In late October 2021, a Philadelphia medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in favor of a widow who had sued her husband’s doctor for both medical malpractice and wrongful death for the failure to diagnose her husband’s liver cancer. The Philadelphia jury took only four hours after four days of trial to reach its verdict in favor of the plaintiff.
The Philadelphia medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the defendant doctor’s medical negligence resulted in a delay of more than two years in the diagnosis of 67-year-old Lonnie Kersey’s cancer that had metastasized to his pelvis and thoracic spine by the time it was diagnosed. Mr. Kersey, who was an amputee with a history of abnormal liver function tests and blood transfusions before his death in 2018, suffered intractable pain as a result of the delayed diagnosis of his cancer, for which medications could not control the pain. Mr. Kersey died as a result of liver cancer.
The defendant doctor argued in his pretrial memorandum that Mr. Kersey was himself responsible for the delay in diagnosing his cancer: “Plaintiff’s PSA levels were normal until 9/30/15, at which time, Dr. Pisano discussed with plaintiff the risks of prostate cancer versus potential complications from biopsy. Due to plaintiff’s concern about over-diagnosis and biopsy complications plaintiff elected not to see a urologist for biopsy. When the PSA level of 203.3 came in, Dr. Pisano saw plaintiff right away and immediately referred him to a urologist for biopsy. Plaintiff was diagnosed with a high-grade adenocarcinoma of the prostate, with a Gleason score of 9. Given the Gleason score and PSA change between 2015 and 2017, plaintiff had an aggressive, metastatic prostate cancer in September 2015 which would have been incurable and unresectable in 2015.”
The plaintiff’s Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer had offered to settle the case before trial in the amount of the defendant doctor’s medical malpractice insurance coverage: $1 million. “The doctor only had $1 million in insurance, and the pretrial offer was for $200,00. I don’t know if that means the doctor consented to settle, but what I’ve seen from insurance companies post-COVID is a reluctance to settle. I’m not sure, but I think they let this doctor out to dry. Now we have to go after his personal assets because the insurance company thinks we won’t expend resources to try cases.”
Interestingly, the Philadelphia medical malpractice jury included eight medical professionals, which the plaintiff’s lawyer believed helped his client win her case: “We gladly accepted them.”
If you or a loved one may have been injured (or worse) as a result of medical negligence in Philadelphia, elsewhere in Pennsylvania, or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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