The Turkewitz Law Firm

New York Personal Injury Attorney ♦ Medical Malpractice ♦ Trial Lawyer

Serving Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Rockland, Dutchess, Westchester, Nassau & Suffolk Counties
Eric Turkewitz
228 E. 45 St., 17th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Phone: (212) 983-5900

Failure To Diagnose Medical Malpractice Diagnosis Of Cancer Patient Alleged That Doctor Didn't Spot Cancer Signs

Case: Xxxx Xxxxx Iter and Xxxxxxx Xxxx Iter v. Dr. [JAL], No. XXXXX/01

Court: Queens Supreme

Judge: James P. Dollard

Date: 12/17/2003

Settlement: The parties reached a $675,000 settlement after a pretrial conference. The initial demand was $750,000.

Plaintiff Attorney:

    G. Oliver Koppell, the Law Offices of G. Oliver Koppell & Associates, New York, NY

    ( Xxxxxxx Xxxx Iter, Xxxx Xxxxx Iter)

    Eric Turkewitz, the Law Office of Eric Turkewitz, New York, NY

    (Xxxxxxx Xxxx Iter, Xxxx Xxxxx Iter)

Defendant Attorney: Diane Kim, Santangelo, Benvenuto & Slattery, Manhasset, NY


Facts & Allegations :

Plaintiff Xxxx Xxxxx Iter, 59, a taxi driver, claimed that he presented to his internist, Dr. [JAL], for treatment of rectal bleeding on March 10, 2000. He alleged that [JAL] diagnosed hemorrhoids and prescribed a topical ointment.

In December 2000, Iter was diagnosed with stage-III colon cancer. He sued [JAL].

Iter claimed that [JAL] departed from good practice by failing to send him for colon-cancer screening on March 10. He contended that the referral was necessitated by his age and his alleged rectal bleeding. He also contended that his age and family history of colon cancer should have prompted prophylactic colon-cancer screening, even in the absence of rectal bleeding.

[JAL] alleged that Iter had not complained of rectal bleeding on March 10. He contended that Iter had only mentioned high-blood pressure -- an ongoing condition for which he had been seeking [JAL]'s treatment. During his deposition, [JAL] testified that he had performed a prophylactic guaiac test to check for stool blood on March 10. He added that he had performed such tests on other occasions, and that all results were negative.

[JAL] contended that the tests he performed constituted a reasonable exercise of judgment, and that the guaiac tests were suitable prophylactic measures, regardless of the presence or lack of blood in Iter's stool. He also contended that Iter's hemorrhoid condition presented a reasonable explanation for any rectal bleeding, given the negative guaiac tests.


  • loss of services; cancer
  • Iter claimed that [JAL]'s failure to diagnose his cancer on March 10 allowed the disease to spread from stage II to stage III. As such, he contended that his likelihood of surviving more than five years dropped from 65% to 50%. The cancer had metastasized to his liver by the time of trial.
  • Iter argued that he could not resume work after he began his cancer treatment.
  • Iter's wife, Xxxxxxx Xxxx Iter, claimed loss of services.

Updated: 3/2/2016
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