Nagel Rice Obtains $6 Million Verdict in Medical Malpractice Case

By Greg Kohn

Bruce Nagel obtained a jury verdict for $6 million on October 14, 2015, in a medical malpractice suit regarding the delayed diagnosis of colon cancer.

Ben Serico of West Caldwell was administered a colonoscopy by physician Robert Rothberg in December 2007, but two years later he was diagnosed with colon cancer that had spread to his liver, according to Bruce Nagel.

The lawsuit claimed Rothberg missed a cancerous polyp that should have been removed. Video footage taken as part of the colonoscopy showed a polyp that was not removed, Nagel said.  Although it was unclear at that time whether the polyp was cancerous, the standard of care was to remove all polyps, he said.

Two years later, Serico was diagnosed with colon cancer, and the same type of metastatic cancer was found in the patient’s liver, Nagel said.  Serico died two years after his diagnosis, on December 27, 2011, at age 62.

A jury found for the plaintiff after a two-week trial before Superior Court Judge James Rothschild Jr. The defense argued that the doctor was not obligated to remove the polyp, that the colon cancer was not in the area of the polyp, and that the liver was already cancerous at the time of the colonoscopy.

However, the jury attributed 20 percent of damages to the decedent’s pre-existing cancer, reducing the award to $4.8 million.

Click here to read the story in the Star Ledger.

Click here to read the story in NJ Law Journal.

The attorneys at Nagel Rice, LLP represent clients throughout New York and New Jersey in a wide range of matters including personal injury, automobile accidents, brain injuries, medical malpractice, business litigation and class action cases.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.