Jury Finds Radiologist Negligent for Failing to Note Lesion

In April 2010, Michelle Sanchez was seen at the Lovelace emergency room in New Mexico for left leg swelling and infection. She was treated and released with a recommendation for other tests. Later that month, she was hospitalized for about two weeks.

In May 2011, Ms. Sanchez was referred to radiologist Dr. Lance Dell of Zia Diagnostic Imaging for an X-ray and MRI at Lovelace Hospital. In 2013, Ms. Sanchez filed suit alleging Dr. Dell failed to document a lesion visible on the imaging studies. After trial, the jury found that Dr. Dell was negligent in not noting in his report a small lesion that was, or later became, cancerous. Prior to her death, Ms. Sanchez gave a video deposition where she explained she was initially told she had a pinched nerve. Her suit alleges that the tumor mass in Ms. Sanchez’s spine was “obvious in radiological images” in 2011 and that defense experts “testified the tumor was metastatic and threatening at the time.”

While the jury found the radiologist was negligent in not noting the lesion in his report, they also found the negligence was not a cause of any damage to Ms. Sanchez, so they did not award any money to her estate. The estate settled other claims against Lovelace Medical Center.

When someone is injured or dies due to a health care provider’s negligence, financial recovery may be available. Such recovery is particularly important when permanent, life changing injuries are incurred. It is important to contact someone who understands the intricacies of the party’s right to recover.

Medical malpractice is a difficult area of law as it requires an understanding of both the legal practice and the mechanics of medicine. Abraham Watkins offers a free consultation to anyone wishing to pursue such claims.