A judge in Helena, Montana, has awarded a man $59,820 after he was incorrectly diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. In this case of medical negligence, the man was told by a doctor at the Fort Harrison VA Medical Center that he only had months to live. As a result of this devastating news, the man sold his truck, quit his job and even thought about taking his own life.
The man's story began in 2009 when he had a stent put in because he had suffered from chest pain. Some weeks after, he started experiencing headaches as well as problems with his speech, vision and memory. The man saw an internist, who in turn sent him to see an ophthalmologist. A CT scan was performed and it did show abnormalities in the brain. The neuroradiologist who read the CT scan told the internist the man's symptoms could be from a stroke, a brain tumor or something else. He advised the internist to have more testing done in order to ensure the proper diagnosis was made.
The internist did not do that. Instead, he met with the "tumor board" and didn't tell the physicians that the man could have anything other than brain cancer. It was later determined the man had suffered several small strokes and never had brain cancer.
The man was prescribed two medications, including one that should not be taken by someone who has had a stroke. He testified that after the diagnosis of terminal brain cancer, he considered taking his own life so his family wouldn't have to watch him slowly die.
The judge awarded the man $500 per day for severe emotional and mental distress for the 148 days he thought he was dying. In addition, the man was awarded $300 per day until he learned what was really ailing him.
If you or someone you love has suffered due to a doctor's negligence, contact a Kentucky medical malpractice attorney to learn more about a possible civil claim for damages.