In late 2011, Steven Cooper, who served nearly 18 years in the Army, went to the Carl T. Haden VA Medical Center. A nurse practitioner found abnormalities during his prostate examination. Eleven months later, Mr. Cooper was told that he had stage IV prostate cancer. Mr. Cooper filed suit.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Michelle Burns found that the nurse practitioner should have recognized that the asymmetry of Mr. Cooper’s prostate was a possible sign of cancer. Counsel for the VA defended the suit and asserted that the nurse practitioner did not find any indications of cancer during the 2011 exam and noted that Mr. Cooper did not have any complaints of urinary symptoms at that time. They also claimed it was impossible to say whether Mr. Cooper’s cancer would have been restricted to his prostate in 2011.
The judge awarded $2.5 million to Mr. Cooper, who alleged that his now-terminal cancer would have been curable if the VA hospital had timely diagnosed it. It was found Mr. Cooper had undergone mental and physical pain as a result of medical care related to the prostate cancer. Additionally, it was found Mr. Cooper can no longer work. The life expectancy for Mr. Cooper, who is now 46-years-old, is expected to be five years.
When someone is injured or dies due to a health care provider’s negligence, financial recovery may be available. Such recovery is particularly important when permanent, life changing injuries are incurred. It is important to contact someone who understands the intricacies of the party’s right to recover.
Medical malpractice is a difficult area of law as it requires an understanding of both the legal practice and the mechanics of medicine. Abraham Watkins offers a free consultation to anyone wishing to pursue such claims.