the others, measuring 8 x 8 mm. It was recommended that the plaintiff undergo a CT scan for further evaluation in approximately 6 months. The plaintiff underwent the chest CT on 8/4/07, reviewed and interpreted by the defendant radiologist. He noted that the right middle lobe lesion measured 9 x 14 mm. Despite the obvious growth in the nodule from the previous scan, the defendant reported that the nodule had not significantly changed and he recommended no further follow-up studies.

Approximately 2 years later, the plaintiff was ill and it was thought that she might have pneumonia. As a result, the plaintiff underwent a chest CT scan. It showed a right middle lobe mass that measured 3.8 x 4.3 x 3.6 cm with extension to the right hilum and that encased the right pulmonary artery. The exam also showed several enlarged lymph nodes in the middle part of her chest.

The plaintiff underwent a bronchoscopy and cervical mediastinoscopy on that confirmed metastatic non-small cell lung cancer with 1 out of 4 lymph nodes positive for cancer. The plaintiff then underwent chemotherapy and radiation followed by removal of the middle and lower lobe of her right lung. In 2014, the plaintiff was found to have spread of her cancer to her bones and is now classified as Stage IV lung cancer.

The plaintiff was expected to present evidence that the defendant radiologist was negligent when he failed to recognize that the nodule he identified in 2007 had grown significantly from the prior study. He was required to report that growth and recommend that the plaintiff undergo further testing. It was the opinion of the plaintiff’s expert oncologist that the nodule was, in fact, cancer that would have been highly treatable if diagnosed in 2007.

The defendant testified that he looked at both Tt scans in 2007 and he stood by his report that the nodule did not grow between the two scans. The defense was further prepared to present expert medical testimony that the plaintiff had an aggressive cancer and that her outcome was not affected by any potential delay.

The case settled prior to trial for $1,900,000.

Lubin & Meyer attorneys represented the plaintiff in this medical malpractice lawsuit.

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