RIVERSIDE — A man whose colon cancer was misdiagnosed for 17 months has won a medical malpractice lawsuit against his Kaiser Permanente doctors, his attorney said.
Louis A. DeFusco III, 39, a detention-release officer for Orange County Superior Court, was awarded $875,000 against the physicians who treated him for hemorrhoids, even as his tumor grew.
Doctors at the Southern California Permanente Medical Group diagnosed DeFusco with colon cancer in August 1996, after finding a tube-shaped tumor the length of a stick of gum growing in his rectum, attorney Kevin E. Gallagher said.
DeFusco, of Corona, first sought treatment for the problem in March 1995.
He has since had his rectum and a section of his colon removed, Gallagher said. A married father of three children, ages 11, 9 and 7, DeFusco has been undergoing chemotherapy since February and has about a 50% chance of survival, attorneys from both sides said.
The 2-1 ruling was issued Tuesday against the Kaiser Foundation Hospital and the medical group. Gallagher said it cannot be appealed.