The case involved a 74 year old plaintiff who sought treatment with a gastroenterologist due to a cyst on his pancreas. After visiting the gastroenterologist, the plaintiff underwent a blood test to check for evidence of cancer, but did not undergo any further testing. Sixteen months later, the plaintiff underwent testing due to his inability to control his blood sugar. It was determined at that time that he was suffering from pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately, the plaintiff passed away from his cancer eleven months after being diagnosed.
A claim was brought against the treating gastroenterologist for failing to recommend further testing for the plaintiff’s pancreatic cyst. Plaintiff claimed that had further testing been done, specifically an endoscopic ultrasound, the pancreatic cancer would have been diagnosed sixteen months earlier and would have given him a much better chance at surviving the disease. A claim was also brought against a radiologist who plaintiff claimed failed to point out worrisome features of the pancreatic cyst when reviewing a CT scan of the abdomen.
Our partner, New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer Jeffrey Bloom, will be the Program Chair of the “Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer” seminar organized by the New York State Bar Association. Richard Steigman who is also a partner at our firm will be a speaker and will provide an Overview of the Governing Laws related to such cases.
During this seminar participants will learn how to handle the failure to diagnose breast cancer medical malpractice case. Featuring nationally recognized medical experts in oncology and cancer detection, the morning session will cover the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of breast cancer and provide attendees with an understanding of the medical background necessary to handle these cases. During the afternoon portion of the program leading medical malpractice trial attorneys will present an overview of case selection, trial strategies and the art of explaining technical medical concepts to jurors.
Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about this area of law.
In 2011, Oriana Sousa, a Portuguese psychologist who is now 28 year-old was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer. When the symptoms started doctors initially failed to diagnose the cancer. For several months Oriana suffered from frequent constipation and fatigue. She was also thirsty all the time. Then she started to have terrible abdominal pain and began vomiting. Her doctor told her she was fine and she shouldn’t worry. Her aunt who is a nurse recommended that she see visit another doctor. The new doctor performed a CT scan and found a massive tumor. Oriana was diagnosed with a very rare, aggressive and fatal form of ovarian cancer.
Immunotherapy shrank the tumor to the surprise of the doctors
During several years Oriana went through surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy to try to eradicate the tumor however new tumors would grow back. Then Oriana convinced her doctor to give her nivolumab, an immunotherapy drug that was not supposed to be used on her tumor. The tumor reacted immediately and shrank. As she continued to take the drug the tumor shrank to the point that she has no more evidence of the disease. Now doctors and researchers are trying to figure out why they were wrong.
The NY Medical Malpractice Attorneys at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhornm, Steigman & Mackauf are happy for the family of our client Lissy McMahon. New York Governor Cuomo and the state legislative leaders announced that the Governor will sign Lavern’s Law on Tuesday. With the help of our Medical Malpractice Attorney Jeffrey Bloom, Lissy a mother who was misdiagnosed with cancer after the statute of limitations had passed, relentlessly pushed for the passage of this Law. Lavern’s Law moves the starting date of the statute of limitations to the date of the discovery of the misdiagnosis instead of the date the when the misdiagnosis occurred. Sadly Lissy passed away before the signing of the law. She left behind a 15 year old son (read more in our previous blog).
Jeffrey is the Co-chair of the Medical Malpractice Committee of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association as well as the Co-Chair of LAWPAC New York, the Trial Lawyers political action committee. In these roles he pushed relentlessly for the passage of the law.
After Cuomo announced that he would sign Lavern’s Law, the family of Lissy McMahon released the following statement:
Extramammary Paget’s disease (EMPD) is a very rare form of cancer that is often misdiagnosed as a jock itch, a fungal infection in the skin of the genitals, inner thighs and buttock. EMPD usually invades the scrotum and requires multiple operations and skin grafts. The cancer is so rare that patients suffering from this cancer may feel extremely isolated. A year ago, Sandra G. Boodman published an article in her “Medical Myststeries” column about Stephen Schroeder, a patient whose doctors failed to diagnose EMPD. Schroeder wanted to speak publicly about his cancer because he wanted other men to be aware of the common misdiagnosis and also because he felt isolated and he was trying to connect with other patients who were suffering from the same rare disease.
After the article was published in October 2016, he received hundreds of emails and connected with 80 people who were suffering from the same rare form of cancer. He created an online support group where patients and doctors treating them can share information about the disease. Schroeder’s website contains so much information about Extramammary Paget’s disease that scientists used his data for a study recently published in Urology.
The article was also read by patients who had been mistakenly diagnosed with jock itch. A 50 year old engineer read the article on the plane on his way back from China. He was diagnosed with a fungal infection but Shoeder’s story felt so similar to his own experience that he went back to his dermatologist and asked for a biopsy. He also used Shroeder’s website to figure out which questions to ask doctors. The biopsy results confirmed the man was misdiagnosed and he had cancer. He had surgery and he is now in remission. He developed a friendship with Shroeder and the two men met twice in person.
