Mary Kay Scott and Joshua Bell try Radiology case in Lake County, IL
In a case tried August 31, 2015, through September 11, 2015, Mary Kay Scott and Joshua Bell represented a radiologist and the corporation in a case involving a 73 year old man who fell from a height of ten feet while trimming a tree in his backyard. He was transported to the hospital and seen in the ER by the emergency room physician. He complained of right hip pain initially, and then back pain. He had plain films interpreted by other radiologists, that showed a questionable right hip fracture, and two lumbar spine fractures of the L2 and L4 vertebra. The rad1iologist defendant then interpreted a CT scan of the hip and pelvis, and ruled out hip fracture. There was a non-specific finding of infiltration on the top most images that was questioned as to either infiltrative or inflammatory in nature, and a suggestion was made for non-emergent CT of the abdomen and pelvis. The CT was done as the patient was being admitted to the hospital for evaluation of the spine fractures. He remained in the hospital for over two days, and was seen by multiple physicians including hospitalists and orthopedic surgeons who were not defendants, and no one ordered the follow-up CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis. A CT of the lumbar spine done on the afternoon before he died, showed the area of infiltration around the lumbar burst fracture at L4. Later that evening, he began to complain of stomach pain, and was transferred to ICU, where he suffered an arrest and a Code Blue was unsuccessful in reviving him. An autopsy was performed that 1800 cc of fresh and recently clotted blood in the front of the abdomen and lacerations of the omentum and transverse mesocolon. The pathologist determined bleeding was the cause of death. Plaintiff’s theory was that the bleed was due to the original fall that had clotted and then bled again. The defense theory as that there was no sign of blood in the pelvis on the CT scan originally done, and the bleed was due to the CPR during the code, as the patient had rib fractures found on autopsy, and no complaints of rib pain at any time. Further his vital signs and labs had been stable until the cardiac event that led to the code. There was a high/low of $200,000/$2 million. The verdict was for $1 million.