IN THE NEWS: NEGLIGENCE UNMASKED AT PENNSYVANIA TRIAL
In the state’s first verdict in favor of a civil trial plaintiff since the start of the pandemic (with all trial participants wearing masks except when testifying behind a plexiglass), a Pennsylvania jury has awarded $10.8 million to the father of a young man who suffered permanent brain injury as a result of a hospital technician’s negligence.
As personal injury attorneys, we know that different entities may be liable for medical malpractice and negligence, including the provider of care (in this case the MRI technician) and the facility in which the incident occurred (Tyrone Hospital was held liable for the negligent actions or omissions of its employee).
The hospital was held liable because an MRI technician failed to notify a doctor when 45-year-old patient Christopher Miller suffered a life-threatening allergic reaction to the contrast dye used as part of the scan. Because of the technician’s negligence, the jury found, Christopher suffered a catastrophic brain injury, now requiring around-the-clock care and supervision.
According to RadiologyInfo.org, the key component of the contrast material is gadolinium. That alters the magnetic properties of water molecules and enhances the MRI images. Reactions to the substance are rare and usually very mild. The award by the jury, therefore was not based on the use of gadolinium as a dye, but on the failure of the technician to quickly summon medical help when seeing that the patient was having an adverse reaction.
Because the provision of medical care is such a highly technical and specialized field, expert testimony is often required in cases of medical negligence. In Indiana, as we explain to our Ramey & Hailey clients, cases brought under the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act are subject to special rules regarding how a case proceeds. There is so much at stake – we urge victims and family members to visit with us as soon as possible if you feel there has been negligence by medical professionals.