On April 4, 2023 an appellate court overruled a Judge and Manhattan jury finding that a radiologist's alleged misdiagnosis was not "a substantial factor in causing the delay that led plaintiff's appendix to burst resulting in the loss of a pregnancy. The plaintiff was in the early stages of pregnancy and complained to her obstetrician of lower abdominal pain who referred her to a radiologist for an ultrasound. The radiologist allegedly failed to: report to the obstetrician that plaintiff had rebound tenderness on palpation; failed to visualize the appendix during the ultrasound; and, erroneously concluded in his report "no abnormality". The next day the plaintiff went to an emergency room with complaints of abdominal pain where she was admitted for emergency surgery to treat a ruptured appendix. It was claimed that the obstetrician should have referred the plaintiff to an emergency room to rule out an appendicitis.
At trial the obstetrician testified that she did not rely on the radiologist's report as she had considered an appendicitis as part of her differential diagnosis and could not remember when, or if, she had read the report. The jury found the obstetrician to be 41% at fault, allocated 30% fault to the radiologist, 29% fault to the plaintiff and awarded damages of $725,000. The trial judge denied the radiologist's motion to set aside the verdict. The obstetrician subsequently settled with the plaintiff for an undisclosed sum and the radiologist successfully pursued an appeal persuading the appellate court that there was no evidence that his departure had any impact of the obstetrician's treatment plan. Ameziani v Subramanyam, 2023 WL 2761963