Pennsylvania Record

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Patient sues doctors, healthcare facilities to failing to timely diagnose osteosarcoma

By Jon Campisi | Dec 13, 2012

Thomas kline

A Northeast Philadelphia man has initiated a professional negligence claim against a

handful of doctors and medical facilities over allegations that the defendants failed to properly and timely diagnose and treat a cancerous bone growth that had been forming inside of the plaintiff’s body over a years-long period.

Joshua Debowsky claims in his medical malpractice suit, which was filed Dec. 7 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas by attorneys with the Philadelphia firm of Kline & Specter, that the Aug. 30, 2011, diagnosis of osteosarcoma he was given following a CT scan and biopsy could have been realized earlier if not for the negligence of other physicians.

The plaintiff’s problems dated all the way back to the fall of 2006, the lawsuit shows, at which time Debowsky went to see Todd Schwartz, a doctor practicing with Pennsylvania Orthopedic Associates, Inc., a division of Holy Redeemer Hospital.

Debowsky went to Schwartz with severe right knee pain.

Both Schwartz and Pennsylvania Orthopedic are named as defendants in the lawsuit, as are the following physicians and entities: Gregary P. Lansman, Holy Redeemer Hospital, George L. Popky, Northeast Imaging Associates of Philadelphia, Northeast Imaging, Imaging Professionals of Pennsylvania, Ryan K. Lee, and Holy Redeemer Health System.

The complaint states that following that initial Oct. 10, 2006, visit with Schwartz, Debowsky was told that radiographs demonstrated that the plaintiff was suffering from severe osteoarthritis of the right knee.

On Dec. 1, 2006, Debowsky underwent a right total knee arthroplasty performed by Schwartz.

Follow-up visits with the doctor showed a “satisfactory position of prosthetic devices,” the complaint states.

In July 2010, Debowsky felt weak, and passed out while he was working, the lawsuit says, after which he was taken to Holy Redeemer Hospital and underwent a radiograph of his right knee, which showed no major problems.

Then, in August 2011, Debowsky visited another doctor, who is not party to the litigation, for complaints of swelling, pain and loss of range of motion in the right knee.

A CT scan showed that a mass behind Debowsky’s knee represented an osteogenic sarcoma of the distal femur with an associated large soft tissue mass, the suit shows.

Later in August, Debowsky underwent an MRI that determined the ailment was likely parosteal osteosarcoma.

On Aug. 30 of last year, the plaintiff learned his problem was, in fact, osteosarcoma, which is a cancerous or malignant bone tumor.

The complaint contains counts of professional negligence and negligence against the various defendants.

In short, Debowsky accuses the defendants of failing to timely diagnose his osteosarcoma.

As a result, the lawsuit claims, the plaintiff has suffered physical pain, mental anguish, embarrassment, humiliation, disfigurement, past and future medical expenses, a loss of life’s enjoyment, fear and fright, anxiety, lost wages, future lost earning capacity, decreased chances of survival, increased change of recurrence of cancer, spread of cancer, loss of opportunity for cure, decreased life expectancy, and past and future medical treatments that would have otherwise been unnecessary.

Debowsky seeks more than $50,000 in damages, in addition to interest and costs.


The case ID number is 121200851.

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