Case Conclusion Date: 10.26.2010
Practice Area: Medical malpractice
Outcome: Plaintiff Verdict of $3,549,000 in addition to $500,000 agreed to pay by Dr. McGovern
Description: Martin Bliley developed difficulty speaking and understanding and went to Hamot Hospital ER, where he reported a history of recent pneumonia. Radiologic studies showed an abnormality in the lung and three ring shaped lesions in the brain. Dr. Hoppe did not consider infection as a possible cause for the abnormalities, instead informing the patient in the emergency room that he had metastatic cancer and perscribed steroids to reduce the brain swelling. Dr. Hoppe consulted Dr. Jeffery McGovern, a pulmonogist, and Dr. Narinder Malhota, a cancer specialist. Both recommended a lung biopsy. Dr. Hoppe and Dr. McGovern signed off of the case without waiting for the biopsy results. The first biopsy was a failure so patient was sent home with steroids. Days later a biopsy showed no cancer, but the results were not sent to any treating physicians, and no treating physicians tried to learn of the results. Days later while awaiting an outpatient appointment with the cancer specialist for cancer he did not have, Bliley was rushed to ER where doctors diagnosed his infection, which had grown to 30 times its original size on steroids. Surgery was performed but Bliley was left with substantial loss of brain tissue that permanently impacted his speech, sight and hearing.