Thousands Die Each Year From Preventable Medical Errors
A Grand Rapids man and his wife were awarded $1.1 million after a Hibbing jury found that a doctor at the Hibbing Family Medical Center failed to timely diagnose and treat his prostate cancer. "My client did everything a man should do after turning 50," said Schweiger who is the managing partner at the Duluth office of SiebenCarey.
"He religiously went in for a yearly prostate cancer test as recommended by the American Cancer Society. Unfortunately, his doctor at Hibbing Family Medical Center didn't inform him that his test results in May 2001 indicated a need for further testing. When he went back a year later for his annual test, the cancer had already spread beyond his prostate gland to his bones. If follow up had been done in 2001, this cancer could have been treated," Schweiger said, "but now it's too late as his condition is terminal."
St. Luke's Hospital of Duluth was also named in the lawsuit because Hibbing Family Medical Center is their clinic. According to Schweiger, the defense made no offers to settle the claim. The jury awarded damages to his wife of 40 years for her loss of support and companionship from her husband. Our client retired in 1999 as a vice-president with Cargill, a Fortune 500 food products company, and moved from the Twin Cities with his wife to retire on Lake Pokegama near Grand Rapids.
"Sadly, cases like these are not uncommon," added Schweiger. "According to a report by the Institute of Medicine, at least 44,000 people, and perhaps as many as 98,000 people, die each year in this country as a result of medical errors that could have been prevented. That's more than die of car crashes, breast cancer or AIDS.