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Lakawanna County Jury Awards $1.88 Million for Delayed Cancer Diagnosis that Resulted in Death

A Lackawanna County jury found that a urologist violated the standard of care in his treatment of a 54 year old man who complained of urinary problems. Terrence Golden began seeking Dr. Milan Smolko in September, 2002 and ultimately treated with him several times over 16 months without any diagnosis of resolution of his problems. Dr. Smolko told Mr. Golden he had an inflamed and enlarged prostate, but did nothing to further evaluate his condition until June, 2003 when a bladder biopsy was ordered. Unfortunately, the pathologist at Wayne Memorial Hospital where the biopsy was sent failed to find the bladder cancer that was causing Mr. Golden’s problems. Mr. Golden continued to see Dr. Smolko until June, 2004, when he made his way to another doctor for a second opinion and was finally correctly diagnosed with bladder cancer.

By the time Mr. Golden was accurately diagnosed, the cancer had spread and Mr. Golden required surgery to remove his bladder, prostate and pieces of his urethra. Even with this radical surgery, Mr. Golden’s cancer was so advanced that it was incurable and he ultimately died in January, 2008 at the age of 60. Mrs. Golden sued Dr. Smolko, Wayne Memorial Hospital and the pathologist who looked at the bladder biopsy in June, 2003. The hospital and pathologist reached a confidential settlement with Mrs. Golden prior to trial, so the case went to the jury solely against Dr. Smolko. The jury awarded $1.88 Million to Mrs. Golden. Dr. Smolko has filed an appeal.

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