$12.25 Million Jury Verdict for Negligent Examination of Prostate Specimens

Rickie Lee Hewitt consulted a urologist at The Iowa Clinic after receiving his prostate cancer screening results. He was 65 years old at the time. The urologist ordered a biopsy, which was sent to the clinic’s anatomical laboratory for interpretation.

Pathologist Dr. Joy Trueblood, the laboratory’s director, examined Hewitt’s slides and reported that she had found cancer in both sides of his prostate.

Hewitt then met with the urologist, who told him that he required a radical prostatectomy in order to survive his cancer. The surgery left Hewitt with erectile dysfunction and incontinence.

Another pathologist who examined Hewitt’s prostate as part of the procedure reported there was no evidence of cancer in the prostate. The previous slides were then sent to the Mayo Clinic for evaluation, which confirmed the lack of prostate cancer in either the biopsy or prostate specimens.

Hewitt and his wife sued The Iowa Clinic and Dr. Trueblood alleging that Dr. Trueblood had chosen not to follow standard procedure during her microscopic review of his biopsy specimens.

The Hewitt family also asserted that Dr. Trueblood had decided not to perform an initial or final “double check” to ensure that the requisition order number matched the patient name on the slide she was examining and that this led to Hewitt receiving another patient’s cancer diagnosis.

The Hewitt family also claimed that this horrendous error resulted from Dr. Trueblood’s practice of scanning stacked requisition orders instead of placing in one at a time under the scanner to prevent it from pulling up multiple requisition orders. There was no claim for lost income.

The jury signed a verdict for $12.25 million. The attorneys successfully handling this case for the Hewitt family were Nicholas Rowley, Randall Shanks, John Kawai and Mark Hedberg.

Hewitt v. Iowa Clinic, P.C., No. LACL 139726 (Iowa Dist. Ct. Polk County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling radiology negligence lawsuits, pathology negligence cases, medical negligence lawsuits, nursing home negligence cases and hospital negligence lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Mount Prospect, Prospect Heights, Morton Grove, Park Ridge, Arlington Heights, Lake Zurich, Highwood, Cary, Crystal Lake, Gurnee, South Barrington, Bartlett, Carol Stream, Addison, Melrose Park, Chicago (Logan Square, Lakeview, Uptown, Edgewater, Near North Side, Back of the Yards, Hyde Park, Wrigleyville, Canaryville, Rogers Park, Albany Park, Uptown), Rosemont, Streamwood, Schiller Park and Hanover Park, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

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