“ Lissy McMahon’s sister, the executrix of her Estate made this video to express her appreciation for the NY Legislature passing Laverne’s Law. Our partner, New York Medical Malpractice Attorney Jeffrey Bloom has been relentlessly pushing for Lavern’s Law to pass. He is the co-chair of the Medical Malpractice Committee of the New York State Trial lawyers Association and co-chair of LawPAC of New York-the political action committee of the Trial Lawyers. Recently, the New York State Legislature passed Lavern’s Law. Jeff represented Lissy McMahon, a single mother who discovered that doctors misdiagnosed her cancer after the statute of limitations had passed. Jeff and Lissy fought together to help pass Lavern’s Law. Unfortunately, Lissy passed away before the law was passed leaving behind her 4 year old son Jack. Jeff now represents her estate.
Cancer patients who have been misdiagnosed by New York doctors or hospitals will now have a fairer chance to be compensated. Yesterday, the New York Senate finally passed the Lavern’s Law which is moving the starting date of the statute of limitations to the date of the discovery of the medical error instead of the date when the medical error was committed for cancer patients. The Assembly has also passed the law by a vote of 105-23. It will now be sent to The Governor to sign.
The original version of Lavern’s Law proposed to start the statute of limitations from the date of the discovery for all medical malpractice cases but a compromise had to be found with the Senate GOP. Despite being a restricted version, the passage of this law is excellent news for many cancer patients who were misdiagnosed but weren’t able to get compensation because the misdiagnosis was discovered too late.
Our partner, New York Medical Malpractice Attorney Jeffrey Bloom has been relentlessly pushing for Lavern’s Law to pass. Jeff represented Lissy McMahon, a single mother who discovered that doctors misdiagnosed her cancer after the statute of limitations had passed. Jeff and Lissy fought together to help pass Lavern’s Law. Jeff traveled to Albany to support the passage of the Law. Unfortunately, Lissy passed away before the law was passed leaving behind her 15 year old son Jack.
Victims of medical malpractice in New York have 15 months to file a lawsuit against a public hospital and 2 and a half years to sue a private hospital or a physician after a medical error occurred. This rule is unfair to the many patients who only discover that they have been the victim of a medical malpractice after the statute of limitations has passed. For example if a doctor fails to diagnose cancer, it can take several years until the misdiagnosis is discovered. The patient is then left without any possibility to sue and get compensated for the medical error. Our partner, New York Medical Malpractice Attorney Jeff Bloom has been instrumental in advocating for the passage of the law which is a proposal to have the statute of limitations start at the time of the discovery of the error. He fought for our client, Elissa McMahon in her crusade to get Lavern’s law passed. In 2012 Elissa McMahon went to Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City for a fibroid removal. At the time of the surgery, pathology slides from Lenox Hill Hospital clearly indicated that the patient had cancer but doctors failed to diagnose it. Two years later she went to a doctor after suffering from severe back pain. She was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. 6 months later she consulted with our firm and discovered that the statute of limitations had passed and that she was unable to sue. Sadly, Elissa died from stage 4 metastatic cancer. Below is a video of Elissa McMahon in which she discusses her tragic situation with Jeffrey Bloom. Jeff traveled to Albany in support of Elissa and others in her situation to push for the passage of Lavern’s Law. Hopefully his efforts will now come to fruition. See more on Twitter @NYSTLA and on our previous blog. Jeffrey Bloom is the Co-chair of the Medical Malpractice Committee of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association as well as the Co-Chair of LAWPAC New York, the Trial Lawyers political action committee. In these rolls he has been instrumental in fighting for the passage of the “Discovery Rule.”
Failure to diagnose breast cancer at an early stage or delay in treating breast cancer early can have deadly consequences. Early detection of the disease through regular screening such as mammogram is essential for every woman over 40 year old. According to Cancer.net, women who are diagnosed when the cancer is located only in the breast have an almost 100% chance to survive for at least 5 years. If the cancer is detected after it spread to the regional lymph nodes, the 5 year-survival rate is 85%. A woman diagnosed with breast cancer that spread to another part of her body has a 26% chance to survive more than 5 years.
Statistics also indicate that only 61% of breast cancers are diagnosed at an early stage. Unfortunately, despite campaigns such as the Breast Cancer Awareness Month that ended Yesterday, too many women over 40 years old are still not getting regular mammogram. 29% of women who have health insurance and should be screened are still not doing it. Among women who do not have health insurance, as many as 68% of them are not getting mammograms. Not having an insurance is not an excuse for not getting regular mammograms. In every city, charitable organizations offer free screenings for women who can’t afford to pay for them. In New York our firm is sponsoring free mammography vans through the Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert.
FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE BREAST CANCER CAN BE MEDICAL MALPRACTICE