Verdict: $5 Million for Misdiagnosis of Colon Cancer

The plaintiff was a 45-year-old woman who presented to the emergency department complaining of right lower quadrant abdominal pain. A CT scan of the patient’s abdomen was misinterpreted by a radiologist as showing acute colitis/diverticulitis. The plaintiff’s pain resolved after several days and she was discharged home. Approximately 11 months later, the plaintiff underwent another CT scan which was reported as highly suspicious for colon cancer. The diagnosis of Stage IV colon cancer was confirmed by colonoscopy and hemicolectomy within a week. The plaintiff has since undergone extensive cancer treatments for metastatic disease which is terminal. All experts agreed that the plaintiff’s cancer was a Stage IIIA when it was misdiagnosed as colitis/diverticulitis. Plaintiff’s experts testified that the delay in diagnosis caused her cancer to become incurable. After a five day jury trial, the jury unanimously awarded the plaintiff $5 million with interest after approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes of deliberations.