During the spring of 2000, the plaintiff's decedent, an orthopedic surgeon at a local hospital, began experiencing nose bleeds. He was seen once by the co-defendant, who cauterized the nose bleed and discovered a large mass in the decedent's nose.
The co-defendant instructed the decedent to follow up with the firm's client for further examination and treatment. However, the decedent failed to do so, and in October 2000 was diagnosed with an olfactory neuroblastoma. He died in October 2002 due to complications from the olfactory neuroblastoma.
Plaintiff alleged that the decedent had actually treated the firm's client, despite any evidence in support of such a claim, and that the firm's client failed to biopsy the nasal mass, thus delaying the cancer diagnosis. Defendants were barred by the Dead Man's Act from introducing evidence of various conversations that the firm's client had with the decedent, exhorting the decedent to come in to the office for examination and treatment.
Defendants argued that had the patient returned to the office for examination and treatment, as instructed, then the mass would have been biopsied and the cancer diagnosed earlier.
The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants.