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Palm Beach County

The female plaintiff brought this medical malpractice action against the defendant radiologist, his radiology group and the independent corporation which provided radiation treatment. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant radiologist negligently ordered a dosage of ________ rads of radiation in one treatment, causing permanent radiation injuries to the plaintiff. The plaintiff contended that the defendant corporation was vicariously liable for the radiologist’s negligence due to the ultra hazardous nature of radiation use.

The female plaintiff underwent a total hip replacement at age 68.

Evidence indicated that she had an excellent surgical result and was able to ride a bicycle, walk long distances, had no limp and traveled overseas frequently. At age 73, the plaintiff was having minor pain in the hip. The plaintiff alleged that her orthopedic surgeon referred her to the defendant radiologist for a "Mayo Protocol" of treatment of ________ rads in 10 units for the purposes of hindering the growth of ectopic bone. The defendant radiologist, employed by the defendant radiology group (an independent contractor), ordered and supervised a dosage of ________ p 7 3 rads in one treatment. The treatments were administered by employees of the corporate defendant which had leased out the entire radiology department of a hospital, owned the radiation equipment and employed all the staff including the technicians.

At the time of treatment, the plaintiff contended that she became weak and dizzy, which the defendant radiologist told her was a transient ischemic attack (TIA) and that a red imprint of the radiation grid was visible on her skin. Upon examination six weeks later, the defendant radiologist informed the plaintiff that she had a slight reaction to the radiation treatment, that the red imprint of the radiation grid would disappear with time and that no treatment was necessary, according to the plaintiff’s claim.

The plaintiff’s medical experts opined that excessive radiation treatment was administered to the plaintiff and that the symptomatology from the radiation burn progressively worsened to the point that the plaintiff lost all motion in her hip and knee.

The plaintiff’s experts also reported that the plaintiff developed a foot drop caused by radiation burns to the femoral, sciatic and peroneal nerves. The plaintiff became wheelchair bound and claimed that she was no longer able to drive her vehicle. She could walk for short distances with the assistance of a walker and leg brace, but contended that she required assistance to install or remove the brace.

After pre-suit screening, the defendant corporation denied liability. The defendant radiologist/radiology group admitted liability and demanded arbitration. Arbitration was refused by the plaintiff and suit was filed. The defendant radiologist/radiology admitted liability after the radiologist’s deposition. The radiologist admitted at deposition of ordering the ________ rad treatment although he had never given a dosage of more than ________ rads before in one treatment.

The case settled the week before trial for a total of $1 million.

The defendant radiologist/radiology group contributed $________ of the settlement and the defendant corporation paid $________.

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