Our client, a 39 year old male, experienced a sudden onset of rectal bleeding and was hospitalized for evaluation of his colon. A gastroenterologist performed a colonoscopy and an EGD (upper G I study) and diagnosed plaintiff with diverticulosis ( a benign pouching condition) in the lower portion of the colon. The gastroenterologist gave the client dietary instructions to help prevent further episodes of diverticulosis symptoms.
15 months after the colonoscopy and the EGD were performed, the client was discovered to have a large tumor in the cecum (the upper tip of the colon) which had metastasized to the liver (Stage IV cecal cancer).
Colonoscopy requires visualization of the entire colon including the cecum. Circumstantial evidence indicated that the cecum had not been properly visualized during the colonoscopy and that a tumor had been overlooked.
Plaintiff began a long regimen of treatment which included surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Plaintiff died 3 years after diagnosis. The medical evidence indicated that plaintiff had Stage III cecal cancer as of the time of the colonoscopy and EGD and that plaintiff had sustained a 32% lost chance of survival by reason of the colonoscopy having failed to detect the cecal tumor which eventually lead to plaintiff’s death.