Senior Trial Partner Daniel Freidlin and Partner Maureen Blazowski obtained summary judgment in a radiology case. Plaintiff alleged that our client radiologist failed to identify a disc fragment that became embedded in the L4 nerve root resulting in the need for anL3-L4 laminectomy and microdiscectomy. Plaintiff claimed that the failure to diagnose and report the finding resulted in her undergoing aggressive chiropractic maneuvers that exacerbated the condition and prevented it from healing. She alleged that it resulted in the need for surgery.
MCB submitted expert affirmations of an orthopedic surgeon and chiropractor (we were unable to secure a favorable opinion from a radiologist). Our orthopedic surgeon opined that the disc fragment appeared on only one frame of an MRI containing multiple series and hundreds of frames. Our expert opined that the finding was so subtle that the failure to report it did not constitute a departure from the standard of care. Moreover, the standard of care for management of herniated disks includes conservative treatment regimens such as epidural injections, physical therapy, pain medication and chiropractic maneuvers for three months. If the patient's symptomatology does not improve after three months, surgery is considered. Our expert chiropractor opined that the treatment rendered by the patient's treating chiropractor was consistent with treatment for symptomatic relief of herniated disks and did not exacerbate the patient's complaints.
The plaintiff opposed our motion with a radiology expert, and in reply we argued that the expert was not qualified to create an issue of fact related to proximate cause. The Court agreed with our position and dismissed the case.