5.4 Million Awarded When Chemotherapy Drug Caused Cancer Patient’s Death

5.4 Million Awarded When Chemotherapy Drug Caused Cancer Patient’s Death

Verdict: 5,420,950

Date: February 2011

County: Cook

PLTF Medical: Dr. Paul Sowray (oncologist) Dr. Erol Yorulmazoglu (Oncologist, Dr. Edwin R. Priest (Oncologist, Dr. Elizabeth Schupp (Pulmonologist, Dr. Stephen Greenstein (Pulmonologist and Dr. Lynwood Jones (Infections Disease).

DEF Medical: Dr. Robert D. Rosenbloom (General Surgeon)

PLTF Experts: Dr. Peter H. Wiernik (Oncologist), Dr. Robert Hyzy (Pulmonologist), and Dr. Rodger MacArthur (Infectious Disease)

DEF Experts: Dr. Sucha Nand (Oncologist, Dr. John P. Flaherty (Infectious Disease) and Dr. Steven R. White (Pulmonologist)

Summary: Plaintiff was suffering from Stage III-A-S Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when she went for her fifth round of chemotherapy. Her usual doctor was on vacation. The physician covering did not review Plaintiff’s pulmonary function test performed two days prior and, therefore, was not aware that Plaintiff was suffering from early mild Bleomycin-induced lung injury. The physician proceeded with the chemotherapy and did not withhold the Bleomycin from her treatment on that date. During Plaintiffs next treatment two weeks later it was noted that she had been suffering from worsening shortness of breath. A different oncologist reviewed her test results and prescribed Prednisone. Unfortunately, the Plaintiff’s condition worsened rapidly and she died from severe progressive Bleomycin lung toxicity and respiratory failure five weeks later. Plaintiff’s pulmonology expert opined that the lung injury likely would have stabilized had the oncologist adjusted her chemotherapy after reviewing Plaintiff’s tests results and that the administration of that mix of chemotherapy at that time put Plaintiff over the edge causing the lung injury to go from early and mild to severe, progressive, and fatal. Defense countered that Plaintiff died from Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP). Plaintiff’s infectious disease expert denied that claim.

Category: Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death

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