November 20, 2018, PNLR News
Late diagnosis of kidney cancer
A man who was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma more than two and a half years after a CT scan showed a lesion on his kidney sued his treating urologist, alleging failure to order further evaluation. An earlier diagnosis would have meant a smaller risk of recurrence, the plaintiff claimed. The parties settled for $150,000. Doe v. Roe.
Doe, 52, underwent a CT scan of his kidneys, bladder, and ureters while undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. The scan was interpreted as showing an indeterminate 1.7-centimeter lesion on the left kidney. Although further evaluation was recommended, Doe did not undergo an additional workup. Approximately 31 months later, he experienced lower back pain. An MRI of the lumbar spine revealed a 3-centimeter mass on the left kidney. Doe underwent a partial nephrectomy and was diagnosed as having renal cell carcinoma. To date, he has not suffered a recurrence.
Doe sued Roe, his treating urologist, alleging failure to order further evaluation after the CT scan. Had he received an earlier diagnosis, the plaintiff claimed, he could have undergone an ablation, not a partial nephrectomy, and would have had a smaller risk of recurrence. The defense admitted that the standard of care required workup of the lesion but asserted that Doe would have required a partial nephrectomy even if given an earlier diagnosis. Further, the defense argued that Doe’s likelihood of recurrence is minimal.
The parties settled for $150,000, including resolution of any potential wrongful death claim.
Citation: Doe v. Roe, Undisclosed Dkt. No. (Cal. Super. Ct. Orange Cnty. Aug. 17, 2018).
Plaintiff counsel: AAJ member Daniel M. Hodes, Irvine, Calif.