Schedule a Consultation | Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Trial lawyers specializing in personal injury and civil litigation

Some malpractice defendants dismissed where CT mis-read; case reinstated vs. others

In Huddleston v. Trinity Health Michigan, the Court of Appeals overturned a decision by the Washtenaw Circuit Court that would have completely dismissed a woman's malpractice claim.  The Plaintiff endured a 5 year delay in cancer treatment after the Defendants mis-read her CT scan and failed to inform her of an apparent lesion on her kidney.  The Defendants argued that Huddleston had suffered no injury or damages based on her loss of the complete kidney, rather than the limited tissue removal that would have been appropriate in 2003. The trial court agreed and dismissed the case.

The Court of Appeals pointed to Plaintiff's expert testimony confirming that a 2003 diagnosis would have resulted in the removal of no more than 10-20% of the kidney.  It held that under existing precedent, this testimony was adequate to serve as the foundation for a claim.  Nevertheless, the court dismissed the claim against the Hospital, holding that Huddleston's expert testimony did not establish the standard of care applicable to a hospital:  only the claim against Huddleston's Internist was adequately supported with qualified testimony from a specialist in the same field. 

Republican-leaning Judge Talbot dissented from the ruling, arguing that removal of the entire kidney should not constitute an "injury" that is compensable, because a human body can function without two kidneys {or eyes, or ears, or lungs]. Even though she was susceptible to future complications, could not take certain medications, and suffered mental anguish from her perception that the delay in treatment had made her more vulnerable to a bad outcome, Judge Talbot would hold that she suffered no injury. He would hold her damage testimony was mere speculation.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Fax: 231-929-7262