Morrison Mahoney Partner Brent Tingle obtained a defense verdict after a 2-week trial in Salem Superior Court. Our client was a radiologist who interpreted a chest X-ray which was being done for screening purposes on a patient with a past history of lung cancer that had been successfully treated. The plaintiff alleged that she had not been properly advised of an abnormal finding on the chest X-ray interpreted by our client. The case was complicated by the fact that the codefendant (the plaintiff's primary care physician) directly blamed our client for any confusion in conveying an abnormal test result to the plaintiff. The plaintiff alleged that a 14-month delay in diagnosis of her lung cancer ultimately led to her unfortunate death.
We called a radiology expert on behalf of our client who testified that our client had properly interpreted the X-ray at issue and had conveyed his findings in a written report to the primary care physician in a timely fashion. We also called a respected oncology expert who testified that although there was clearly a delay in diagnosis in this case, it most likely did not change the outcome given that the patient had very advanced disease at the time of diagnosis.
The jury deliberated for 8 hours over 2 days before returning a finding of no negligence on behalf of our client and a finding of negligence but no causation as to the codefendant.