Medical Negligence Defense Verdict

Mead v. Legacy Health et al., Multnomah County Case No. 0402-01947

This case was a re-trial of a case after it came back from the Oregon Supreme Court after an initial trial in 2005.

Plaintiff went to Legacy Good Samaritan hospital complaining of back pain on July 1, 2002. She had a history of chronic back pain and associated neurologic symptoms. Emergency room doctors treated Plaintiff and took an MRI. Defendant was the on-call neurosurgeon that week. ER doctors consulted with Defendant over the phone and Defendant advised that Plaintiff was not a surgical candidate. The ER doctors admitted Plaintiff for observation.

Plaintiff claims that Defendant was finally persuaded to engage in care for on July 3, 2002. She says Defendant did a cursory exam and declared to staff that Plaintiff did not need surgery as she was, “just a big fat woman with a sore back.” After Plaintiff’s condition worsened, Defendant finally did a thorough exam and immediately took Plaintiff into surgery to attempt to reverse the effects of cauda equina syndrome but was unsuccessful. Plaintiff alleged that Defendant was negligent for failing to diagnose and treat her condition timely. She alleged damages including impaired bladder and bowel function as well as the impaired use of her legs. Plaintiff sought damages of over 12 million dollars.

Defendant claims that during the initial phone consult he was never asked to come to the hospital or review an MRI. He says he was instructed that Plaintiff was neurologically intact. Legally, he never developed a physician/patient relationship with Plaintiff and therefore cannot be liable to Plaintiff. He claimed that he never actually saw Plaintiff until he was asked to examine her on July 5, 2002, when he immediately took her into emergency surgery. He claims that any negligence was on the part of the ER doctors and hospital who had previously settled with Plaintiff.

Plaintiff’s Counsel – Mark Bocci, Keith Dozier, and Eugene Hallman

Defense Counsel –  Larry Brisbee

Verdict – Defense Verdict (jury found no physician/patient relationship was established)

Date: April 17, 2015



April 24, 2015

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