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Colon Cancer Lawsuit in Baltimore

Ellerby v. Bon Secours Hospitals

This is a Baltimore City failure to diagnose colon cancer case filed on February 2, 2016. The victim’s children filed this lawsuit, alleging that their mother’s colon cancer should have been diagnosed earlier when it was in a curable stage. They further allege that the doctors’ failure to diagnose and treat her condition caused her to die of metastatic colon cancer.

Summary of Plaintiff’s Colon Cancer Lawsuit

A 76-year-old woman is a resident of Baltimore, Maryland. She complains of abdominal pain and makes several visits to the emergency departments at the Bon Secours and UMMS, which are the hospitals that made their way into the case.

No definitive diagnosis is made during any of the woman’s trips to the emergency room. She eventually undergoes an appendectomy and again, no diagnosis (of colon cancer) is made.

It is not until a colonoscopy, more than a year after her original complaints of abdominal pain, that the woman is diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer. There is no question that early detection and diagnosis of colon cancer are essential in halting the progression and improving the prognosis of the disease.

One month after her diagnosis, the woman undergoes a right hemicolectomy. About 11 months after her diagnosis, a CT scan reveals a pelvic mass. The woman is admitted to the hospital and undergoes cytoreductive surgery.

She is re-admitted to the hospital  21 months after her diagnosis complaining of headaches, difficulty walking, nausea, and vomiting. Imagining studies reveal that cancer has metastasized to the brain, and she succumbs to her colon cancer three months later.

The woman’s children file medical negligence and wrongful death claims in Baltimore City, alleging that the Defendants violated the standard of care by failing to perform adequate and proper diagnostic tests and procedures to determine the nature and severity of their mother’s condition. As a result, her colon cancer went undiagnosed for more than a year.

Thoughts on This Colon Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawsuit

  • This case was filed on the day before the statute of limitations. This cannot be emphasized enough: this is an awful way to bring a malpractice case. No expert report has been filed. You are playing catch-up which gives up one of the great advantages that plaintiffs have. It would be interesting to see the average settlement and verdict in cases that are filed on the eve of the statute of limitations, particularly medical malpractice cases. You can bet it is not an impressive amount of money.
  • Cancer of the colon and rectum is the second leading cause of death from cancer in adults in the United States. It is expected to cause 52,980 deaths in 2021.
  • The incidence of colon cancer increases with age. This awful disease is more likely to occur in people with a family history of colon cancer or adenomatous polyps in a first-degree relative or a personal history of adenomatous colon polyps or ulcerative colitis. It will also occur more frequently if the patient has a familiar history of  breast, ovarian, or endometrial cancer.
  • So there are two big issues in this case. First, did have symptoms that would have triggered a further investigation?  Second, if there was a misdiagnosis, would catching it earlier – when it should have been caught – have made a difference for this woman? It is hard to assess these questions without seeing an expert report which is usually filed with the complaint.
  • You would assume that the target defendant would be the family doctor. But Bon Secours has a poor reputation in West Baltimore which will make the hospital an attractive defendant for the plaintiffs’ attorneys.


  • Baltimore City


  • A family practice doctor in Windsor Mill.
  • Specialist Family Medicine, P.A.
  • Bon Secours Hospital Baltimore, Inc.
  • Bon Secours Baltimore Health System Foundation, Inc.
  • Bon Secours Family Health & Wellness Center d/b/a Bon Secours Baltimore Health System, Inc.
  • Bon Secours Baltimore Physician Group, LLC
  • University of Maryland Medical Center


  • Bon Secours Hospital
  • University of Maryland Medical Center


  • Doctor Evaluating Patient Failed to perform adequate and proper diagnostic tests and procedures to determine the nature and severity of their mother’s condition

Specific Counts Pled

  1. Medical negligence
  2. Wrongful death

Plaintiff’s Experts and Areas of Specialty

  • No experts have been named. Plaintiff’s malpractice lawyer has filed a Motion to Extend Time to name experts.

Getting a Lawyer for Your Malpractice Claim

If you have suffered as a result of the negligence of a doctor, nurse, or another healthcare provider, our law firm can help you. You are entitled to justice and monetary damages for the needless harm you have endured.  Miller & Zois has a very long history of results in medical malpractice and nursing home cases in Maryland, earning large verdicts and settlements. Call today to speak to a caring medical mistake attorney who can help you at 800-553-8082 or get a free online case review.

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