In February, a married mother-of-three settled against a medical group which employed a radiologist who misread her CT scan of the abdomen in December 2013, when the plaintiff was 37 years old. Nearly four years later, the plaintiff was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic pancreatic cancer, which turned out to be terminal.
Johnson and Hodes contended that the plaintiff’s original CT scan showed a cystic lesion in the tail of the pancreas, which evolved into a frank malignancy. Had it been identified, the plaintiff’s legal team argued, she would have been referred for surgery and would have had a 60 percent likelihood of being cured due to her age, the location and grade of the tumor and other demographics.
The defense maintained that the lesion was extremely subtle in the 2013 scan and could be confused with the loop of bowel. They also maintained the lesion was even missed by other experts. The resolution included the settlement of any wrongful death claims.
The claim was filed in December 2017 and concluded 67 days later, in February of this year. “Due to our client’s extremely poor prognosis, we asked for, and were granted an expedited hearing date,” Johnson told Leaders In The Law. She added that the resolution was bittersweet because a few short weeks after the case settled, the plaintiff died. “I was especially pleased that we secured this settlement for the victim and her family with such speed while our client was still with us,” she said.
Jennifer R. Johnson will be featured in the upcoming edition of Southern California’s Leading Lawyers 2018.