Gynecologist Failure To Work Up Signs of Ovarian Cancer Causes Death - Queens Jury Award of $3M Trimmed By Appellate Court
Three years ago, a Queens County jury found that a woman in her 60's consulting with her gynecologist was not told that an ultrasound revealed the presence of suspicious fluid in the cul-de-sac which ultimately led to her premature death. The jury also found that the gynecologist departed from accepted standards in failing to order a CA 125 blood test (screening test for ovarian cancer) and in neglecting to refer his patient to a gynecologic oncologist. The jury agreed that the delay in diagnosing ovarian cancer diminished the patient's chance of a better outcome or increased the injury. The jury awarded $2,000,000 for the decedent's pain and suffering; $1,000,000 for past pecuniary loss sustained by her two adult children and $50,000 for both adult child's future pecuniary loss over the next 5 years.
On July 28, 2021, an appellate court agreed with the defense that the verdict was excessive - but only as to the $1,000,000 award given to the two adult children for past pecuniary loss of $500,000 each. The appellate court reduced one child's recovery to $250,000 and the other to $100,000 effectively reducing the verdict by $650,000.The court explained why these adult children were entitled to compensation: "In the case of a decedent who was not a wage earner, pecuniary injuries may be calculated, in part, from the increasing expenditure required to continue the services she provided, as well as the compensable losses of a personal nature, such as loss of [a parent's] guidance. Natasha Zamena Bacchus-Sirju v Hollis, 2021 WL 3178551