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Family Settles for Death of Husband and Father for $1 Million with Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation


On October 18, 1990, the plaintiff's decedent underwent surgery for removal of a mass in his left parotid gland. The surgeon who performed this procedure was defendant, David G. Hanson, M.D., who resected the left parotid gland mass which had previously been diagnosed as adeno papillary carcinoma of the parotid gland (low grade) by the defendant pathologist, Dr. Tariq Murad. Both Dr. Hanson and Dr. Murad were on staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and were members of the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation. The pathological diagnosis of low grade adeno papillary carcinoma was erroneous, and the slides in fact depicted not low grade but high grade adeno papillary carcinoma. As a result of this mis-diagnosis, Dr. Hanson did not remove the entire affected area, did not perform a radical neck dissection and failed to place the patient on a course of radiation therapy to prevent recurrence of the tumor.

On December 28, 1990, the patient returned to Dr. Hanson concerned about a facial node. On March 29, 1991, a needle aspiration performed by Dr. Pelzer confirmed the recurrence of adeno carcinoma. On April 2, 1991, an MRI showed a mass in the bed of the parotid, and the patient went to see Dr. R.H. Spiro in New York at Sloan-Kettering Memorial Hospital.

On April 12, 1991, Dr. Spiro performed surgery at Memorial Hospital in New York, with follow up radiation therapy. The tumor removed by Dr. Spiro was approximately two centimeters within the lower aspect of the parotid.

On December 23, 1991, the patient noted a small nodule towards the lower end of the surgical scar on his left neck. The nodule was evacuated by Dr. Tapas Das-Gupta, who performed a biopsy. This biopsy was reported as consistent with another recurrent adeno carcinoma of the parotid gland. On January 7, 1992, the patient had a wider excision of the area by Dr. Das-Gupta aiming for a 3.5 centimeter margin performed at Michael Reese Hospital.

From January 23, 1992 to March 4, 1992, the patient received radiation therapy at Illinois Masonic Center Medical Center to the left supraclavicular area. His diagnosis was adeno carcinoma left parotid recurrent at surgical scar status post-excision with further microscopic disease adjacent.

In August of 1992, the patient noted a two millimeter node in the lower border of the radiation field. Biopsy again confirmed cancer, he underwent wide local excision and axillary dissection on August 9, 1992 by Dr. Das-Gupta at the University of Illinois. The impression was again adeno carcinoma of the left parotid gland recurrent in the skin and metastatic to an axillary lymph node. The patient received radiation to the axilla and skin of the anterior chest wall to eradicate any microscopic tumor that might remain at Loyola University Medical Center from September 9, 1992 to October 21, 1992.

The patient was next treated with adjuvant chemotherapy consisting of cytoxan, adriamicin and cisplatin, which he completed at the University of Chicago Hospital in April of 1993.

The patient was thereafter followed up with a CT scan of the chest every six months until July of 1995 when the CT scan of the chest indicated suspicious enlarged lymph nodes in the mediastinal area. The patient then had a mediastinoscopy on August 3, 1995, with biopsy of the lymph nodes which documented metastatic disease. The patient was again evaluated at the University of Chicago Medical Center where it was decided to give radiation to the mediastinal. He traveled in October of 1995 to Loma Linda University for evaluation of possible radiation therapy to give a higher dose to the mediastinal.

On January 20, 1996, the patient died from metastatic disease to his liver and mediastinal. He is survived by his wife and three children.

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