Medical Malpractice

Firm Successfully Defends Summary Judgement in Medical Malpractice Case Involving Delayed Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis

May 26, 2023
Image of stethoscope

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Last month, Attorney Rikki Dascal successfully defended a motion for summary judgment in a complicated medical malpractice case where our client wrongfully passed away due to a delayed pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Defendants alleged that our client was administered an acceptable standard of care, however the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm obtained experts in international medicine and surgery to prove that our client received negligent care, which ultimately resulted in his death.  

Our Client's Experience

From February 2016 to September 2017, our client presented with clear symptoms of pancreatic cancer including complaints of numbness in his arm, back pain, stomach issues, and discolored urine. However, our client never received a referral to a gastroenterologist or proper evaluation such as a CT scan, ultrasound, or MRI. Our client’s symptoms continued to worsen, and when he presented to his doctor in 2018, they still failed to evaluate his symptoms according to standards. 

Unfortunately, once our client received a proper diagnosis it was too late for him to receive proper treatment, and he tragically passed away three months later.

If our client had been properly diagnosed from February 2016 to September 2017, he would have had the ability to have a resection and prolonged survival.

Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis and Tumor Location

Pancreatic cancer is challenging to treat because symptoms show up very late into its development. Additionally, the tumor can be located in the head, tail, or body of the pancreas as seen in Figure 1, and the placement of the tumor impacts how quickly symptoms appear and the severity of the symptoms.

Figure 1: Image of pancreas depicting head, body, and tail. “Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms.” John Hopkins Medicine,

When the tumor is located in the head of the pancreas, people tend to experience more severe symptoms, causing them to seek medical treatment and receive a proper diagnosis at an early stage. However, when the tumor is located in the head or body of the pancreas it is often referred to as a “silent killer” due to the fact that it can cause little to no symptoms while it is growing in the body. Once the symptoms become obvious it is often too late to take action because the tumor has become too advanced.

However, our client’s experience is unique because although his tumor was located in the body or tail of the pancreas, he still presented with overt symptoms of pancreatic cancer early into the tumor’s development including back pain, jaundice including discolored urine, weight loss, gastrointestinal problems, and fatigue. Despite the fact that our client displayed clear symptoms of pancreatic cancer, he never received a referral or proper evaluation, which wrongfully resulted in a premature death.

Judge Order

Defendants motioned for summary judgment urging the judge to dismiss the case arguing that the medical professionals who oversaw our client’s care did not depart from acceptable standards of care. However, the Court ruled that the departures in care raised by our experts during the period of February 2016 through September 2017 were satisfactory to warrant a trial. Attorney Rikki Dascal is representing our client and to ensure that his family gets the justice they deserve.

Free Consultation

If you believe that you or a loved one have experienced medical malpractice resulting in catastrophic injury, contact the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm today for a free consultation.

Let our family help yours.