On August 17, 2011, after less than one hour of deliberations, the jury in this wrongful death/medical negligence case unanimously found in favor of the defendant radiologist, represented by shareholder, Robert W. Frank. The patient, a 77-year-old retiree, underwent an angiogram procedure by the radiologist after being diagnosed with high-grade femoral artery stenosis. The angiogram revealed the patient had a 90% occlusion of the superficial femoral artery in his right leg and a 100% occlusion of the popliteal artery as well. The radiologist later performed a stenting procedure the right leg to treat the occlusions. The following morning, the patient fainted and fell to the bathroom floor. En route to the hospital he suffered a cardiac arrest and later died.

Plaintiffs' counsel argued that the radiologist’s failure to refer the patient to a vascular surgeon was below the standard of care. They also argued the puncture placement for the stenting procedure was below the standard of care. The defense maintained it was within the standard of care to proceed with the procedure given the degree of occlusion in the patient’s leg. Further, the defense radiology expert opined that there is always a puncture placement risk whenever performing this type of procedure. The jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the physician.

Robert W. Frank is a shareholder at Neil Dymott Hudson and concentrates his practice on the defense of healthcare professionals and general civil litigation. Mr. Frank may be reached at (619) 238-1712.