$3.7 Million Jury Verdict in Failure to Diagnose Melanoma That Progressed to Stage IV Metastasized Cancer

John Ficke was 50 years old when he developed a growth on his chest. His treating dermatologist performed a shave biopsy and sent the specimen to Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where a dermatology pathologist, Dr. Asher Rabinowitz, interpreted the growth as noncancerous. However, one year later, Ficke underwent a punch biopsy of the same growth and Dr. Rabinowitz reported this time the presence of desmoplastic melanoma.

Ficke underwent treatment including chemotherapy and radiation. However, the unfortunate part is that the cancer had metastasized and progressed to Stage IV.

Ficke and his wife brought a lawsuit against the Columbia University Hospital and Dr. Rabinowitz claiming a failure to correctly diagnose the melanoma, which the plaintiffs argued was present on the very first biopsy but missed by the defendants. The claim did not include lost income.

The jury’s verdict of $3,700,000 included $450,000 to Ficke’s wife for loss of consortium.

The lawyers representing the Ficke family members were Paul L. LaClair and Charles Gucciardo.

Ficke v. Rabinowitz, No. 0001653/2014 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Nassau County, June 11, 2015).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling wrongful death cases, misdiagnosis of cancer cases, medical malpractice cases, hospital malpractice cases and birth injury lawsuits for individuals and families who have been injured 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, Oak Park, Maywood, Forest Park, Park Forest, River Grove, Elmwood Park, Melrose Park, Franklin Park, Schiller Park, Berkeley, Elmhurst, Villa Park and LaGrange, Ill.

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