$500,000 Settlement for Failure to Diagnose Esophageal Cancer

Blume Donnelly partner Michael B. Zerres obtained a half-million dollar settlement on behalf of a widow whose husband died from Stage IV Esophageal cancer. The man, who had been followed by an oncologist for an unrelated lymphoma, had a PET scan performed in connection with his treatment of that disease. The PET scan revealed an area of abnormality at the gastro-esophageal junction, and, the radiologist recommended that the oncologist refer the patient for an endoscopy for further evaluation. Unfortunately, that recommendation was not followed, and 2½ years later, after being disease free of his lymphoma, the man was found to have esophageal cancer that spread to several other organs, and, he died a short time later. It was contended that had the patient been referred for endoscopy as suggested, it was likely he would have been diagnosed with either an early stage esophageal malignancy or pre-malignant condition (Barrett’s esophagitis), both of which carry with it a higher chance of a favorable outcome.