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Hospital apologizes for mistake, settles above $100K charitable immunity cap

The firm obtained a $400,000 settlement with a hospital after it admitted to a flawed internal reporting procedure that led to a failure to inform a patient and his treating medical providers of X-ray evidence of lung cancer.

In November 2017, an 82-year-old man had successful surgery for a brain aneurysm after he went to a hospital complaining of fatigue, weakness, headache, and a cough. A chest X-ray taken prior to the surgery showed a mass on his lung.

Due to a series of hospital system errors, the lung mass was not reported to the patient or followed up by the providers during and after they attended to his life-threatening aneurysm. 

In March 2019, he was admitted to the hospital for headaches and general pain and weakness. A second chest X-ray showed that the lung mass had grown. He was diagnosed with lung cancer, which had metastasized to his liver and bones. He died the following month at age 84.

Following his death, the hospital agreed to a meeting where its representatives apologized to the decedent’s son and daughter for the internal systems error that led to the failure to inform their father and his treating medical providers about the evidence of lung cancer on the initial chest X-ray. 

The hospital told the family members that following an internal investigation it had implemented a new system to ensure test results are always communicated to patients and that all treating medical professionals verify receipt and review of the results.

The apology led to a pre-suit settlement with the hospital that was four times the statutory $100,000 charitable immunity cap.

The hospital contended that the elderly man was in very poor health and that the delay in diagnosis did not make a substantial difference in his outcome.

Todd & Weld’s personal injury practice represents victims of medical malpractice and who suffer catastrophic injuries as a result.  The goal of the practice is to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by others' negligent conduct and to help alleviate the devastating physical, emotional, and financial burdens they suffer.