Sommers Schwartz attorney Andy Dragovic settled a wrongful death case against the United States government for $360,000 after a Veterans Affairs Medical Center radiologist failed to appreciate an abnormality on a chest x-ray that was suspicious for lung cancer. The medical malpractice lawsuit claimed that the failure to accurately interpret the chest x-ray led to a one-year delay in the man’s diagnosis of lung cancer. The x-ray taken on the patient’s initial visit to the hospital showed asymmetry and increased opacity of the right lung compared to the left lung, but it was not questioned by the doctor. After continued complaints of chest pain, a CT scan was ordered and the lung mass was discovered. By the time lung cancer was finally diagnosed, it had spread to the man’s brain. The patient underwent chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery but at that point it was too late. He died one year after the diagnosis. The plaintiff alleged that had the x-ray been properly read and the abnormality been timely detected, the patient’s cancer would have been surgically removed and cured before spreading to other parts of his body and his life would have been saved.
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