A 44-year-old patient presented to his longtime family practice physician in January and February with complaints that included rectal bleeding. He underwent a flexible sigmoidoscopy by the defendant that revealed hemorrhoids which were neither bleeding nor inflamed.
One year and four months later he presented with a complaint of bleeding in his underwear "almost every other day." The defendant thought he saw a "slightly inflamed hemorrhoid." There was no further testing for bleeding and the hemorrhoid was not bleeding at the time.
The patient presented several more times that year for other complaints but there was no follow up for the bleeding.
The next year he again presented with a complaint of blood in the stools, and a change in bowel habits. Defendant diagnosed the patient with irritable bowel syndrome.
The patient return in October of that year with more of the same complaints and asked for a referral to a gastroenterologist. The defendant told the patient that he had "ruled out" a serious cause of bleeding.
It was later determined that the patient had a very bad rectal cancer. He underwent extensive surgery.
The case was tried in Fairfax County resulted in the verdict of $1 million for the patient.