July 3, 2012 - Barry Packin and Bruce Nagel settle medical malpractice suit for $875,000.
Warren Sistaro, a landscaper in his mid-forties, experienced pain in his mid-back. He was referred to Seth Kane, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon. In January 2007, Dr. Kane took lumbar x-rays in his office and reported them to be normal. Mr. Sistaro returned in April 2007 with recurrence of thoracic pain. Dr. Kane examined him but did not take any x-rays. Mr. Sistaro returned on August 29, 2007 with continued pain in the thoracic and rib area. Dr. Kane performed rib x-rays and interpreted them as normal.
In early 2009, because of continued pain in the back, Mr. Sistaro was referred to another physician. Diagnostic studies at that time revealed Mr. Sistaro had a large mass lesion at T9 through T11 which had destroyed the vertebral bodies and was compressing the spinal cord. The lesion was confirmed to be a plasmacytoma. Plaintiff's orthopedic surgery expert opined that the tumor was clearly visible on the August 29, 2007 x-rays that were read by Dr. Kane as normal. Plaintiff's expert further opined that Dr. Kane should have performed thoracic rather than lumbar x-rays in January 2007 based upon plaintiff's complaints and that x-rays should have been taken when Mr. Sistaro returned in April 2007. Mr. Sistaro underwent surgery involving extensive metallic fixation of the thoracic spine and requiring him to wear a clamshell brace for months. In addition, he underwent bone marrow transplant. Mr. Sistaro was left with significant orthopedic disability preventing him from returning to his work as a landscaper.
Mr. Sistaro has been unable to return to work and has problems bending, lifting, and with other motions.