On August 21, 2019, a Pennsylvania medical malpractice jury awarded a man and his wife $8.5 million for the injuries they suffered as a result of the defendant doctors’ failure to report to the man an incidental finding on a CT scan that showed a possible tumor in his bladder. As a result, the man’s bladder cancer was not timely diagnosed and treated, resulting in the spread of the cancer that caused him to lose his bladder and prostate gland (a part of his intestines now act as a bladder).
The now 52-year-old man had sought medical treatment on October 23, 2015 at a local hospital’s emergency room for urinary problems and pain in his abdomen due to kidney stones. A CT scan of his abdomen revealed a stone in his ureter and intrarenal nonobstructing stones. The CT scan also showed an area that could be a tumor in the man’s bladder but the man was not told about that finding and the doctor did not advise him to seek further evaluation and diagnosis, according to the couple’s Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawsuit.
In February 2017, the man underwent an ultrasound of his bladder due to difficulty urinating that showed multiple tumors that were subsequently diagnosed as bladder cancer that occupied almost half of his bladder. The couple’s Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawsuit claimed that had the proper diagnosis been made in 2015, the man’s bladder cancer could have been successfully treated and he would not have had to undergo surgical removal of his bladder and prostate.
The Pennsylvania medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in the amount of $10 million in favor of the plaintiffs ($2 million for the man’s past pain and suffering, $6 million for his future pain and suffering, and $2 million to the man’s wife for her loss of consortium claim) but the verdict for the plaintiffs was reduced by 15% because the jury determined that the man was 15% responsible for his own injuries (the defense argued that the man was told about the mass and was advised to follow up with a urologist but failed to do so once he passed his kidney stones and his pain was relieved). The jury determined that the defendant emergency room doctor who treated the man in 2015 was 60% responsible for the verdict and that the defendant doctor who was supervising the other defendant doctor was 25% responsible for the verdict. Therefore, judgment was entered in favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendants in the amount of $8.5 million.
The defendants reportedly had not made any settlement offer before trial and have not indicated their intention as to whether they will appeal the jury’s verdict.
If you or a loved one have suffered serious harm as a result of medical negligence in an emergency room in Pennsylvania or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney, or a medical malpractice attorney in your state, who may investigate your emergency room medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a emergency department malpractice case, if appropriate.
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