Back in 2004, a police officer who was suffering from rectal bleeding and some other gastric problems went to see his doctor. The doctor treated him for some other complaints and sent him home. He never ordered any tests for colorectal cancer, even though the officer had symptoms that indicated the possible presence of cancer.
Two years later, the police officer moved to another state and saw another doctor about the continuing problem of rectal bleeding. The new doctor immediately ordered tests that found colon cancer. Unfortunately, by then the cancer had reached Stage 4 and was incurable. The first doctor's failure to diagnose the condition proved to be extremely damaging.
The police officer sued the first doctor for medical malpractice. At the trial in Indiana, the police officer argued that the doctor should have ordered a sigmoidoscopy or a colonoscopy to rule out colon cancer when the doctor was informed about the officer's rectal bleeding.
The police officer is now 42 years old and has been given less than a year to live. He asked for $3.1 million in damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and for a reduced life expectancy.
After a four day trial and six hours of deliberation, the jury ruled in favor of the police officer and awarded $2.5 million in damages.
Connecticut medical malpractice attorneys frequently see the devastating effects of cases where a doctor has failed to diagnose a serious condition. If the first doctor had ordered a standard test back in 2004, the police officer might have had a normal life span.
Source: TribStar "Vigo jury awards $2.5M in medical malpractice case" 3/5/2011