A jury has awarded a southern California man $3.4 million in a case involving a doctor who failed to diagnose his bladder cancer in a timely manner, according to the Orange County Register.
The patient complained to the doctor—his primary-care physician—that he was experiencing painless but profuse bleeding during urination. According to the lawsuit, the physician believed the cause was a kidney stone and told the man to wait for more symptoms.
When the patient urinated blood again six months later, the physician referred him to a urologist, who diagnosed bladder cancer. During surgery to remove his bladder, the patient required 100 units of blood. Combined with nerve damage, the excessive blood loss caused him to develop peripheral neuropathy. The man now walks with a cane, wears leg braces, and urinates into a bag attached through his stomach.
Jurors felt that the delay in diagnosis facilitated the spread of the cancer to the bladder muscle, which led to its removal. “They realized, in a man over 50 years old who has blood in his urine, it is bladder cancer the majority of the time,” the patient’s attorney told the newspaper.