June 14, 2022

A $28.5 million settlement was recently reached in a South Carolina medical malpractice case that alleged that a radiologist failed to identify a malignant tumor on an MRI brain scan of a 14-year-old student-athlete in 2015 after he started having shooting pains in the back of his skull, incidents of  balance problems, fatigue, and dizziness. His primary care physician had  referred him for an MRI of his brain at a Medquest imaging facility in Florence, South Carolina.

The radiologist indicated in his report that there were no abnormalities. However, the young man’s South Carolina medical malpractice attorneys were able to determine in discovery that the radiologist spent just one minute reviewing the 251 images of the brain scan.

The teenager continued to experience on and off symptoms over the next several years. However, his symptoms became intolerable by 2018 which lead to a second brain MRI that was interpreted by the same radiologist who then reported a brain tumor that turned out to be present during the first MRI brain scan years earlier. Emergency brain surgery led to a pathology report that indicated that the brain tumor was medulloblastoma, which is the most common cancerous brain tumor in children, that would require a very complicated and delicate surgery to remove because the tumor had tripled in size since the first MRI. The teenager suffered a debilitating stroke as a result which has left him with severe nausea, deficits in both his vision and speech, and difficulty ambulating on his own.

The young man’s South Carolina medical malpractice attorneys discovered that the radiologist had missed diagnosing a liver tumor for another patient just days before the radiologist failed to discover their client’s brain tumor.

The South Carolina medical malpractice claim also alleged corporate misconduct by Medquest Associates, Inc. and its affiliated companies for their failure to properly and appropriately manage, operate, and oversee the delivery of diagnostic imaging and radiological services, alleging that Medquest put its profits over safe patient care. As part of the settlement of the young man’s South Carolina medical malpractice claims, Medquest reportedly agreed to mandate a second reading of all pediatric MRIs and CT scans; a second reading of head, neck, and spine MRIs for all patients; and, a second reading of some other high-risk patient scans, along with increased quality control policies to enhance patient safety and reduce reading errors at all levels.

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Not only will this settlement financially help the severely injured young man, the nonfinancial terms of the settlement should also help prevent future harm to patients by requiring a “second set of eyes” on medical scans. That’s what is called a good settlement.

If you or a loved one have suffered serious injury (or worse) as a result of medical negligence in South Carolina or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a South Carolina medical malpractice attorney, or a medical malpractice attorney in your state, who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

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