Defense Verdict in Connecticut

On June 3, 2011, Madonna A. Saccoreceived a defense verdict in a medical malpractice case venued in the Bridgeport, Connecticut Supreme Court.

The plaintiff alleged that our clients, a radiologist and his practice, were negligent in their care and treatment of plaintiff’s decedent in that they failed to properly interpret a chest x-ray; failed to diagnose an enlarged mediastinum; failed to include aortic dissection in his diagnosis; failed to recommend additional radiological studies such as a CT study; failed to properly communicate the need for additional radiological studies; and failed to properly report the correct interpretation of the chest x-ray.

It was also claimed that plaintiff’s decedent died as a result of an aortic dissection that went undiagnosed.  Prior to the death, it is claimed that the plaintiff’s decedent experienced pain and suffering as well as mental and emotional injury, including the fear and apprehension of death.  There was also a claim by the Estate for medical bills and funeral expenses.

Madonna successfully defended our clients by aggressively cross-examining the plaintiff’s expert witnesses on the issues of standard of care and causation.  Madonna argued that our client properly interpreted the chest x-ray, given the clinical information he was provided with, and that there was no connection between the alleged deviation in the standard of care and the death of the plaintiff’s decedent.  The expert witnesses retained on behalf of our clients successfully refuted the testimony of the plaintiff’s expert witnesses.

The plaintiff was the estate of a 67 year old, female who died within twenty hours of discharge from a local emergency department.  Madonna’s client interpreted a plain chest film that was obtained while the patient was in the emergency department. The plaintiff’s expert claimed that the film showed a widened mediastinum and enlarged aorta which should have increased the radiologist’s index of suspicion for aortic dissection.

The plaintiff’s expert testified that the indication for aortic dissection on a chest was that the aorta appeared above the clavicle on the film.  Madonna successfully showed through cross-examination and the presentation of defense experts that there was no scientific basis for such a finding being related to aortic dissection and that such a finding had been made on a plain chest films nine years prior.

Following a four week trial, the jury returned a verdict for the defendants after less than three hours of deliberation.