Maureen Keegan recently negotiated a $1 million settlement in a medical malpractice lawsuit involving a woman who suffered the removal of her healthy kidney when a doctor mistook a benign growth for cancer.
The defendant doctor was practicing at a local medical center when he “jumped the gun” and arrived at a cancer diagnosis before performing a thorough investigation. The patient’s family health history was not given full consideration and the doctor ignored the radiologist’s recommendation to order further tests.
The plaintiff was erroneously advised of an 85% likelihood of kidney cancer and wound up having her entire kidney removed, causing significant changes in diet, lifestyle, emotional distress, pain, and loss of earnings due to her inability to work while recovering from the surgery. The plaintiff’s expert advised this would have all been avoided had the doctor performed more extensive tests before removing her functioning kidney.
The case represents a troubling example of what can occur when doctors rush to judgment and rely on assumptions without following the recommendations of other expert physicians to ensure a correct diagnosis.