60 year old woman had annual mammograms ordered by her OB/GYN. She always had her mammograms taken at the same hospital until her OB/GYN referred her to a new mammography clinic.
A breast tumor was discovered by the new clinic in her third year. The new clinic had not obtained copies of the plaintiff’s mammogram films from prior years for comparison. Discovery confirmed that the OB/GYN had taken an ownership interest in the new mammography clinic and he was referring mammogram patients to his facility. Mammograms usually show tumors only when comparing films to prior years; radiologists look for changes in breast density.
By referring the plaintiff to a new mammogram facility, the OB/GYN made it more difficult to have her change in breast tissue diagnosed in time for a cure. Suit was filed against the OB/GYN for referring against the patient’s interest; against the mammogram clinic for failing to obtain prior films for comparison; and against the radiologist for missing the change in breast tissue and not insisting upon having prior films available for transferred patients. A substantial global settlement was reached with the defendants as a class after which a summary jury trial was held to decide which of the defendants should pay the settlement.