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$375,000 Settlement for Medical Malpractice - Failure to Diagnose Rectal Cancer

The 58-year-old plaintiff reported a two-month history of blood in her stool to her gynocologist in September 1999. The gynecologist referred the plaintiff to the defendant primary care physician.

The defendant physician saw the plaintiff and recommended a sigmoidoscopy, which was negative for polyps, strictures or obstructions. The defendant diagnosed the plaintiff with hemorrhoids.

No further examination or follow up was performed for the next two years.

In June 2001, the plaintiff reported an episode of rectal bleeding to the defendant primary care physician who advised the plaintiff to use anusol suppositories for six days and to return for a rectal exam if she experienced a recurrence of bleeding or other symptoms. The plaintiff did not return. Rather, she saw her gynecologist in October 2001. The plaintiff explained to the gynecologist what had occurred, and the gynecologist referred the plaintiff for a colonoscopy.

A colonoscopy was performed and revealed a tumor, which was described as barely palpable, at the end of the digital exam, about 10-12 cms.

The plaintiff underwent a low anterior resection and supracervical hysterectomy. The cancer was described as 4.5 cm., moderately differentiated and present in the rectum as an ulcerated mass. The tumor was noted to have invaded the muscularis propria into the pericolonic soft tissue. One of three lymph nodes was found to be positive for cancer.

The plaintiff alleged that the defendant deviated from the standard of care in failing to refer the plaintiff for colonoscopy. The defendant and his expert were expected to testify at trial that it was appropriate to perform sigmoidoscopy, and that the mass was likely not present, given its location at the time of diagnosis, which was well within the reach of the scope.

The defendant and his expert were further expected to testify that the plaintiff's treatment would not have been significantly different if the cancer had been diagnosed earlier, and there was little risk of metastatic disease, given the passage of nearly five years since diagnosis.

Client Reviews
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We wanted to thank you again so much for all you did for us and your support throughout this ordeal. You did a great job for us and we truly appreciate it. We wish you well always. Dot and Alex
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We are extremely happy that we chose Kathy Jo Cook as our attorney. She brings experience, knowledge and compassion into the complicated legal process. Day or night, Attorney Cook always had time to talk to us and answer any questions we had throughout. We highly recommend her. Christopher & Mary Casella
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KJC Law firm handled my case and I was very pleased with the results. The Team there always returned my calls or emails quickly. They are very direct and upfront on how they feel the case will go and the best ways of handling it. I would definitely call them again should I need their assistance and will recommend them to others highly. J G.
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Law firm represented myself and another individual in a work related age discrimination case and was successful in obtaining a settlement in our favor. Couldn't be happier with the results and the representation. Mike K.
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I have worked with Kathy Jo Cook for over a decade. She has represented me in both personal and professional matters and has given 150% every time. Kathy Jo is hardworking and always has my best interests in mind. She is professional and reliable and has been accessible as needed, even after business hours. Kathy has expertise in many areas of law and is incredibly fair and ethical in her client work. We secured favorable outcomes every time that have enabled me to enjoy more happiness, health and success in my life. Mindy