Bob and his wife came to us almost two years after he had been diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. He was referred to us by a friend whom we had helped a few years earlier. By the time Bob walked into our office for our first meeting, he had already been through multiple rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and a major surgery. He had been through hell and back and, unfortunately, none of the treatments worked. When we met Bob, he was terminally ill, and his cancer had continued to spread despite all of his treatments. Before his diagnosis, Bob had been to his primary care physician’s office every year — but he was usually seen by a nurse practitioner, instead of his doctor. Despite clear guidelines mandating that doctors order colonoscopies for their patients when they reach the age of 50, Bob’s doctor had never said a word to him about the need for such testing. By the time Bob was diagnosed, he was symptomatic with blood in his stool, and the primary tumor in his colon had already metastasized to his liver.
In the year or so Bob was in our lives, we never once heard him complain. Our team of lawyers and two paralegals assigned to his case developed a close and trusting relationship with Bob and his family. We hired two incredibly talented medical experts — one of whom was prepared to testify that Bob’s primary care doctor had committed malpractice by failing to recommend a colonoscopy, and another who told us that the delay in diagnosing Bob’s cancer allowed it to spread. We also retained a team of economic experts whose job it was to quantify the earnings that Bob and his family had lost due to the disabling nature of his cancer. Bob ultimately lost his battle with his disease, but before he passed, we were able to secure a multi-million dollar settlement for him and his family. Bob was an incredible man — resilient, strong, selfless. When he left our conference room that first day we met him, he asked me to promise that we would get him answers, and that if his doctors had made a serious mistake, we would take care of his family. Despite Bob’s death, we’re proud to say we kept our promise to him, and that his family will be forever taken care of financially.