Legal Question in Medical Malpractice in California

Renal Cell Carcinoma (kidney cancer): HMO Failure To Detect

8/31/00 advised 8/29/00 ultrasound for uterine fibroids revealed 7.4 x 6.7 x 5.3 cm solid mass in lower pole right kidney. 9/1/00 CT scan confirmed. Scheduled for radical nephrectomy (removal of kidney/spleen/adreanl/lymph nodes) on 10/11/00. Dr. says tumor at least 5 yrs. old & can't believe not discovered by HMO's 3 prior ultrasounds betw 11/95 & 6/99. Earlier detection couldv'e meant only partial loss of kidney = 2 functioning kidneys intact. Any case(s) awarding patient settlement for loss of kidney due to failure to detect even though prognosis is can live w/one kidney? How much is the loss of a kidney worth?


Asked on 9/19/00, 2:02 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Michael Cortson Law Office of Michael D. Cortson, Esq.

Re: Renal Cell Carcinoma (kidney cancer): HMO Failure To Detect

If your doctor will testify that the failure to diagnose was below the standard of care then you have a case. What it is worth? That is up to a jury and what they would take to be in your shoes.

I practice in California and Indiana. If you have questions let me know.

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Answered on 10/18/00, 9:09 am
Jeffrey Zinder Zinder & Koch

Re: Renal Cell Carcinoma (kidney cancer): HMO Failure To Detect

You asked specific questions which I will attempt to address. First you can present a claim or lawsuit for the loss of the kidney if you have expert witness support. The lawsuit must be filed within one year of the discovery of the medical negligence. Secondly the value of the claim will depend upon many factors including the prognosis of your health and need for medical monitoring to insure the survival of the remaining kidney. There is a limit on pain and suffering awards in California in medical negligence cases of $250,000. You should consult an attorney. I handle many cases of medical negligence and you may call or e-mail me for a consultation. Call 818-760-0100 ext. 101 or e-mail JEZinder@ZinLaw.com

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Answered on 10/18/00, 10:39 am
John Bisnar Bisnar & Chase, LLP

Re: Renal Cell Carcinoma (kidney cancer): HMO Failure To Detect

Another case of HMO negligence and/or cost savings.

The key to your case is, "Did the actions (inaction) of your doctor (HMO) fall below the standard of care in your community"? This is a question that each side will present expert witnesses. No matter the issue, the HMO will find a doctor to testify that their actions did not fall below the "standard of care". It will then be up to the "trier of fact" to decide liability.

Your HMO contract my require that this matter go through arbitration rather than by jury.

If successful, you would be entitled (in my opinion) to the California maximum of $250,000 plus past and future medical expenses and loss of past and future income. California has a maximum of $250,000 for "pain and suffering" in medical cases.

You probably have a year to file a claim (some situations the time is significantly shorter).

Please consult with a top notch personal injury law firm, as soon as possible. The best firms will provide a free consultation and charge no fee until they collect for you. Medical malpractice cases are the most difficult of all personal injury claims, in my opinion. You need strong representation.

You can call me for a free consultation. John Bisnar, Senior Partner, Bisnar & Chase, Personal Injury Attorneys & Counselors at Law. E-mail jbisnar@bisnar-chase.com. Phone 800-956-0123.

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Answered on 10/18/00, 2:09 pm


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