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Treatment Delay Costs Radiologists $2.1 Million

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A jury in Kingston, New York, has returned a nearly $2.1 million malpractice verdict against Radiologic Associates, PC, of Middletown, New York, for improper communication.

According to a news release from the plaintiff’s lawyers, the jury determined that in February 2008, Radiologic Associates failed to properly communicate to an oncologist that a CT scan showed a lesion on the spine of plaintiff Mark Boyer. As a result of the improper communication, Boyer’s attorneys alleged, diagnosis and treatment of the lesion was delayed by two weeks.

The jury determined that the two-week delay caused a compression of Boyer’s spinal cord, resulting in permanent loss of sensation in both legs. Daniel Santola, one of Boyer’s lawyers, said in the news release:

Essentially the jury found that as a result of the radiology group’s malpractice, Mark will have to live the remainder of his life with a severe disability that has left him permanently disabled and in constant pain.

The jury dismissed charges against three other defendants.

Boyer, 56, had been employed as a custom cabinet maker. Because of permanent disability resulting from the spinal cord injury, the news release said, Boyer can stand or walk only for short periods of time and can no longer lift anything heavy or operate machinery.

The news release said the jury ordered the radiology group to pay Boyer $600,000 for past pain and suffering, $900,000 for future pain and suffering, $120,000 for past lost wages, $450,000 for future lost wages, and $5,000 for medical expenses that his health insurance did not cover.

Boyer’s attorneys used iPads and a wireless network to project CT and PET scans and other exhibits for the jury. They called expert witnesses in the fields of neurosurgery, radiology, and oncology to explain their view of what the exhibits showed.

“I believe that our use of cutting-edge technology made complex medical issues readily understandable for the jurors,” said Margie Soehl, another of Boyer’s attorneys, “and directly contributed to their ability to correctly decide which of the defendants was responsible for Mark’s injuries.”

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