Delayed rad communication yields $2.1M malpractice award

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 - Gavel

Radiologic Associates of Gardiner, N.Y., faces a $2.1 million tab after the group's failure to communicate findings of a spinal lesion on a CT scan to a patient resulted in permanent loss of sensation to the patient's legs. The plaintiff’s lawyers partially credited the verdict to their use of iPads to project CT and PET images onto a display in the court room.

The jury dismissed claims against three other defendants in the case.

As reported in the court transcript, in unanimously finding for the plaintiff, the jury determined that in February 2008 Radiologic Associates failed to properly communicate findings of a destructive lesion on a CT scan of the patient’s spine to his oncologist, according to a press release.

As a result of that failure, the diagnosis and surgical treatment of the lesion was delayed by two weeks, which, in turn, caused a severe spinal cord compression, resulting in a permanent loss of sensation in both of his legs.

The plaintiff was represented by Daniel Santola and Margie Soehl of the Albany, N.Y., law firm of Powers & Santola.

The jury ordered the radiology group to pay the plaintiff $600,000 for past pain and suffering; $900,000 for future pain and suffering; $120,000 for past lost wages; $450,000 for future lost wages; and $5,000 for the out-of-pocket medical expenses that had not been paid for by his health insurance carrier, Santola said in the release.

The lawyers leveraged iPads and a wireless network they had created in the courtroom to project exhibits, including CT scans and PET scans, onto a display for the jury to consider as the plaintiff’s expert witnesses, in the fields of neurosurgery, radiology and oncology, explained the significance of the exhibits to the jurors.

“I believe that our use of cutting-edge technology made complex medical issues readily understandable for the jurors and directly contributed to their ability to correctly decide which of the defendants was responsible for Mark’s injuries,” Soehl said.