Nassau County Jury Awards $4M to Woman For Failure To Diagnose Breast Cancer
On February 22, 2023, a Nassau County, New York jury awarded $4,000,000 to a 55 year old woman for the failure of a radiologist to properly interpret a mammogram and ultrasound resulting in a one year delay in diagnosing breast cancer. The plaintiff developed Stage 3 breast cancer with metastases to her lymph nodes. The radiologist, Dr. Steven Peyser of Lenox Hill Radiology, knew or should have been aware of the patient's complaints of bilateral breast pain and that her maternal aunt had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The plaintiff claimed that the radiologist failed "to recognize the significance of a new area of tethering and architectural distortion", found on the imaging studies, which must be presumed to be breast cancer unless proven otherwise. Instead of recommending further investigation and biopsy, Dr. Peyser recorded "no signs of malignancy" and "BI-RADS 2-Benign Findings" in his chart.
The jury was persuaded that the radiologist should have referred the plaintiff to a breast surgeon/specialist and that early detection/treatment would have avoided some of the more devastating treatments plaintiff endured, including: bilateral mastectomy, chemotherapy with hair loss and peripheral neuropathy and radiation. As a result of the delay the plaintiff will have a reduced life expectancy and is at a higher risk for developing future related cancers. The jury awarded $2,000,000 for past pain and suffering and $2,000,000 for future pain and suffering. This case settled as per a pre-verdict high-low agreement of $2,000,000/$395,000. As such the plaintiff capped her recovery at $2,000,000 but will collect that sum without the threat of post-trial motions or appeals. Kanas v Steven Peyser, M.D., 2023 WL 2986480
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