Defense Verdict for FAA Doctor: Found NOT Liable for Failure to Diagnose Prostate Cancer in Pilot

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On two occasions after he turned 50, in 2006 and 2009, the patient presented to the defendant for office visits relating to sleeping problems and allergies. He also had his blood drawn and his cholesterol checked at the time of his 2008 FAA exam. There was no discussion of prostate health screening at these visits and plaintiff’s experts argued that it was required by the standard of care because of the patient’s age. Defense experts countered that these were limited scope visits with no standard of care duty to provide prostate health screening advice or testing.

 At trial, the defendant demonstrated that it was not acting as the patient’s primary care provider, and had no duty to perform PSA testing at the times alleged. It was revealed that the patient had identified other doctors as his “primary care physician” to his health insurance company, and to several other healthcare providers. The defense called five third-party record custodians who introduced this evidence at trial, effectively impeaching the plaintiff’s testimony that he considered the defendant physician to be his primary care physician throughout the critical time period. Plaintiff’s counsel claimed special damages of nearly $250,000 in medical bills. He also claimed lost wages. At trial, no medical bills were entered into evidence and the plaintiff did not claim lost wages. Plaintiff’s attorneys asked jury for $2,000,000

During the Henrico County Circuit Court trial, the defense also presented causation evidence about the specific type of cancer experienced by the plaintiff, noting that it was an aggressive form of cancer that unfortunately carried a poor prognosis, even with earlier diagnosis. After a four-day jury trial, the Henrico County jury deliberated for less than 25 minutes before rendering a verdict in favor of the defendant.