Botched Biopsy Reading Costs Man His Ear, Suit Claims
ROCKVILLE, Md. (CN) – An incorrect biopsy interpretation led to the unnecessary total removal of a Kaiser member’s ear and ear canal, according to his Montgomery County Circuit Court case.
Janos Seres sues Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, P.C. for medical negligence.
Seres, 46, says he went to Kaiser for what appeared to be a wart on the outside of his ear. He was referred to the ear-nose-throat clinic, where a doctor performed a biopsy on the growth, and it was sent to Kaiser’s regional pathology laboratory in Rockville, Maryland.
The pathologist determined that it was angiosarcoma. Seres said it was explained to him as “a rare, aggressive high-grade malignancy” that was known to rapidly spread to other parts of the body, requiring aggressive treatment, including local excision with wide margins followed by radiation and chemotherapy.
Seres says he was then sent to a Kaiser surgeon who told him that his entire ear and ear canal needed to be removed. Given no other options, and “told that radical disfiguring surgery was his only chance to live,” Seres consented to the surgery.
The ear, ear canal and a canaloplasty (“drilling out the bony structures of the auditory canal with burrs”) was performed, according to the suit.
However, the pathology specimens from the removed ear and ear canal were examined and found to be “free of any cancer,” according to the action. The new specimen was sent to a pathologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, who also disputed the angiosarcoma determination from the initial biopsy.
A third interpretation from a doctor at the National Institutes of Health found no evidence of malignancy, the suit states.
“Mr. Seres needs extensive reconstruction both to restore a natural-looking ear and to try to re-open his ear canal. He has had numerous consultations with specialists and has struggled with depression and fear of losing his hearing in that ear,” according to the action.
Seres seeks a judgment against the defendant in an amount in excess of $75,000 for disfigurement, humiliation, physical pain, emotional suffering, loss of hearing, lost time from work, lost earnings and lost earning capacity, lost services and medical and related expenses.
The plaintiff is represented by Patrick A. Malone and Daniel C. Scialpi of Patrick Malone & Associates, P.C., in Washington D.C., and Bernard Solnik of the Law Office of Bernard Solnik, LLC, in Bethesda, Maryland.