Veteran, wife seek $40 million from US government over claims of untimely cancer diagnosis

A Madison County couple is seeking $40 million from the U.S. government over claims a doctor failed to diagnose cancer in a timely manner.

Lonnie Weatherspoon claims the doctor, whom the suit states worked for a facility where the U.S. was the employer of physicians, should have diagnosed the cancer based on “known risk factors.”

The suit was filed April 16 in the US District Court for the Southern District of Illinois under provisions of the Federal Tort Claims Act, which allows citizens to sue the federal government under certain circumstances.

Weatherspoon states that he was treated by a doctor between 2016 and 2018, but he did not realize that any alleged wrongful act – the failure to diagnose esophageal cancer – had occurred until January 2019.

Weatherspoon claims the physician was negligent and careless for failing to timely diagnose cancer because on the risk factors, including weight loss, history of tobacco and alcohol use, and poor diet.

The suit states that the failure to diagnose the cancer caused it to progress, which led to the plaintiff suffering great pain.

According to the suit, the plaintiff has exhausted his administrative remedies because he filed a complaint with the Air Force and received no communication for six months. However, the federal act states that any suit claiming negligence by an employee of the federal government must be filed within six months of a final decision by the administrative agency.

The complaint does not make clear whether the doctor was employed by the U.S. government.

Weatherspoon seeks a judgment in his favor of $20 million. Weatherspoon’s wife, Anita, alleges loss of consortium and is also seeking $20 million in damages.

This article was first published by Madison Record.

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