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ARTICLE ID 158743

$________ Medical Negligence - Wrongful death - HMO radiologist fails to appreciate pathology on chest X-rays - Failure to adequately label x-rays - Delayed diagnosis of Stage IV squamous cell carcinoma of the lung.

Riverside County, California

The decedent plaintiff contended the radiologist for defendant HMO failed to appreciate the pathology on a set of chest x-rays done in ________ and ________, which the plaintiff claimed indicated the presence of a mass. The plaintiff brought suit against the HMO claiming negligence in the standard of care which delayed her diagnosis of stage IV squamous cell carcinoma of the lungs; a delay she claimed affected the curability of her disease. The defendant claimed there was no breach in the standard of care in the labeling of the x-rays. The plaintiff’s adult children also joined the settlement with claims of wrongful death. The plaintiff died as a result of her illness shortly after this case settled.

The female plaintiff, in her mid 60s at the time the x-rays were done, enrolled in the defendant HMO in ________. Based upon her history of smoking, she obtained chest x-rays from HMO physicians in ________ and ________. Those x-rays were read as old granulomatous disease and old rib fractures. In July ________, the plaintiff changed physicians within the HMO and no chest x-rays were obtained despite the fact the plaintiff was coughing up bloody sputum at that time. She was diagnosed with a chest infection and no further chest films were recommended.

In ________, the plaintiff was diagnosed with stage IV squamous cell carcinoma of the lungs and began medical treatment for the disease. The plaintiff argued that by labeling the film as "old granulomatous disease," her treating physicians were misled and therefore, failed to order serial x-rays, failed to refer her to specialists and failed to obtain a biopsy. The plaintiff further argued that had the diagnosis been made around ________, her disease would have been curable.

The case settled prior to trial, but the defendant was prepared to argue the standard of care was met at all times and that even had the plaintiff’s diagnosis been made in a more timely fashion, she would not have been survivable. The plaintiff demanded $________ and the defendant offered $________. The matter settled via binding arbitration for $________, which included the plaintiff’s claim for her injuries and the adult children’s potential claims for wrongful death.

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