Firm obtains jury defense verdict on behalf of neurologist in medical malpractice case

PROVIDENCE (Oct.10, 2013) – John J. Barton and Sara E. Sweeney recently obtained a jury verdict on behalf of a defendant neurologist dismissing a medical malpractice claim by a 60-year-old woman who alleged the defendant negligently diagnosed her as having multiple sclerosis.

Following the six-day trial, a Providence County Superior Court jury deliberated two hours before rejecting the plaintiff’s allegations that she had been misdiagnosed, and as a consequence had suffered more than seven years of emotional distress believing she had an incurable, life altering disease, and over four and a half years of painful Betaseron therapy for her disease.

When the defendant neurologist first diagnosed probable MS in 1992, the patient was experiencing many symptoms associated with MS, including numbness and tingling in her legs and arms, loss of sensation below her waist, and chronic fatigue. She also exhibited abnormal reflex responses in her arms, and demonstrable weakness in her legs. Her symptoms were made worse by heat and exercise, as commonly occurs with MS, and would come and go which is a telltale pattern of remitting and relapsing MS.

The neurologist ordered a battery of tests, including blood work and imaging studies of the patient, which allowed him to rule out numerous other potential causes of her symptoms. Nevertheless, the testing and imaging studies failed to reveal any evidence of MS.

“We are pleased the jury rendered its verdict in favor of our client, who is a skilled and conscientious neurologist,” said Barton. “He did not cause the plaintiff’s ongoing medical problems nor her depression. What he did was to correctly diagnose her condition and prescribe therapy which slowed the progress of her disease.”

About Barton Gilman

Barton Gilman is one of New England’s leading civil litigation law firms with offices in Boston and Providence. Its experienced trial attorneys appear regularly in the federal and state courts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Many of the firm’s attorneys, including Mr. Barton, have been ranked as Preeminent Trial Attorneys by Martindale-Hubbell, and chosen by their peers as Super Lawyers. The Providence Business Newsnamed the firm five consecutive years as one of Rhode Island’s Best Places to Work (2008–2012).