March 6, 2017 By: Jacques Billeaud, The Associated Press
PHOENIX — A judge on Monday awarded $2.5 million to a military veteran who said that his now-terminal cancer would have been curable had the Veterans Administration hospital in Phoenix diagnosed it sooner.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Michelle Burns ruled a nurse practitioner who found abnormalities in Steven Harold Cooper’s prostate during an examination in late 2011 at the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center had breached the standard of care by failing to order more testing and refer him to a urologist.
Instead, Cooper learned 11 months later from a VA doctor that he had stage-IV prostate cancer. The day after receiving the diagnosis, Cooper sought treatment from a private doctor.
“There’s no question Mr. Cooper has suffered,” Burns said, noting earlier that the nurse practitioner should have recognized the asymmetric quality of Cooper’s prostate was a possible sign of cancer.