The McCallahan Case
Mrs. McCallahan was pregnant with her first child, and her due date was close by. Her obstetrician ordered an ultrasound of the baby, which was done on a Friday afternoon. Unfortunately, the ultrasound showed that there was a cyst on the baby’s kidney, however due to a failure to communicate; the radiologist did not get the message to the obstetricians at the time of the ultrasound.
Coincidentally, the next morning, Mrs. McCallahan went into labor, and delivered a baby boy, Carl. When Carl was delivered, the doctors did not know about the results of the ultrasound, and in the following days, when the report was sent to their office, a nurse misfiled the report, and no action was taken on the report.
Over the next two weeks, Mrs. McCallahan cared for her baby boy Carl, thinking that everything was all right. Unfortunately, the cyst on Carl’s kidney continue to grow, and began to cause problems with the flow of urine, causing a backup into his kidneys. At about two weeks of age, Carl began to show symptoms of jaundice, and pain, and was rushed to the emergency department. When Carl was in the emergency department, the emergency room doctor pulled up the records to review, and it was noted that an ultrasound had been done two weeks earlier which showed that there was a cyst on Carl’s kidney, and nothing has been done.
Carl was immediately life flighted to Pittsburgh, where the doctors at Children’s Hospital inserted a shunt into his kidneys to help with the flow of urine, and to prevent further damage. However, unfortunately at that point, kidney damage had already occurred.
On behalf of the child, we filed a lawsuit in the Court of Common Pleas of Clarion County against the radiologist for failure to report the significant finding, and against the obstetricians because the report was misfiled in their office.
Trial was held in the Court of Common Pleas of Clarion County where the jury found that the doctors did not do anything wrong; an incorrect verdict. An appeal was taken to the Superior Court, and the case was reversed and remanded back to the Court of Common Pleas of Clarion County, where the case against the obstetricians went forth.
Before trial, the parties discussed settlement, and a settlement was reached with the obstetricians before trial for a substantial sum.