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ARTICLE ID 188812

DEFENDANTS' Medical Malpractice – Otolaryngology – Alleged negligent failure to conduct CT-scan when suspected benign growth seen in ear – One and a-half-year delay in diagnosing adenoid cystic carcinoma – Alleged more extensive surgery and heightened hearing loss – Recurrence – Radiation treatment – Patient in remission as of time of trial.

Orange County, NY

The plaintiff, in her early 40s, contended that the defendant ENT physician negligently failed to order a CT-scan when the plaintiff presented with pain in the right ear and when the defendant observed a narrowing in the ear canal. The plaintiff contended that the narrowing was caused by a malignant mass. The plaintiff maintained that the approximate one and a-half-year delay in diagnosing the cancer mandated more extensive surgery and a significantly greater one-sided hearing loss than otherwise would have been the case. The defendant denied being negligent.

The plaintiff also contended that the delay was a substantial factor in a recurrence of the cancer that necessitated additional surgery and the use of radiation treatment which would not otherwise have been required. The plaintiff has apparently remained cancer free as of the time of trial.

The defendant contended that all of the signs upon presentation reflected a benign growth, and that treatment other than ear drops was not indicated since the plaintiff’s symptoms did not increase. He maintained that the cancer could well have developed between the time of the alleged negligence and the diagnosis a year and a-half later.The jury found that the defendant was not negligent.

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