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Pathology Reports Forwarded to Gastroenterologist Satisfied Duty to Communicate


A physician performed multiple colonoscopies on a woman. Eventually, the woman was diagnosed with cancer and died. Her estate sued the physician for failure to diagnose the woman’s cancer. The New York County Supreme Court denied the physician’s motion to dismiss.

 

The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court, First Department, reversed. The court held that the estate did not have a viable negligence claim against the physician for failing to communicate significant medical findings to the patient or her treating physician.

 

Generally, a defendant may be held liable for ordinary negligence upon his or her failure to communicate significant medical findings to a patient or her treating physician. However, after discovery, the record indicated that the physician forwarded the pathology reports of the decedent's colonoscopies to her primary gastroenterologist. The court stated, “[d]iscovery has since taken place and the record is clear that the reports were indeed forwarded.”

 

The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court, First Department, reversed the trial court’s denial of the physician’s motion to dismiss.

 

See: Braun v. Lewis, 2014 WL 1775731, 2014 N.Y. Slip Op. 03198 (N.Y.A.D. 1 Dept., May 6, 2014) (not designated for publication).

 

See also Medical Law Perspectives, October 2012 Report: Mistakes in Diagnosing Cancer: Liability Concerns for Misdiagnosis, Failure to Diagnose, and Delayed Diagnosis 

 

 

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