Lawsuit over failed follow-up for CT findings settled out of court

A lawsuit alleging hospital staff failed to provide reasonable care to treat a patient’s suspicious mass on her left kidney identified on a CT scan has been settled out of court, according to reporting from the Brattleboro Reformer.

Cynthia Hawthorne filed the suit against Brattleboro Memorial Hospital in Vermont, Windham Radiology Associated and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic in May 2017. She claimed a radiologist recommended biopsy and follow-up with a urologist for a mass “highly suspicious for a renal cell carcinoma (cancer),” the Reformer reported. But that follow-up never happened and Hawthorne was discharged.

She was finally notified of the findings two-and-a-half years later, but the cancer had already spread to her lungs; she died on Feb. 7.

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital received two citations related to the incident and submitted a plan of correction that was accepted by the Division of Licensing and Protection.

"It is hereby ordered that this action is hereby dismissed, without costs, with the right to petition, upon good cause shown within 60 days, to reopen the action if settlement is not consummated," Judge William K. Sessions III wrote in a decision issued on Sept. 24.

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