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2011 Cornerstone Casework: Hall, Ansley, Rodgers & Sweeney

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Patient death or serious injury resulting from failure to follow up or communicate laboratory, pathology or radiology test results was recently added by the National Quality Forum to the list of more than 30 occurrences of “never events,” or inexcusable outcomes in health care settings that are largely preventable. Missouri health care providers are not required to report “never events,” and the state does not provide public access to providers’ histories of medical liabilities. In June, Hall, Ansley, Rodgers & Sweeney attorney Benjamin Stringer settled a case with a hospital for $350,000, representing a woman who had a routine chest X-ray before a neurosurgical procedure. The report noted a questionable lesion, but the patient was not informed and was cleared for surgery with no follow-up testing ordered. Three years later, the woman sought treatment for a new injury and returned to the neurosurgeon, who reviewed the old X-ray reports and referred her for follow-up, which resulted in a diagnosis of lung cancer that could have been caught earlier. She underwent extensive treatment but died earlier this year. State law limits a patient’s or family’s non-economic damages to $350,000 in medical negligence cases, but an appeal before the Missouri Supreme Court challenges that cap.

Click here for the full 2011 Cornerstone Casework feature.[[In-content Ad]]

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