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CT Scan Death Leads To $6.2 Million Verdict

August 16, 2010
Written by: , Filed in: Chest Radiology, Diagnostic Imaging, Practice Management
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Death during a CT scan in Florida resulted last week in a $6.2 million medical malpractice verdict.

An Alachua County (Gainesville) jury found against Shands at the University of Florida hospital in Gainesville. The hospital was expected to appeal.

In December 2002, Jacksonville resident Cory Fine, PhD, a business-school professor at the University of North Florida, underwent gastric-bypass surgery for weight loss at Shands.

According to lawyer Frank Ashton, who represented the Fine family in the lawsuit, the surgery was uneventful, but Dr. Fine developed breathing difficulties five days later. As a result, a CT scan of his lungs was ordered.

The attorney said Dr. Fine told the CT technicians that he didn’t think he’d be able to breathe if they laid him flat for the scan and said, “I feel like I am dying.” Nevertheless, he was told to lie down on the CT table and was strapped into the scanner, the attorney said. Four minutes later, when the scan was finished, he was dead.

“They did not check his oxygen saturation levels, nor did they call in a radiologist to check Mr. Fine,” Ashton said, according to the Gainesville Sun newspaper.

According to WJXT-TV (Channel 4) in Jacksonville, the cause of death was listed as cardiac arrhythmia.

Dr. Fine’s widow, Lisa, said she had to sue in order to find out what happened to her husband. She said the hospital was deceitful to her and lost some records related to the case. “My hope is that Shands will change some of their practices so that this doesn’t happen to anybody ever again,” she told WJXX-TV (Channel 25)/WTLV-TV (Channel 12) in Jacksonville. “This was so preventable.”

Dr. Fine is also survived by his son, Tyler, now 10.

A spokesperson for Shands said: “We extend our condolences to the family of Mr. Fine. At this time, we cannot provide additional information or comments.”

Related seminar: Thoracic Imaging (new release)

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One Response to “CT Scan Death Leads To $6.2 Million Verdict”

  1. Radiology Daily┬╗AlertArchive ┬╗ Study Says Admitting Mistakes Cuts Lawsuits on August 17th, 2010 at 10:01 am

    […] can’t help but think about yesterday’s post, which detailed a $6.2 million judgment against a Florida hospital for the death of a patient […]