By Robert Storace | CT Law Tribune (May 19, 2020) — A former NCAA basketball standout and radio executive and his wife have sued the Whittingham Cancer Center at Norwalk Hospital, claiming it botched the dosage of a chemotherapy drug, endangering the former athlete’s life.
Robert McCurdy, 68, and his wife Sydney filed a lawsuit against Western Connecticut Health Network Inc., The Norwalk Hospital Association, doing business as Norwalk Hospital, and oncologist Dr. Daniel Boxer.
“The plaintiff experts believe he has 8 to 12 months to live, certainly less than a year,” said McCurdy’s attorney, Peter Dreyer, a partner with Silver Golub & Teitell in the Stamford office.
The lawsuit seeks money damages.
“It’s a very, very significant case, and the damages are certainly at the upper end of what a wrongful-death case verdict would be,” Dreyer said Tuesday.
McCurdy was the nation’s leading scorer during his senior season from 1974-75 at the University of Richmond. He has since spent more than four decades in the radio industry.
Defense attorney Erika Amarante, a partner with Wiggin and Dana in New Haven, did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
Andrea Rynn, a spokeswoman for Western Connecticut Health Network, which oversees the hospital and is a defendant in the case, said in a statement: “Patient safety is our top priority at our hospitals. We do not comment on active litigation.”
According to Dreyer and the lawsuit, hospital staff on eight occasions administered insufficient does of fluorouracil, a chemotherapy drug. They claim McCurdy, who thought he had been cured of cancer, learned seven months later of the alleged mistake.
Dreyer said his client had been on a 32-day regimen of the drug starting on May 7, 2018.
“They were supposed to give him 2,600 milligrams the first four days of the treatment and the last four days of the treatment. But instead, he received only 650 milligrams on each of those eight days. It did nothing for him. He left the hospital believing he was cured, only to find out he received ineffective treatment.”
Dreyer argues Norwalk Hospital doctors called McCurdy in December 2018 to inform him of the mix-up.
“It was described to him as a mistake in the ordering system, or the computer system,” Dreyer said.
The suit alleges the cancer had spread by the time the hospital notified McCurdy of the alleged error.
Dreyer said the family “is devastated.”
“They have seven children and seven grandchildren, and he was looking forward to his golden years with his grandkids. He was still doing radio consulting work.”
Today, McCurdy is at home in the care of doctors from a New York City hospital, his attorney said.