On December 5, 2019, trial partner Dawn Adelson, Esq. achieved a defense verdict in Supreme Court, Queens County on behalf of our client, a radiologist, and his hospital radiology group. The now 72 year-old female plaintiff, with a smoking history and a history of pulmonary nodules, alleged that our client failed to properly interpret a 2014 CT scan of her chest, resulting in a significant delay in diagnosis of lung cancer until mid-2015. The purported delay allegedly led to the need for more extensive surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Plaintiff’s liability claim was based on the fact that another radiologist noted in his report of a subsequent 2015 CT scan that the suspicious lesion ultimately found to be cancerous was visible in the 2014 study interpreted by our client. Ms. Adelson was able to establish, however, that our client did not depart from accepted radiology practice in his interpretation and reporting of the 2014 CT scan, since the lesion in 2014 was smaller in size and immediately adjacent to various structures within the lung making it extremely difficult to visualize without a retrospective comparison of the 2014 CT scan to the 2015 CT scan, which showed significant suspicious enlargement of the lesion. The defense was also able to establish that the plaintiff would have required the same surgery even if diagnosed earlier, and that the suspicious nodule became cancerous at the same time as the adjacent lymph node based upon the biology of the plaintiff’s cancer and the results of the PET scan performed at the time of the cancer diagnosis. The defense was supported by the testimony of experts in radiology, thoracic surgery and medical oncology, all of whom have excellent academic credentials, and by effective use of the various CT images which were shown to the jury electronically.