Delays in medical diagnoses can have irreparable and sometimes fatal consequences. And if the consequences aren’t fatal delays can still leave a patient with a diminished quality of life and put them and their loved ones through emotional turmoil.
Sadly one New Jersey family knows all too well the devastation that a missed diagnosis can cause.
Here’s how one family never gave up in their pursuit of justice after a physician’s fatal error.
Physician dismisses patient’s symptoms, suggests iron pills
In 2013 a New Jersey man met with his local physician after he began experiencing anemia. According to the recently settled lawsuit the patient expressed concerns about his health to his physician. The doctor recommended he begin taking iron pills and advised him to make a followup appointment for blood tests.
In the months following the patient’s symptoms began to worsen significantly. Six months after his visit he collapsed at his son’s hockey game and a doctor diagnosed him with cancer.
Unfortunately the diagnosis came too late. The patient passed away two and a half years after his diagnosis at the age of 44.
Patient’s family sues doctor for malpractice
The man’s family filed suit against the physician for the missed diagnosis. The attorney for the family argued that the physician failed to investigate the patient’s symptoms by forgoing further testing during the initial visit. The lawsuit also claims that the doctor should have immediately issued a referral to a gastroenterologist for an endoscopy due to the symptoms he presented.
By the time the patient received the diagnosisthe cancer had already spread to his liver. The family believes that an earlier diagnosis would have increased his chance of survival.
NJ judge awards family $3.1 mil for missed diagnosis
Earlier this week a judge awarded the decedent’s family $2 million for the delay in diagnosis and the emotional distress the patient endured. The judge also awarded over $1 million to the family for their pain and suffering and the loss of financial and emotional support because of their loved one’s passing.
Pursuing a medical malpractice claim on behalf of a deceased loved one is rarely about money. Victims’ families often understand that money won’t bring their loved one back. Many times patients and their families file suit to prevent others from experiencing the anguish and devastation caused by a missed diagnosis.
If you or one of your loved one is a victim of medical negligence you may want to consult with a well-seasoned attorney so that you have a greater understanding of your rights.