WHEN INSURANCE COMPANIES DEFEND THE INDEFENSIBLE – An Expert Witness Struggles to Help a Fellow Doctor

My client’s husband suffered immense pain for four days lying in a local hospital with a very swollen abdomen. Ordinarily a slender healthy man that walked three miles a day, later testimony of a friend that visited him on day four described him as looking nine months pregnant.

A radiologist reading a CT scan of his abdomen done upon his admission had measured his cecum (where the small intestine connects to the colon) at seventeen centimeters.  One of the slides in that CT scan revealed a  sign (said to resemble a bird’s beak) which was a classic indication that my client’s husband’s colon had twisted on itself (a sigmoid volvulus).

On day five in the hospital, my client’s husband’s internal organs shut down as his colon had been starved of its blood supply until it had died. He underwent emergency surgery, but it was too late. While he did survive the surgery, he spent his remaining days in a rehab facility, in what can only be described as horrific condition, never fully recovering. He went on to incur $1,800,000.00 in medical bills before he died six months later.

I was proud to file an Arkansas medical malpractice action on behalf of his wonderful wife and family. The primary defendants in the lawsuit were the radiologist, who we contended misread the initial CT,  and the internal medicine doctor, who we contended allowed his deterioration instead of involving a surgeon.  Although we provided detailed affidavits of numerous very good physicians, who found the radiologist and the attending physician to have acted beneath the standard of care resulting in this tragedy, we were fought every step of the way. Even after the defense attorneys deposed our experts, the insurance companies on the other side kept dumping money into defending the suit instead of accepting responsibility.

I tell this story as a preface to showing the following video clips. When defense attorneys are forced to hire expert witnesses to defend the indefensible, the results are often rather sad. (btw: The radiologist we sued testified that he considered the massive 17 cm cecum to be a “chronic” condition, although he never reported this, and thus, he did not call the ordering physician and alert him of the danger.) I asked his expert about this:

So how can you say he acted within the standard of care?

Mulkey Law Firm stands ready to help individuals and families whose lives are forever changed due to medical negligence. We look forward to showing big wealthy insurance companies the light!.