IADC member and 2014 Trial Academy Director John R. Penhallegon received a defense verdict in the Circuit Court of Maryland for Carroll County on October 29 after an 8 day jury trial. The wrongful death case against Mr. Penhallegon's client, a urologist, arose from the decedent's death at age 52 of squamous cell bladder cancer. The defendant urologist treated the decedent from 1997 through 2005.
Plaintiffs' decedent had a flaccid, neurogenic bladder since age 5 secondary to a meningeal infection. She required clean intermittent catheterization multiple times a day and experienced recurrent inflammation and urinary tract infections, a risk factor for squamous cell carcinoma. The defendant in 2000 recommended urine cytology as cancer screening twice a year but never ordered such testing on subsequent visits. Four cystoscopies done over the course of care did not show any lesions suspicious for malignancy but did reveal an exudate consistent with chronic inflammation. Plaintiffs alleged that cytology or a tissue biopsy would have revealed keratinizing squamous metaplasia, a precancerous lesion, requiring close followup leading to diagnosis and cure prior to the diagnosis of Stage 4 invasive cancer in 2011.
The jury returned a defense verdict finding that any negligence of the defendant was not a cause of the death.