A Maryland medical malpractice jury returned its verdict for the plaintiff in a trial that concluded in May 2022 in a case of medical negligence filed against a primary care practice that allegedly failed to diagnose a patient’s colon cancer over a period of five years despite continuing complaints of abdominal pain. The Maryland medical malpractice jury awarded $469,000 for past medical bills, $815,000 for loss of support, and $8 million in noneconomic damages to to the man’s widow and their young son, which will be substantially reduced due to Maryland’s cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases.
The Maryland medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the man, who was 48 when he died, was seen by a physician’s assistant when he went to the primary care practice in 2015 with complaints of abdominal pain. The physician’s assistant diagnosed the man with diverticulitis. The man returned to the practice on four more occasions during the next two years complaining of abdominal pain. At one point he found a lump his abdomen and a colonoscopy was recommended but not performed. The man underwent surgery in November 2017 for severe abdominal pain. He was then diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, which spread to his liver, lungs, and his bones, and culminated in his death in June 2019 despite chemotherapy treatments.
The Maryland medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that various medical providers at the primary care practice were negligent by failing to order appropriate medical testing, by failing to refer the patient to an appropriate specialist, and by failing to order appropriate imaging studies that would have led to an earlier diagnosis of colon cancer.
The plaintiff’s Maryland medical malpractice lawyer stated after the verdict, “This was just a very deserving family and a very unfortunate situation. [The man] was by all accounts just a great guy.”
The defense has filed a post-trial motion arguing that the total noneconomic damages should be reduced to less than $1 million and that the total jury award should be reduced to about $2.7 million. The defense attorney said after the verdict, “We are very disappointed with the jury’s verdict. We had strong expert support for the care of [the man].”
Cancer that begins in the colon is called colon cancer. Cancer that begins in the rectum is called rectal cancer. Cancer that begins in either of these organs may also be called colorectal cancer.
Recently, the number of new colorectal cancer cases and the number of deaths from colorectal cancer have both decreased slightly each year. However, in adults younger than 50 years, there has been a small increase in the number of new cases of colorectal cancer in recent years. Colorectal cancer is found more often in men than in women.
If you or a loved one may have been injured as a result of cancer misdiagnosis in Maryland, you should promptly find a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer who may investigate your cancer misdiagnosis claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a Maryland medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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