Medical Malpractice Case Summary

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KJL Para 101 Summer 2013 JOANN ALEXANDER and JACK ALEXANDER, Appellants (Plaintiffs Below), v. D. KEVIN SCHEID, M.D. and ORTHOPAEDICS INDIANAPOLIS, INC., Appellees (Defendants Below). Indiana Supreme Court Cause No. 49S05-0004-CV-231 SUPREME COURT OF INDIANA 726 N.E.2d 272; 2000 Ind. LEXIS 248 April 3, 2000, Decided PRIOR HISTORY: [**1] APPEAL FROM THE MARION SUPERIOR COURT. Indiana Court of Appeals. Cause No. 49A05-9710-CV-431. The Honorable Patrick L. McCarty, Judge. Cause No. 49D03-9612-CT-1631. PROCEDURAL POSTURE: Plaintiffs appealed a decision by the Indiana Court of Appeals which upheld a trial court decision granting summary judgment to defendants in plaintiff's action under the Indiana Medical Malpractice…show more content…
Joanne Alexander was scheduled to have a surgical procedure at Orthopaedics of Indianapolis with Dr Kevin Scheid M.D. Patients over the age of 60 are required to have a chest x-ray done before any surgical procedures due to possible anesthesia issues. Mrs. Alexander, age 62 was x-rayed on the 24th of June; the Radiologist reading her x-ray report noted a “density” in the right upper lobe of her right lung reported and sent a hard copy of the report to Dr. Sheids office which was placed in her file apparently without notice of the radiology recommendation of comparison with previous x-rays. The plaintiffs maintain that they were not told of any problems or irregularities on the June 24th x-ray. 10 months later, in the spring of 1994 distressing symptoms brought Mrs. Alexander to a different doctor. After another x-ray and a biopsy Mrs. Alexander was diagnosed with incurable non-small cell lung cancer stage IIIa. With treatments including unsuccessful surgery for the metastasis, lymph node removal, extensive chemotherapy and radiation, her cancers, while not cured, were put into remission in or about October 1994. Because the cancer was in remission at the time the complaint was filed, the trial court granted summary judgment to defendants. In the courts opinion, Mrs. Alexander had no current compensable injury and the appellate court agreed. The court decided that the Plaintiffs could maintain a cause of action for increased risk of harm as several expert witnesses testified as to Mrs. Alexander’s diminished life expectancy. Because of the Defendants negligence the chance of recovery was severely reduced from the time the “density” was found to the date of diagnosis. . One of the doctors disposed stated that if she had been given treatment at the time of the June 24 x-ray, she would have a significant increase in her life
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