The importance of followup: A physician was successfully sued for not following a pancreatic mass that turned out to be cancer
“On June 9, 2003, Herman Darrell Storms and his wife, Shirley Storms, filed suit against Dr. Thomas J. Moore, Dr. Karl Heinss, and Baptist Regional Medical Center (BRMC) alleging that on April 4, 2000, Storms was admitted to the hospital under the care of Moore and Heinss, and that a CT scan revealed the possibility of a mass lesion at the tail portion of his pancreas.
According to the lawsuit, the radiologist and Moore, who was Storms gastroenterologist, recommended a follow-up CT scan, but that Moore never advised Storms about the potential mass lesion, suggested a follow-up CT scan, or arranged for a follow-up CT scan.
The lawsuit alleged that Heinss, who was Storms primary care physician, never advised him of the growth either.
According to the lawsuit, on July 15, 2002, Storms was again admitted to BRMC, and a large cancerous mass was discovered on his pancreas, which had spread into the spleen, stomach, and kidney.
Storms died on March 8, 2005, three days before his 49 birthday.”
The lawyer’s proud take-home message: “I think it is one of the highest verdicts ever given in Whitley County.”