Barton Gilman attorneys obtain jury defense verdict in med-mal wrongful death case

PROVIDENCE (Feb. 20, 2015) – Angela L. Carr and Jenna R. Pingitore recently obtained a jury defense verdict on behalf of a gastroenterologist in a wrongful death lawsuit involving a 30-year-old woman who died following the second recurrence of a cancerous brain tumor.

The Rhode Island Superior Court jury took less than two hours following the 10-day trial to return a verdict of no liability against the firm’s client, who had treated the woman for nausea, vomiting and ongoing headaches. As part of her treatment, the gastroenterologist ordered an MRI to rule out a second recurrence of a malignant brain tumor (medulloblastoma) for which the woman had previously undergone chemotherapy and an autologous bone marrow transplant.

While meeting with the woman three days following the MRI, the physician followed up with the Radiology Department, which provided an erroneous oral report to her medical assistant indicating normal post-operative changes.

In fact, the MRI revealed progression of a tumor initially noted on an MRI nine months earlier. However, the radiologist failed to report this finding directly to the gastroenterologist. Subsequently, the facility faxed the MRI report  to the wrong number and never mailed it to the physician.

The second recurrence of the woman’s brain cancer was eventually confirmed two and one-half months later. The lawsuit claimed that a delayed diagnosis of the second recurrence hastened the woman’s death.

“Our client fully complied with the standard of care,” said Carr. “Nothing she did or failed to do in any way caused or contributed to the woman’s unfortunate death from an incurable and aggressive brain tumor. We believe that the jury could clearly sense that our client is an accomplished, meticulous, and compassionate physician who did her best for this woman.”

This is the second med-mal defense verdict obtained by Carr and Pingitore within the past three months.

About Barton Gilman

Barton Gilman is one of New England’s leading civil litigation law firms with offices in Boston and Providence, and maintains a leading medical malpractice defense trial practice. Its experienced trial attorneys appear regularly in the federal and state courts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The Providence Business News named the firm as one of Rhode Island’s Best Places to Work in 2014.