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Ben Glass
Ben Glass
Attorney • (703) 584-7277

$1,000,000 Fairfax, Virginia Medical Malpractice Verdict

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We are thankful and pleased to report a verdict for one of our medical malpractice clients in Fairfax, Virginia, yesterday.

The case involved a 3 year delay in diagnosing rectal cancer. During this time the defendant ignored signs of rectal bleeding, attributing repeated findings and complaints of bleeding to ‘hemorrhoids.’

As a result of the delay the plaintiff, a 45 year old male, was deprived of the opportunity to have his pre-cancerous polyp removed and, later, was deprived of the opportunity to have an early cancer removed with a relatively minor procedure. Instead, when finally diagnosed (after he changed doctors due to the ignored complaints) he underwent radiation and chemotherapy, followed by two major operations resulting in the removal of his rectum and near total loss of sexual function.

Of note:

1. The defendant was a non-board certified internist doing flexible sigmoidoscopies in his office. His testimony was that he would not pursue bleeding from the rectum unless “it was persistent and the patient kept complaining about it.”

2. The insurance company for the doctor, following what is now a pattern of practice in Virginia for medical malpractice insurance companies, made no offer before or during the trial.

3. The total medical bills were approximately $72,000. The jury deliberated 4 hours. The plaintiff had been married about 6 months before his ordeal began.

4. Defense experts were LeRoy Smith, MD (oncology, hematology, internal medicine); Michael Hattwick, MD (internal medicine); Michael Schwartz, MD (gastroenterology) and Paul Kovalcik, MD (colo-rectal surgery). Hattwick and Schwartz testified that the defendant’s care met the standard of care. Smith and Kovalcik testified that any delay in treatment did not harm the patient.