Lisa Zenzen Baker, 1961-2003


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wrong diagnoses

Twice missed colon
tumor prompts lawsuit

By David Baker
Posted April 21, 2011

A Troy man who says a colon tumor was diagnosed as gastroenteritis and was not treated, causing it to perforate and allow fecal matter to enter his intestine is suing Samaritan Hospital and three doctors.

In the lawsuit, Robert Jacobus alleges that he was sent to the emergency room at the hospital on Burdette Avenue in Troy by Dr. Victoria Angent for a computed axial tomography (CAT) scan after he told her he had pain on the lower right side of his abdomen.

According to the lawsuit, Dr. Howard Floch at Samaritan Hospital told Jacobus that the scan showed no abnormalities, and that he possibly had gastroenteritis. He was sent home without any treatment or follow up, the suit says.

“Neither Dr. Angent nor Dr. Floch actually read the CAT Scan findings,” the suit alleges.

Three weeks later, Jacobus went back to Samaritan Hospital, again complaining of stomach pain, and this time was diagnosed as having acute cholecystiti - an inflamed gall bladder. Defendant Dr. J. Kevin Gebert then removed the gall bladder. But once again, the suit says, none of the treating physicians reviewed the scan done three weeks earlier, nor did they order a second scan.

Two months later, Jacobus went to a hospital in West Palm Beach, Fla., still complaining of stomach pain. After another CAT scan, Jacobus immediately underwent surgery, during which a malignant tumor was found in his colon.

By then the tumor had perforated the intestine, causing fecal matter to contaminate the peritoneal area, the suit says.

The suit seeks an unspecified amount in damages for Robert Jacobus and for his wife, Debra.

The tumor was later being treated elsewhere, and by the time of the filing was at stage 4.

Robert and Debra Jacobus are represented by the Albany law firm of Girvin & Ferlazzo.

Representing the defendants are: D’Agostino, Krackeler & McGuire; Maynard, O’Connor & Smith; Concetta, R. Lomanto; and Phelan, Phelan & Danek, all of Albany, and Martin, Clearwater & Bell of New York City.

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