Robert “Bob” McCurdy, a former NCAA Basketball star and radio executive, and his wife have filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the Whittingham Cancer Center at Norwalk Hospital, Western Connecticut Health Network and Dr. Daniel Boxer.
The lawsuit alleges that McCurdy received only 25% of the prescribed dose of an essential chemotherapy drug due to a mistake by Whittingham and its staff. The error was not caught by numerous nurses, pharmacists and an oncologist, the lawsuit states, with the result that McCurdy “will now die from cancer instead of being cured.”
“Sadly, we cannot change what happened to Bob,” said attorney Peter Dreyer of the law firm Silver Golub & Teitell LLP, “but we can hope that this lawsuit will help make the public aware of the potential dangers of medical negligence and faulty hospital pharmacy systems.
“Patients seek treatment at Norwalk Hospital’s Whittingham Cancer Center because it has promoted itself as an affiliate of Memorial Sloan Kettering, and the implication to the public is that they provide the same preeminent cancer treatment as MSK,” Dreyer continued. “However, despite this advertised relationship, the cancer care Mr. McCurdy received at Whittingham was poor and will cost him his life.”
McCurdy was diagnosed with cancer and received medical treatment at Whittingham, which included intravenous chemotherapy and radiation. The prescribed treatment for his particular type of cancer included the chemotherapy drugs Fluorouracil (“5FU”) and Mitomycin, administered concurrently with radiation treatments.
McCurdy was to receive the prescribed amount of 5FU and Mitomycin on certain days during a 32-day period. The treatment regimen for McCurdy had been the established standard of care for decades, based on its ability to cure the disease, according to the lawsuit.
In May of 2018, the lawsuit states, McCurdy should have received the prescribed doses of 5FU for each 24-hour period on days 1, 2, 3 and 4 and on days 29, 30, 31 and 32. Instead he was only given 25% of the prescribed dose of 5FU each day.
The lawsuit further states that, as a result of the failure to give the full dose of the chemotherapy drug, McCurdy’s cancer advanced and metastasized, requiring radical surgery as well as additional rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and immunosuppressive therapy.
In addition, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, McCurdy has been unable to see his primary oncologist in New York City.
McCurdy’s 45-year career in radio culminated in his role as vice president of corporate sales at Beasley Media Group, from which he retired in April. Before that he was a college basketball player at the University of Richmond from 1973 to 1975.
“Patient safety at our hospitals is our top priority. We do not comment on active litigation,” said hospital spokeswoman Andrea Rynn.