$2,300,000 Queens Jury Verdict for 45 Year Old Hispanic Women After Two Physicians at Elmhurst Medical Center (New York City Health & Hospitals Corporation) Failed to Diagnose a Large and Obvious Mass on Her Left Breast as Breast Cancer - Opazo v. NYCH&HC, Supreme Court, Queens County Index No. 5412/02
On October 13, 2004, after 2 1/2 weeks of testimony, a Queens County jury returned a verdict of $2,300,000 to a 45 year old Hispanic women. Frank Estrada, M. D., a family practioner, and a physician in charge of the Hospital's Women's Health Services Clinic, and Yakov Ovrutsky, M. D., a radiologist, both employed at Elmhurst Medical Center failed to diagnose a large and obvious mass on the women's left breast. As a result, the women needlessly lost her left breast, underwent unnecessary plastic surgery, and lost her best chance of survival against her breast cancer.
(PRWEB) November 8, 2004
The patient presented to Elmhurst Medical Center on August 10, 2001 complaining of hardness in her left breast. Dr. Estrada concluded after conducting his physical examination that the women had a large mass on her left breast measuring approximately 4 inches in its greatest dimension. The doctor also drew a diagram to reflect the approximate size and location of the mass. The jury found that Dr. Estrada was negligent in that he failed to send the women for a diagnostic mammogram and that he also failed to have her undergo a biopsy.
Dr. Yakov Ovrutsky, 80 years old, received his medical training in Siberia, Russia, was not board certified in radiology, and claimed to be self taught in interpreting mammogram films. He refused to appear at trial on the grounds that he was too ill, even though he was working at the hospital interpreting films. Due to his claimed illness, the judge did not require Dr. Ovrutsky to appear at trial. The jury found that Dr. Ovrutsky was negligent in that he failed to properly interpret the patient's mammogram films. The jury heard from 12 physicians including 2 internists, 3 radiologists, a family practioner, a general surgeon, a plastic surgeon, a breast surgeon, an oncological surgeon, an obstetrician/gynecologist, a pathologist, and an oncologist/hemotologist.
The jury deliberated for 5 hours over 2 days, and returned a verdict for $2,300,000 unanimously. The defendants, through their employer, the New York City Health & Hospitals Corporation intend to appeal the jury's verdict. The defendants were represented by Heidell, Pittoni, Murphy & Bach, P. C. of New York, New York.