After a 9-day jury trial, Attorney Clark Hudson received a defense verdict on behalf of a San Diego Emergency Medicine Doctor.  The case involved a 64-year-old female that was seen in the Emergency Room following an unobserved fall. The patient developed speech difficulties after suffering a stroke years prior, but was still able to comprehend and respond to “yes/no” questions.

The patient was examined for a possible CVA or cardiopulmonary condition that might have caused the patient’s fall.  She also underwent imaging of the right lower extremity, which appeared to be the focus of the patient’s complaints of pain involving the foot and ankle.  After a full body examination, the results of the lower extremity imaging did not determine the source of the patient’s complaints of pain.  She was, therefore, admitted to the hospital for further testing and observation.

The patient was discharged after the advanced imaging of the right lower extremity resulted negative for acute injury. Despite the patient being seen daily by a physical therapist, the focus of the patient’s complaints remained without a definitive diagnosis. The patient was then flown back to Kansas City, Missouri, where she was taken to a different hospital and diagnosed with a subcapital hip fracture.

The plaintiff maintained the Emergency Medicine Doctor was negligent in failing to diagnose her hip fracture. The defense acknowledged the fracture could potentially have occurred during the unobserved fall, however, the doctor’s hip examination failed to identify any fracture. Likewise, the patients’ complaints of pain in the right lower extremity were inconsistent with a hip fracture.  After deliberating for two and 1/2 hours, the jury decided the Emergency Medicine Doctor was not negligent.