They could see it plain as day.
I should say they 'should have' seen it, plain as day.
But they didn't.
Because he didn't "SEE" the tumor, she went blind in one eye.
It took nine months for her vision to deteriorate that she could no longer see.
But it was right there. In black and white.
When she finally went to an eye doctor, CAT scan and MRI tests revealed it was too late.
There was a tumor sitting in her brain.
A big one.
Occupying a large portion of her brain.
It wasn't cancerous.
But it was a space-occupying lesion.
In this case, that lesion got bigger and bigger. I put pressure on her optic nerve. The nerve controlling her eye with worsening vision. When the tumor got so big, it put so much pressure on the optic nerve that it cut off the blood supply to that nerve. That killed off vision in her eye.
Let's go back nine months. That's when she was in a car accident. She was a passenger and hit her head on the inside of the van she was in. Ironically, the accident happened across the street from the emergency room. She was wheeled from the accident scene right into the ER and taken for x-rays and a CAT scan.
She was banged up. Before being sent home, the ER doctor needed to review the x-rays and CAT scan to make sure everything was Ok.
Hours later, he confirmed the test results were all "Normal." She could go home.
Over the net nine months, she didn't think her worsening vision was a problem. Until it was. Then, it was too late.
Our medical experts confirmed her tumor was plainly visible on both the x-rays and her emergency room CAT scan taken nine months earlier.
The sad reality is that her blindness was preventable. Had the ER doctor not violated the basic standards of medical care and had a basic understanding of reading and interpreting diagnostic imaging films, this patient could have had surgery to remove the tumor before it destroyed her optic nerve.
This was a young woman with two young kids. She'd had a pap smear as part of her routine gyn visit. When she followed up a few weeks later, he told her she'd need a hysterectomy. She had pre-cancerous cells in her uterus. She didn't know any better.
She trusted him. He'd been her gynecologist for a few years. In the Bronx.
He told her that if she didn't have a hysterectomy to remove her uterus, she'd die from cancer within a few years. She wanted more kids but hadn't planned on any more at the moment.
He scared the hell out of her.
She relented and had the surgery. It went well. There were no complications.
A few weeks later she returned to his office for follow up. To check her incision and to review her biopsy results.
Her incision was fine. No infection. No post-operative problems.
But on the biopsy results he glossed over the fact that everything looked good and there was no cancer.
She stopped him. She was confused. The reason she was told she needed surgery was because of cancerous and pre-cancerous cells during her pap smear. Yet, now she was being told that there were no cancerous cells anywhere. This didn't make sense.
She asked him to explain. He gave her one excuse after another. None of his excuses made sense.
First she had cancer, now she doesn't.
First she had pre-cancerous cells, now she doesn't.
Did she or didn't she?
I had her medical records reviewed by two world-famous gynecologists.
They both confirmed what I suspected.
He never should have performed this hysterectomy on her. She didn't need it. It was never warranted or indicated.
In fact, he should have known better. He should have repeated the pap smear test. He should have done one or two other simple tests to get tissue that was suspected of being cancerous. Had he done that, he would have seen that there was no cancer.
She wasn't going to die in a few years from uterine or ovarian or cervical cancer. That's because she didn't have any cancer or pre-cancerous cells. My experts confirmed that her gynecologist violated the basic standards of medical care resulting in permanent harm and injury.
You'd think this would have been a clear cut case that the doctor would be willing to settle. It wasn't.
The defense refused to negotiate. They refused to settle.
So we went to trial. In Bronx County Supreme Court.
We put on our proof. We put on our evidence. We brought in our expert gynecologist to testify. My client and her husband testified. We were almost a week into our trial.
Then, we rested our case.
Then the Judge told us to take a lunch break and the defense would begin putting on their evidence right after lunch.
The unfortunate reality is that this young woman never needed a hysterectomy. She loves her two kids but always wanted more. I am privileged to have been able to help her in her quest for justice.