Read About Our Notable Cases
John A. Caputo & Associates, P.C., has settled or litigated hundreds of personal injury cases over the years. The following are just a few examples of successful lawsuits we have pursued as malpractice lawyers for victims of devastating personal injuries.
Brain Cysts Not Diagnosed
Of many brain injury cases handled by Mr. Caputo, two such tragic situations involved the failure to diagnose cysts-fluid- or gel-filled sacs whose cells are not malignant, but benign or compressing the brain.
In one such case, John Doe was a former Army Ranger in his 30s who had developed a cyst in the third ventricle compartment of his brain, which blocked the natural flow of fluid. He visited the office of his PCP on numerous occasions reporting worrisome symptoms only to have a physician’s assistant managing him not order a CT scan on an urgent basis.
When the symptoms became severe, he went to the hospital. There, a CT scan found a cyst, he was admitted, and a neurosurgeon called. He needed a simple drain placed in his skull, which could have been done at bedside, but the neurosurgeon never came to the hospital. During that night, John’s brain herniated before he could have surgery to remove the cyst. He experienced severe impairments that changed his life and that of his family.
In another tragic case, a teenager had a cyst that caused her eyesight to diminish as the result of compression of her optic nerve. An optometrist failed to recognize that she needed an exam by an ophthalmologist and provided long-term eye muscle therapy with charts. As her eyesight diminished, he did not respond until it was too late. However, another medical provider could have diagnosed the problem much earlier.
Because of headaches, the medical provider sent Jane for a CT scan at the office of a neurologist. The CT scan showed a small abnormality, suggesting calcification consistent with tumor, which was the cyst at an early stage and before there was any injury to the optic nerves. That practitioner failed to detect and follow the abnormality which the expert engaged by Mr. Caputo said was clearly apparent. Regrettably, Jane lost sight in one eye and peripheral vision in the other.
Our Pittsburgh malpractice lawyers bring the experience and expertise necessary to prevail when seeking compensation in these types of cases.
Pap Specimens Often Misinterpreted
The great majority of Pap specimens are adequate specimens that are interpreted as normal. An adequate specimen is one in which there are a sufficient number of cells, including endocervical cells represented. Yet, among those adequate specimens are ones in which an existing disease process, such as a precancerous lesion or cancer, are not represented because those cells were not harvested in the sample taken by the gynecologist. This is simply a sampling deficiency that occurs and is not malpractice.
A woman diagnosed with cervical cancer and who had a Pap specimen or specimens taken in the last few years before the diagnosis interpreted as normal should have the slide or slides reviewed. Though the greatest number of those Paps, interpreted as normal in women with a disease process, will have been read properly — meaning that the sample did not have the cells — there are many cases involving an interpretation error by a cytotechnologist or a pathologist at the lab.
Mr. Caputo has promptly reviewed many Pap slides for clients who have a cervical cancer diagnosis, and consequently has handled many cases in which the Paps in the last year to five years were misinterpreted. Most labs only keep the slides interpreted as normal for the required period of five years. Therefore, it is important to obtain those slides for review without delay.
Many women do not realize that a cytotechnologist, not a pathologist who is an M.D., screens their Pap slides. These technicians may screen up to 80 slides per day, so this screening is sometimes not done as thoroughly as it should be. Only slides with questionable cells or a recognized abnormal appearance transfer to a pathologist for evaluation.
Failure To Diagnose
Mr. Caputo has obtained settlements in many cases in which the failure to diagnose a precancer abnormality has allowed cancer to develop.
In one most tragic case, a wife and mother of teenage children received a diagnosis of final stage metastatic cancer of the cervix. After obtaining her Pap slides that were available, it was determined that the two specimens earliest in time were found abnormal but were not reported to be as serious as they truly were. The cytotechnologists repeated the test as required, but on a second repeat in the following year, the cytotechnologists at the lab failed to detect what was a clear abnormality. At a totally separate lab, the technicians misinterpreted the next three Paps as normal when they showed developing cancer. The young housewife and mother died within nine months of her diagnosis.
Injury lawyers consistently work with teams of experts to prove negligence. Labs in this type of case put up many defenses, and Mr. Caputo’s office has faced all of them, leading to successful settlements of many cases in his clients’ favor.
Securing Your Future After Serious Injury
Delayed diagnosis of spinal cord compression:
Mr. Caputo has handled cases involving spinal cord compression from abscesses that compress the spinal cord and cause permanent injury resulting in paralysis. Only timely and urgent care can reduce the duration of the compression and prevent a catastrophe.
Contact us online or call 412-620-6361 for a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your situation. When we accept your case, you owe nothing out of pocket until we recover money compensation for you.