Hinkle Law Firm Client Granted Judgment as a Matter of Law as a Result of Medical Malpractice Jury Trial.
In 2008, a 35 year old female presented to her primary care physician (PCP – Hinkle’s client). The PCP ordered radiologic evaluation of the lump. The patient underwent a mammogram and ultrasound to evaluate the palpable lump in her right breast. The films were interpreted as negative by the radiologist (a defendant represented other counsel), who then reported the ultrasound confirmed a benign lobule was present. The patient followed up with her OBGYN physician, a defendant represented by other counsel, for her annual well woman exam and expressed concern about the lump. Her OBGYN palpated the mass and noted a mass. The OBGYN told the patient that it didn’t appear to be one of concern but gave the patient the names of two surgeons to contact for a second opinion if she wished.
The patient returned to her OBGYN the following year for her annual well woman examination. The OBGYN noted no mass in the patient’s right breast but noticed some fullness in the area where the mass had been the previous year. The OBGYN encouraged the patient to call her primary care physician for a follow-up mammogram. The patient denied being advised on the need to follow up with her PCP.
In August 2010, the patient contacted her PCP by telephone to report the lump found in her right breast had doubled in size since 2008. The PCP again ordered radiologic evaluation, but did not see the patient that day. She noted her previous breast exam by her OBGYN had been in February was negative. An ultrasound and mammogram were performed, and the analysis noted an a 5 cm irregular mass in the right breast behind the nipple, a different location from the 2008 lump in upper outer quadrant of the right breast. After biopsy, the patient was diagnosed with malignant grade III invasive ductal carcinoma of the right breast. She underwent significant treatment at MD Anderson but has had an excellent recovery.
The Plaintiff made allegations of negligence against all of the medical professionals: 1. The radiologist misinterpreted the results and failed to advise the patient that she should have a biopsy performed. 2. The OBGYN failed to order a biopsy and failed to refer the patient for a second opinion when the patient raised her concerns about the need for a biopsy. 3. The Primary Care Physician failed to order a biopsy and failed to provide clear information and instructions to the patient regarding follow up and additional testing.
Attorney Greg Young defended PCP physician. The PCP was granted a judgment as a matter of law at the close of plaintiff’s case, and the jury found that the remaining defendants did not deviate from the standard of care and were not negligent.