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MDLinx$3.3 Million Verdict Awarded in Maryland After Radiology Practice Fails to Detect Stage I Cancer

Implications of Radiological Oversight: A Case Study on Missed Early Cancer Detection

In a recent legal case that reinforces the critical importance of diligent radiological analysis, a Maryland jury awarded $3.38 million to a patient after a missed diagnosis by a radiologist led to the progression of a treatable Stage I cancer to terminal Stage IV. This case not only highlights the personal impact of such oversights but also serves as a poignant reminder for the medical community of the imperative to maintain high standards of care in diagnostic imaging.

Key Points:

  • A Maryland woman was awarded $3.38 million in a medical malpractice verdict after a radiologist at Peninsula Radiology Associates failed to detect Stage I cancer from a CT scan, resulting in a progression to terminal Stage IV cancer.
  • The radiologist, Dr. Peter Libby, did not identify a thickening in the patient’s right salivary gland on a 2014 CT scan, describing it as a “normal variant.”
  • The patient, Mary Raver, noticed a bump in March 2021, which led to the eventual diagnosis of Stage IV cancer in January 2022, after the mass had significantly grown and metastasized.
  • The jury found Dr. Libby in violation of the standard of care, with expert witnesses testifying that the cancer could have been treatable if diagnosed at the initial stage visible in the 2014 CT scan.
  • Dr. Libby reportedly reviewed up to 130 CT scans daily in 2014, raising questions about workload and its potential impact on diagnostic accuracy.
  • Despite the substantial verdict, Maryland’s cap on non-economic damages will reduce the award by $300,000.

At a minimum, wrong or delayed diagnoses cause more serious harms to patients than any other type of medical error, and 40,000-80,000 people die each year from diagnostic failures in US hospitals alone.

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