Middlesex County Jury Awards $4.25 Million in Failure to Diagnose Cancer Case
Have you or a loved one been a victim of misdiagnosed or undiagnosed cancer in Middlesex County, NJ? You are not alone. These cases arise all too often in Middlesex County and throughout New Jersey. For instance, a recent cancer missed diagnosis case resolved with millions in damages. Specifically, after doctors failed to diagnose a woman’s salivary gland tumor and she suffered partial paralysis, a jury in Middlesex County awarded $4.25 million in her medical malpractice case.
In cases such as these, it is essential to demonstrate the extent to which the victim suffered loss (damages) as a result of their injuries. It is also critical to show the magnitude of harm caused directly through medical negligence, whether it manifests as misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or failure to diagnose.
At Fronzuto Law Group, our New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys construct the most comprehensive arguments in favor of our clients, with the goal of obtaining maximum damages for medical expenses, rehabilitative treatments, loss of income, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. Through our diligence and dedication, we have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for patients who have been harmed by cancer misdiagnosis, hospital negligence, and other forms of medical malpractice in New Jersey. To learn more about your potential legal options, contact our offices at 973-435-4551 for a cost-free consultation with one of our knowledgeable lawyers today.
Doctors Failed to Diagnose Salivary Gland Tumor
The victim, Kelly Jordan, who is now 64, was first diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2008 after complaining of headaches. She had several subsequent MRI’s, which were reviewed by the plaintiffs, Ling Lam and Jonathan Isserow, in 2009 and 2010. According to Jordan, both doctors failed to identify an additional tumor lodged in her salivary gland.
The salivary gland tumor was finally diagnosed in 2011, by which time it had progressed significantly. With surgical intervention, the tumor was removed; however, one of Jordan’s facial nerves was also impacted, which left her with partial paralysis.
Following a month-long trial, a Middlesex County jury awarded Jordan $4.25 million. The actual amount that she will receive is approximately $3.2 million because the jury found that 25 percent of the damages could be attributed to Jordan’s pre-existing condition (specifically, the tumor in her brain).
Ultimately, the jury attributed 50 percent of the fault to Lam, 25 percent to Isserow, and 25 percent to Jordan’s pre-existing brain cancer. The precedent for such an adjustment, based on a victim’s pre-existing condition, can be found in the 1990 New Jersey Supreme Court case of Scafidi v. Seiler. In this case, the court ruled:
“The defendant should be subject to liability only to the extent that he tortiously contributed to the harm by allowing a preexisting condition to progress or by aggravating or accelerating its harmful effects, or to the extent that he otherwise caused harm in excess of that attributable solely to preexisting conditions.”
In other words, the plaintiff’s responsibility for damages should be adjusted to reflect the risk that the pre-existing condition posed to the patient if no negligence had occurred. By allowing the salivary gland tumor to progress, the doctors committed medical malpractice; however, the pre-existing condition of cancer elsewhere in the patient’s body is considered to have posed a risk to her health and livelihood, medical negligence notwithstanding.
For additional information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Failure-to-Diagnose Case Yields $4.25M Jury Verdict