Woman files lawsuit against NLH, doctor

JOHNSTOWN — A Johnstown woman is suing a radiologist and Nathan Littauer Hospital for medical negligence for not diagnosing her cancerous tumor eight months earlier than it was.

Lisa Baumgaertel of 3 E. Clinton St. filed her lawsuit Nov. 7 in state Supreme Court in Johnstown.

She is represented by Gloversville attorney Robert Abdella, who didn’t specify a civil award he seeks on behalf of his client.

The lawsuit says Baumgaertel is suing Dr. Barry Goldberg, a radiologist for Latham-based Millenium Medical Imaging, and Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville. He maintains a radiology office is at the hospital’s campus at 99 E. State St.

Court papers say Baumgaertel on July 24, 2016 was at the hospital’s emergency room. She required a CT scan of her abdomen and pelvis. The suit said the plaintiff at the time was “suffering from nausea, vomiting and ongoing diarrhea, but was unaware of the existence of a cancerous tumor.”

The suit indicated Nathan Littauer Hospital and Goldberg “negligently and carelessly deviated from the accepted standard of medical care in and among other things by failing to properly read and interpret the imaging tests that were performed and by otherwise failing to take all reasonable measures and properly and correctly and timely diagnose the condition with which [Baumgaertel] was afflicted.”

Baumgaertel’s cancerous tumor in her rectum was visible through the CT ordered and performed July 24, 2016 at the hospital, the lawsuit said. But the suit complains that Goldberg for that exam dictated a report which “stated his impression as postsurgical changes and no definitive acute abnormality.” The doctor failed to report the existence of the tumor, court papers said.

Treatment of the patient was “inadequate,” the suit said.

Goldberg was negligent for “failing to carefully review said films, failing to see the tumor visible on said films and otherwise by failing to accurately interpret and report” the tumor, the suit said.

The suit said the plantiff’s own treating physicians discovered the cancerous tumor during a March 2017 colonoscopy and subsequent CT scan.

Goldberg’s negligence “caused a substantial delay” in diagnosing Baumgaertel’s tumor, court papers said. During the period from July 24, 2016 to March 2017, the tumor “grew substantially,” the suit said.

Abdella in the lawsuit said that Baumgaertel during the period indicated suffered “severe and permanent injuries” and “mental anguish.”

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.