In February, 2003, a woman’s physician ordered a chest x-ray for the woman in preparation for her back surgery. The physician received the x-ray report from the radiologist that noted a mass on the woman’s right lung but the physician never advised his patient about the finding or order a follow-up examination or treatment. It was not until 19 months later that the woman was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the right lung (lung cancer) that had spread throughout her body and was incurable by the time of the late diagnosis.
On September 21, 2004, another chest x-ray was taken when the woman complained of shortness of breath. The lung mass was again detected but this time a follow-up CT scan and biopsy were ordered, which determined that the mass was cancerous. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy were begun but the woman died on February 16, 2005. The woman’s husband died six months before the Maryland medical malpractice case was filed.
The woman’s daughter filed the medical malpractice lawsuit as a result of the late diagnosis of her mother’s cancer. The medical malpractice claim alleged that the woman suffered unending physical pain, emotional anguish, fear, and anxiety due to the alleged medical negligence of her physician, and that her estate incurred medical expenses and funeral expenses. The deceased husband’s estate claimed the loss of his wife’s love, support, guidance, advice, and comfort.
The daughter’s derivative medical malpractice claim cited the tragedy from which she claimed she would never recover.
The medical malpractice case was tried before a jury over the course of 10 days before the jury rendered its verdict on June 19, 2012. The jury found the physician to have committed medical malpractice and awarded the woman’s estate $250,000 in noneconomic damages, $20,169.74 for the woman’s medical expenses, and funeral expenses in the amount of $1,395.00. The deceased husband’s estate was awarded $150,000 in noneconomic damages and $45,000 for loss of household services due to his wife’s delayed cancer diagnosis and her death. The medical malpractice jury also awarded the surviving daughter noneconomic damages in the amount of $225,000.
Source: Pickering, et al. v. Uscinski, et al., Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland, Case No.: 305006V.
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