$650,000 Recovered for Failing to Diagnose and Treat Cancer 

Delay in Cancer Diagnosis

Our client, a 77-year-old man and his family, recovered $650,000 in a lawsuit against his physician, who deviated from accepted “standards of care” resulting in the patient’s death.

The patient was admitted to a hospital in Dutchess County, New York with complaints of a chronic cough. A CT angiogram of his chest revealed multiple soft tissue masses in his mediastinum (central part of chest). The attending pulmonologist informed the patient and his family that the multiple tissue masses were “nothing to worry about.” 

Initially, the pulmonologist planned on referring the patient to a thoracic surgeon for further evaluation. However, no referral was made and 7 ½ months later, the patient’s respiratory complaints worsened. Imagining studies revealed the masses had doubled in size and spread to his diaphragm. A biopsy diagnosed pleomorphic sarcoma, a cancer of the soft tissue. An operation was performed to remove the malignant tumor, but five months later, the patient died from cancer complications.

The lawsuit contended that the pulmonologist had an obligation to either refer the patient to a thoracic surgeon or order follow up imaging and/or biopsy to evaluate the mediastinal masses. The failure to work up and evaluate the soft tissue masses was a deviation from the accepted “standard of care.” As a result of the delay in diagnosis, the cancer spread, and ultimately, led to the patient’s death.

The patient is survived by his two adult daughters.