An Indiana jury has awarded $5 million to a Mooresville woman still experiencing ill effects from a misdiagnosis nearly a decade ago at Methodist Hospital.
Roxxanna Smith, then 18, arrived at the emergency room in July 2000 with a ruptured diaphragm after playing softball. But through a series of miscommunications about what was shown by X-rays, her lawyers said, doctors instead diagnosed a urinary tract infection and muscle strain — and sent Smith home.
Her condition deteriorating, she saw doctors several times over more than two weeks. Emergency surgery confirmed the correct diagnosis, court documents say, and resulted in the removal of a third of her stomach.
Still today, Smith, now 27, must limit food intake to avoid vomiting, said her attorney Steve Willsey, Indianapolis. She has had six surgeries and expects to experience further complications.
The jury awarded damages Friday against Clarian Health Partners, Radiologic Specialists of Indiana and now-retired Dr. Richard L. Gilmor, a radiologist.
Indiana’s medical malpractice cap will cut the verdict to $1.25 million. The law limits the exposure of each health-care provider to $250,000, with the balance paid by the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund.
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