A New York medical malpractice lawyer, handling a case dealing with misdiagnosed lung cancer, has helped confirm that two physicians can be jointly responsible for a misdiagnosis. The case involved a Manhattan woman who was diagnosed with lung cancer. She underwent surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. Despite all of this, the woman died two years after having been diagnosed. The woman’s family claimed that the cancer had not been diagnosed in a timely fashion, and that the failure to make a timely diagnosis allowed the lung cancer to spread, and thus cause her premature death. They brought an action against the internist, and the pulmonologist to whom the internist had referred the woman.
Ultimately, the court held that although simply referring a patient by one doctor to another usually does not make the referring doctor liable for the negligence of the treating doctor, joint liability could be imposed when the referring doctor is extensively involved in the decisions that lead to the diagnosis and treatment of the disease, and when these decisions constitute negligent acts. Under these circumstances, the court continued, a jury could impose liability on both the doctor who made the referral and the doctor to whom the referral was made. Regarding the woman who died of lung cancer in this case, the court felt that there was enough evidence to support the conclusion that the referring internist jointly participated with the pulmonologist in the monitoring and diagnosing the woman’s lung cancer. In addition, there was enough evidence to show that both doctors were responsible for failing to order a needle biopsy three years prior to the diagnosis and five years prior to the woman’s death, and that this failure was a departure from good and accepted standards of medical care and proximately caused the premature death of the woman.
If you or loved one have been injured by a referring physician and the physician to whom the referral is made, or by any other act of medical malpractice, you may need the assistance of a New York medical malpractice lawyer.
The firm of Stephen Bilkis & Associates and its New York Medical Malpractice Lawyers with convenient locations in the New York Metropolitan Area, including Washington Heights, NY, can be of invaluable assistance to you if you find yourself a victim of medical malpractice. Enduring pain, disfigurement and financial anguish without professional representation is not the path you should choose.