Jury Awards $5 Million to Couple in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Dec 3, 2012

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JusticeA New Hampshire couple was recently awarded a $5 million verdict in a malpractice lawsuit against Advanced Diagnostic Imaging and radiologist Dr. Ellen Johnson.

According to reports, the lawsuit, brought by Noel and Adam Jodoin, came after Noel was admitted to the emergency room at Exeter Hospital in Rockingham County in 2007. Noel went to the hospital with severe headaches and it was later determined that she had suffered a stroke.

During her visit to Exeter, doctors ordered Noel to undergo a CT scan because she was displaying possible neurological problems. The test results were sent to the hospital’s radiology department, under contract with Advanced Diagnostic Imaging, to be reviewed by the defendant, Ellen Johnson.

In the lawsuit, which was not filed until 2010, Dr. Johnson’s findings are recorded with the following assessment: “There is no evidence of acute hemorrhage, mass lesion, mass effect, acute ischemia, or extraaxial fluid collections.” Johnson reported abnormalities but added that they were “of doubtful clinical significance,” according to this news report.

After being at the hospital, Noel’s condition got worse and she was transferred to a hospital in Massachusetts for another CT scan, which showed brain hemorrhages. It was also determined by neurologists at the Boston hospital that the first CT did show significant problems that should have been addressed. A press release of the incident reports that the victim’s condition worsened to the point of permanent brain damage and disabilities; and a jury concluded that this was a direct result of Dr. Johnson’s negligence in assessing the CT scan and her failure to communicate with the patient’s doctors.

Damages in medical negligence cases can be well into the millions. Damages are meant to help with previous expenses associated with the injuries as well as ongoing medical expenses. They are also meant to provide compensation for physical and mental anguish caused by the negligence. In this case, the jury decided on $5 million in damages to compensate for Noel and Adam Jodoin’s pain and suffering, including expenses and inconveniences associated with ongoing intensive therapies and rehabilitative services from the injury.

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