$10 Million Jury Verdict for Misdiagnosis of Abscess

Michael Shimko was 17 years old when he went to the Geisinger-Kistler Clinic for treatment of what he thought was a hemorrhoid. A second-year resident, Dr. Christian Basque, diagnosed a hemorrhoid without examining Shimko. Dr. Basque prescribed a rectal suppository.

Eight months later, Shimko’s mother contacted Dr. Stephen Evans, Shimko’s family physician, and reported that the supposed hemorrhoid, which she described as a lump on his buttocks, had become large and painful. Dr. Evans reviewed Shimko’s medical records, refilled the suppository prescription and instructed the staff to refer Shimko to a colorectal surgeon. The referral was never made.

Over the next fourteen months, after Shimko’s initial visit to the clinic, he became unable to sit, prompting a visit to an urgent care clinic. There, medical providers diagnosed a complex pilonidal abscess. A pilonidal abscess or cyst occurs in the cleft at the top of the buttocks. The cyst and abscess can cause severe pain and often becomes infected.

For the next two years, Shimko required eight surgeries to drain and remove the abscess and place a skin flap by plastic surgery. His buttocks are now permanently disfigured and he has difficulty maintaining adequate hygiene in that area.

Shimko sued the clinic, Dr. Basque and Dr. Evans. The lawsuit against the clinic alleged liability for Dr. Basque’s choosing not to perform an examination to confirm the hemorrhoid diagnosis which, the plaintiff claimed, had been erroneous.

The lawsuit against Dr. Evans alleged failure to order a physical examination in choosing not to followup on and make sure the referral to the colorectal surgeon took place.

Shimko claimed that neither Dr. Evans nor Dr. Basque spoke to Shimko’s mother, who was in the waiting room during her son’s initial appointment.

The jury’s verdict was for $10 million. The defendants have filed post-trial motions.

The attorneys successfully representing Shimko were Melissa A. Scartelli and Peter P. Olszewski Jr.

At this jury trial, Shimko’s attorneys presented experts in colorectal surgery and family medicine. The defendants presented an expert in colorectal surgery.

Shimko v. Evans, No. 6653/2015 (Pa. Ct. Com. Pl. Luzerne County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been successfully handling misdiagnosis of cancer cases, medical malpractice lawsuits, physician negligence cases and nursing home negligence lawsuits for individuals, families and the loved ones who have been injured, harmed or killed by the negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Lindenhurst, Gurnee, Round Lake, South Holland, South Barrington, Berwyn, Bensenville, Antioch, Blue Island, Morton Grove, Chicago (West Englewood, Lawndale, Austin, Lake Calumet, South Shore, East Side), Bellwood, Mount Prospect and Prospect Heights, Ill.

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