In a recent decision by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Helen Madden, the defense in a delayed diagnosis of colon cancer filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that a radiologist should not be held responsible for failing to communicate the results of a Cat scan. The Court held that a jury should decide the issue. As part of a work up for kidney stones, a Cat scan found a "soft tissue mass suspicious for a colonic neoplasm" and recommended a colonoscopy. Unfortunately, these comments landed on page two of the report since the first page reported on the kidneys.
The radiologist explained that he called the referring physician and could only leave him a message. The radiologist insisted that he then faxed the two page report, but the referring physician said that he only read the first page of the report on his iPad and didn't know there was additional important information on a second page. As a result there was a 19 month delay in diagnosis of the patient's colon cancer. The radiologist's expert claimed that he had met the standard of care and the plaintiff's expert countered that when conveying ominous news of cancer, the radiologist must speak to the referring physician or his/her staff to confirm receipt of the info. Kliyan v Kaminetsky, 2018 NYSUM 119037