Failure to Timely Diagnose Lung Cancer Leads to Settlement of $1.47 Million

Gerald Teeuwen, 77, developed a persistent cough. He went to an urgent care facility and later underwent a chest x-ray, which was interpreted as showing a density in his left lung. Teeuwen was referred to a pulmonologist, Dr. Peter Birk.

Dr. Birk ordered a second chest x-ray, which radiologist Dr. Jack Lowdon read as normal. Dr. Lowdon did not compare the two films, which had not been provided to him. The following year, Teeuwen was diagnosed as having Stage IV lung cancer with metastasis to his brain and bones. He was unable to tolerate his chemotherapy and brain radiotherapy treatments. Teeuwen died of lung cancer four months later. He was survived by his wife and two adult children.

Teeuwen’s wife, on behalf of his estate and family, sued Drs. Birk and Lowdon alleging their negligence in choosing not to timely diagnose lung cancer. The Teeuwen family alleged that both physicians should have reviewed the first chest x-ray and that Dr. Lowdon had misread the second study. If Teeuwen would have received an earlier diagnosis, the family and the estate argued, he would have had a chance for cure and survival.

The jury entered a verdict of $1.3 million finding the two doctors jointly and severally liable. However, the Teeuwen family and the doctors later settled for $1.47 million.

The attorneys skillfully representing the Teeuwen family were attorneys Judith M. Cofield and Carlton F. Bennett. At trial, the Teeuwen family attorneys presented experts in oncology, pulmonology and radiology.

Teeuwen v. Birk, No. 2015-0825 (Va. Cir. Ct. Chesapeake County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been successfully handling wrongful death lawsuits, medical malpractice cases, misdiagnosis of lung cancer cases and nursing home abuse cases for individuals and families 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 communities, including Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Lincolnshire, Hinsdale, Lake Forest, Lockport, Northbrook, Oak Park, Palatine, Round Lake Beach, St. Charles, Geneva, Cicero, Aurora, Chicago (Chinatown, Canaryville, Buena Park, Bronzeville, Brighton Park, Bridgeport, Beverly, Morgan Park, Wrigleyville, West Loop, Humboldt Park, Gold Coast, Garfield Park), Worth, Winnetka, Willow Springs and Tinley Park, Ill.

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