Steven R. Schwegman Obtains Defense Verdict in Medical Malpractice Case

March 12, 2015 06:44 PM

IADC member Steve Schwegman, a shareholder at Quinlivan & Hughes, P.A., obtained a defense verdict in a medical malpractice case on behalf of a urologist. The next-of-kin of the patient alleged deviations from the standard of care arising out of the alleged failure to timely diagnose bladder cancer.  

The patient initially presented to the urologist in March 2010 upon referral from his primary physician due to urinary complaints, including microscopic hematuria (blood in the urine). A cystoscopy was performed which identified a bladder stone but no evidence of bladder cancer. The stone was removed in its entirety at a subsequent surgery. The prostate underwent laser enucleation with removal of some prostatic tissue. The bladder was once again inspected for malignancy without any evidence of abnormalities. The patient was seen several times in follow up, during which the patient reported improvement in symptoms. In January 2013, the patient returned with complaints of gross hematuria (visible blood in the urine). A mass was discovered on the wall of the bladder, which was identified as high-grade transitional cell carcinoma. Robotic cystectomy (removal of the bladder) was performed but the patient suffered from numerous complications and ultimately passed away in February 2013.

Plaintiff retained several expert witnesses, including a urologist, hematologist/oncologist, and economist. Medical expenses exceeded $1.2 million. Plaintiff alleged the physician failed to appropriately assess the hematuria, failed to perform urinalysis to check for continuing hematuria following the bladder stone removal, failed to appropriately follow up on continuing microscopic hematuria to rule out bladder cancer, and failed to offer neo-adjuvant chemotherapy. The jury returned a verdict concluding the urologist was not negligent in his care and treatment of the patient. They were not required to answer the damages questions. 

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