FKB’S TRACY S. KATZ OBTAINS SUMMARY JUDGMENT DISMISSING A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE AGAINST A RADIOLOGY FACILITY

05/24/2021

FKB’s Tracy S. Katz obtained summary judgment on behalf of FKB’s client, a radiology facility, based on the argument that the facility did not owe the patient a duty of care as no physician-patient relationship was established.

The case involved the alleged failure to timely diagnose and treat an ischemic condition of the plaintiff’s right leg leading to a below the knee amputation. Plaintiff alleged that a co-defendant, orthopedic surgeon, ordered a Doppler ultrasound as “stat” study, but the radiology facility did not schedule or perform the study until two days later and that this was the proximate cause of the patient’s leg amputation.

FKB argued that as of the dates of alleged negligence, our client, the radiology facility, had never seen the plaintiff, never treated the plaintiff, and never had any direct communication or contact with the plaintiff. Therefore, there was no actual physician-patient relationship as a matter of law. Furthermore, all of the case law where the Courts have found an “implied” physician-patient relationship consist of situations where a physician was asked to consult with regard to the care of a patient and there was some evidence that the physician communicated advice regarding a course of treatment that was relied upon by either the patient or the referring physician. In the instant case, there is no evidence that anyone, much less a physician from the radiology facility, was consulted or provided advice regarding a course of treatment to the plaintiff. In addition, we argued that there is absolutely no precedent to support expanding the physician-patient relationship to apply to non-medical personnel.

Despite plaintiff’s counsel opposing FKB’s motion with an expert radiologist, the Judge agreed with our arguments that based on the case law and the facts of this case, there was no physician-patient relationship between the radiology facility and the plaintiff.

Judge McMahon of Supreme Court, New York County, granted our motion for summary judgment and dismissed this case against FKB’s client entirely.

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