Failure to timely diagnose Colon Cancer – $1,250,000.00 settlement.

The family of a 51-year-old Essex County man received $1,250,000 in a case where it was alleged that his Morris County-based gastroenterologist failed to diagnose colon cancer during a series of colonoscopies in 2011 and 2012.

During these tests, performed at a local hospital, the physician failed to document that he performed a complete examination of the colon, by either taking photographs of the cecum and/or stating he visualized the cecal landmarks, as was recommended in peer-reviewed Gastroenterology literature. 2 years later, after having new complaints, the man reported to the hospital, where testing and another colonoscopy detected an advanced stage cancer in the cecum.

Despite aggressive chemotherapy, the patient, also a physician, died 2 years later later from metastatic disease. As the disease was so advanced at the time of his diagnosis, surgery was no longer an option.

The man’s parents, his remaining survivors, agreed to the settlement, totaling $1,250,000.00, just prior to trial. In addition, the hospital where the colonoscopies were performed, and also the patient’s employer, – through its health insurer – agreed to waive a $362,000.00 subrogation lien for the reimbursement of the patient’s medical expenses – as it was claimed this hospital failed to utilize an available software program that required colonoscopists to automatically take photographs, documenting cecal intubation.

Blume Forte partner Michael B. Zerres tried the matter on behalf of the plaintiffs.