Plaintiff alleged that that our client failed to diagnose a very rare osteosarcoma, resulting in a delay in diagnose and ultimately death. We contended that at the time the patient saw our client, the mass on the patient’s foot was entirely consistent with a benign ganglion cyst and that the imaging and physical appearance of the mass revealed no characteristics of cancer. Our client recommended removal of the mass, however, the patient failed to return to see our client for additional care. We also argued that the specific type of cancer was exceedingly rare and unusually aggressive and the alleged 6-month delay in diagnosis would not have changed his outcome. Plaintiff demanded $1.6 million.
VERDICT: Defense Verdict. A Great Falls jury found that our client was not negligent. On appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed the jury verdict and upheld the District Court’s decision.
Plaintiff alleged that our client failed to obtain certain imaging following surgery to repair Plaintiff’s broken hip, resulting in the failure to timely identify that a screw had penetrated the hip joint. We contended and proved that the imaging our client obtained verified the correct placement of the screws, that a screw migrated many weeks after the surgery, and that our client timely identified and acted appropriately when the screws had in fact migrated.
VERDICT: Defense Verdict. A Bozeman jury found that our client was not negligent.
Plaintiff alleged that our client failed to fully evaluate a patient’s heart when she presented to the emergency department with symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Our client performed testing which revealed that there was no acute issue with the patient’s heart. Rather, her symptoms were entirely consistent with a gastrointestinal virus from which she recovered. The patient suffered a massive heart attack approximately two months after the ER visit. We contended that the standard of care was adhered to in all respects and that our client properly referred the patient back to her primary care provider following the ER visit and that there was nothing our client did or did not do which caused the sudden and unexpected heart attack.
VERDICT: Defense Verdict. A Butte jury found that our client was not negligent in its care and treatment of the plaintiff.
Our client, an orthopedic surgeon, performed a spinal fusion on Plaintiff. The hardware used in the surgery ultimately failed and Plaintiff sued, alleging that our client failed to properly secure the hardware. We argued that hardware failure is a known complication of the procedure, that our client’s care fully complied with the standard of care, and that Plaintiff’s expert was no longer performing the surgery in question and, thus, was unqualified to offer the opinions he was offering.
DECISION: The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of our client, determining that Plaintiff’s expert was not qualified under MCA § 26-2-601(1)(a) because he had failed to perform the surgery at issue within the previous 5 years.
On appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed the District Court’s decision.
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