Putnam man says doctor's failures worsened cancer

By Cara Bailey | Aug 11, 2008

CHARLESTON - A Putnam County man filed a medical malpractice suit against a physician who treated him, claiming the doctor did not diagnose or treat his cancer, which spread from his liver to his lungs.

Amos Martin filed the suit June 27 in Kanawha Circuit Court against South Charleston physician Bassam Haffar.

According to the suit, Martin saw Haffar in July 2006, for a follow-up exam after treatment for colon cancer. Haffar ordered a CT scan. The suit says the scan indicated three hypo dense lesions in the right area of Martin's liver, which were consistent with hepatic metastasis.

The report was sent to Haffar's office. According to the suit, Haffar did not undertake any treatment to evaluate, diagnose or treat Martin's recurrence of cancer.

Martin returned to Haffar on Oct. 25, 2007, when another CT scan of Martin's abdomen and pelvis was ordered. The scan revealed extensive metastatic disease in Martin's liver and lungs, the suit says.

"The failure of Dr. Haffar to follow-up the CT scan of July 2006, for evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment resulted in a 15 to 16 month delay in life extending and/or life saving cancer treatment," the suit says.

The suit says Haffar failed to exercise the degree of care, skill and learning required or expected of reasonably prudent healthcare provider under the same or similar circumstances in his care, treatment and management of Martin's cancer.

Martin claims he suffered a substantially decreased change of cure and life expectancy. Martin also claims he has suffered extreme emotional distress and depression, loss of enjoyment of life and severe psychological damages.

According to the suit, Martin has incurred more than $5,000 in medical expenses and has incurred lost income.

Tammy Martin, Amos Martin's wife, claims she has been deprived of the care, comfort and services of her husband. Together, they seek compensatory damages.

Attorney Ronald M. Wilt is representing the Martins. The case has been assigned to Judge James Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 08-C-1249

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