November 25, 1997

A woman complaining of rectal bleeding reported to her doctor. The internist conducted a manual exam and detected nothing. A radiologist performed a barium enema and discovered nothing too, but thirteen months later the woman returned and a 5.5 cm cancerous tumor was detected in her rectum. The patient’s cancer was now terminal, and the Plaintiff alleged the delay of detection ruled out any opportunity for treatment. In defense, Donald Brown argued that (1) the radiologist, not the internist, was negligent, (2) the thirteen-month delay had no effect on the patient’s treatment or condition, and (3) the internist’s care was reasonable. After merely a half hour, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the internist, awarding none of the $2,109,000 sought.

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