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Illinois man settles medical malpractice suit for $1 million

Aurora residents may be interested to hear that a settlement has been reached in the amount of $1 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit involving an Illinois man whose physician reportedly failed to diagnose and treat the man's cancer. The settlement followed on the heels of a Cook County jury's ongoing deliberations in the lawsuit.

The man filed the lawsuit against his then primary care doctor and his doctor's employer. The man claimed that his doctor failed to notice that there was a mass growing in the man's rectum. This happened despite the patient having several yearly examinations in 2009, 2011 and 2012, in which a digital rectal exam was performed, an exam that should have detected any abnormalities.

At age 51, in August 2012, the man had a colonoscopy performed. Prior to the procedure, he was given a digital rectal exam, wherein the gastroenterologist treating him located a growth in the man's rectum right away. The colonoscopy revealed that the man had a growth in his rectum measuring eight centimeters, which turned out to be a cancerous stage-T3 tumor.

The man had to undergo chemotherapy and radiation for five weeks prior to having the tumor surgically removed. He also had to have his rectum removed, and now must use a colostomy bag for the rest of his life. He used to live a very physically active lifestyle, but the colostomy bag attached to his abdomen now limits his physical activity. According to his attorney, if the cancer had been detected earlier, it would only have required a simple surgical procedure to treat.

The case did go to trial, but after the jury indicated that it may end up being deadlocked, the defendant physician offered the man the $1 million settlement, which he accepted.

This shows how, even if a medical malpractice case ends in a settlement, it can still be a satisfying result for patients harmed by negligent physicians. Other Illinois residents who have been the victims of doctor negligence can take heart that sometimes a favorable settlement can be reached even if the case does not go through the entire trial process.

Source: Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, "Overlooked cancer nets deal for $1M," Lauraann Wood, Oct. 18, 2016

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