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Judgment of $2.5 Million for Failure to Diagnose Cancer

Back in 2004, a police officer who was suffering from rectal bleeding and other gastric symptoms went to see his doctor. The doctor treated him for some other complaints, but never ordered tests for colon cancer, despite the fact that the officer had typical symptoms for the disease.

Later, the police officer moved to another state. He saw another doctor because he continued to have problems with rectal bleeding. The new doctor ordered tests that discovered that the officer did indeed have colon cancer. By the time these tests were done in 2006, though, the cancer had reached Stage 4 and was incurable.

The police officer sued the first doctor for medical malpractice. In his court filings, he said that the doctor should have ordered a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy to rule out the possibility of colon cancer when the officer had complained of rectal bleeding.

The case came to trial in Indiana a few weeks ago, and after four days of testimony, the jury found in favor of the police officer.

The officer had asked for $3.1 million in damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering and decreased life expectancy.

The jury awarded $2.5 million after just six hours of deliberation.

Miami medical malpractice attorneys see many cases of failure to diagnose cancer, and it is often the case that a failure to diagnose results in terrible pain and suffering for the victim, and a shorter life. The officer in this case has been given less than a year to live, but if his cancer had been caught in 2004 when he first sought treatment, he might have had a normal life span.

Source: TribStar "Vigo jury awards $2.5M in medical malpractice case" 3/5/2011

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