Largest Reported NJ Personal Injury Settlement during the Court’s 2022-2023 term

$975,000 Wrongful Death Settlement

A widow whose husband was undiagnosed with an obvious case of lung cancer filed suit against two doctors, who were partners, and had been treating the decedent for a number of years. The suit cited medical negligence and wrongful death, among other counts.

In 2008, the decedent began seeing the doctors due to a concern regarding his lungs and breathing. On October 17, 2008, one of the doctors acquired a report of a CT scan of the man’s abdomen, which showed, among other findings, the presence of a 1.3 cm slightly speculated nodule and suggested that additional testing be done. However, the partner did not read the imaging report, therefore missing the significance of the common sign of lung malignancy, and did not refer the man to an appropriate specialist. On June 1, 2009, another CT scan was requested of the decedent’s abdomen, which showed a nodule that had increased in size. Again, one of the doctors failed to identify it.

It was not until January 24, 2011, during an admission at Chilton Memorial Hospital that the presence of the nodules was finally acknowledged and a needle biopsy was performed. The man was officially diagnosed with lung cancer on January 28, 2011. A little more than a week later, he went for surgery to remove the cancer, but doctors found that it had spread. Diagnostic evaluations and courses of chemotherapy and radiation therapy took place, but did not work. In February and March 2012, the man was diagnosed with large lesions on his brain and spine, and died on August 13, 2012. His widow received a settlement of $975,000.00, and was represented by attorney Marc C. Saperstein.