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Latest Twists In Unread-Mammograms Lawsuits

August 23, 2012
Written by: , Filed in: Breast Imaging, Medical Ethics, Practice Management
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Gosh, we haven’t heard about the infamous case of the 1,289 never-read mammograms in Perry, Georgia, for more than a month and a half. Luckily for those of us who can’t get enough of it, a court hearing on Tuesday involved 21 of the 27 (so far) lawsuits filed in the matter.

Our last update involved a gag order requested by Houston Healthcare Systems, which operates Perry Hospital. The hospital is where, according to prosecutors, former radiology technician Rachael Rapraeger entered negative results for 1,289 mammograms in 2009 and 2010, even though no radiologist had seen the scans.

Rapraeger faces 10 felony counts of computer forgery and 10 misdemeanor counts of reckless conduct, all stemming from the fact that 10 of the 1,289 mammograms were actually positive for breast cancer. She is also named in the 21 lawsuits, along with Universal Radiology Consultants LLC and Staff Care Inc.

Tuesday’s hearing in Bibb County Superior Court involved the gag request and other matters. Some highlights, courtesy of coverage by The Telegraph newspaper of Macon, Georgia:

  • Houston Healthcare’s lawyer, Jonathan Marigliano, said the gag order was needed because the plaintiffs in the 21 civil lawsuits filed in Bibb County Superior Court were trying to prejudice the court process by their public comments. (Six other lawsuits have been filed in Bibb County State Court.)
  • Marigliano said news reports about the case have left out information that local, state, and federal investigations have all found that Rapraeger acted alone.. Though of course he didn’t say that in an attempt to prejudice the court process or anything.
  • Neal Graham, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, responded by saying that a U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigation had found a lack of supervision and accountability at Houston Healthcare.
  • Lawyers wrangled over whether an attorney representing The Telegraph had the right to speak in court against the proposed gag order. Nothing was decided except that the lawyers would submit papers and continue wrangling later.
  • Documents filed in the case say that Houston Healthcare has offered nine of the 21 plaintiffs monetary settlements ranging from $4,500 to $10,000. Marigliano wanted the amounts of any settlements to be kept secret.
  • Marigliano also wanted the case moved from Bibb County, where Rapraeger lives, to Houston County, where Perry Hospital lives. He said that it would be more convenient and that the “white elephant in the room” was that Bibb County juries tend to give higher awards in such cases than Houston County juries.
  • The judge postponed making rulings until the lawyers decided whether they would request that he be disqualified from the case because of previous legal work he performed relating to Houston Healthcare.

And so this slow-motion case continues. We’ll keep checking on it.

Related seminar: Breast & Women’s Imaging Seminar

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One Response to “Latest Twists In Unread-Mammograms Lawsuits”

  1. Radiology Daily»AlertArchive » Ex-Tech Finally Sentenced For Mammogram Fakery on April 16th, 2014 at 10:00 am

    […] written about this case several times, most recently┬áhere, as it slowly played out. Today’s court action provided the first public revelation of a […]