View Our Practice Areas

Meningioma Case Result

Seven-figure recovery for the husband of a woman who experienced a delay in diagnosing a benign brain tumor known as a meningioma. While this type of tumor is not cancerous, as it grows, it can cause brain swelling and lead to other problems. In this particular case, the benign tumor was shown on a CT of the brain several years earlier, but the family doctor in Monroeville, PA, failed to order follow-up CT scans to "track" its growth. As a result, the tumor continued to grow but that was not discovered until several years later, and by that time, her only option was to have a risky and very extensive brain surgery. Had the patient been referred to a surgeon when the meningioma was smaller, she could have had a much less invasive procedure with less risk of postoperative bleeding and brain swelling.

When people think of brain tumors, they usually think of cancer, but even benign tumors, such as a meningioma, can present problems if they grow too large. If they stay small, they usually present no problem, and there is no reason to subject a patient to delicate brain surgery to remove them. However, when benign tumors get too large, they can start to press on parts of the brain that control important functions such as eyesight, speech and other things, and when that happens then the meningioma or other benign tumor needs to be removed.

In this case, the tumor was growing, but the doctor was not "tracking" its growth with regular CT scans. Once the doctor finally ordered a follow-up CT scan, there was also a question of whether it was properly interpreted by the radiologist. If the growth of the meningioma had been discovered sooner, there was a good chance that it could have been removed with a far less-invasive and dangerous surgery. Unfortunately, this patient had no choice but to undergo the more dangerous surgery and, sadly, she suffered complications as a result of the extent of the surgery, complications that eventually led to her death.

In cases like this, it is important that the radiologist and the patient's private doctor, "be on the same page." In other words, the private doctor has to order periodic CT scans to check to see whether the benign tumor is growing, and then once the private doctor orders a CT scan, it is the responsibility of the radiologist to read it correctly and make sure that the physician is made aware if the tumor has grown. The two doctors have to work in concert with one another. That did not happen in this case.

In our case, the wife had a modest work history so there was a modest wage loss as part of the wrongful death damages, but the major part of the damage claim was the husband's loss of the relationship of his wife of many years. In wrongful death cases, we refer to that as loss of "society and companionship," which is a significant item when, as in this case, the husband and wife have a long-time and close relationship of many years duration.

No Recovery No Fee

Find Out Why
Super lawyers Distinguished AV | Lexis Nexis | Martindale-Hubbell | Peer Review Rated For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability Million Dollar Advocates Forum