MIAMI, Oct. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Steven L. Lubell, Esq., and Mark L. Rosen, Esq., partners at Lubell Rosen – A Law Firm for Medical Professionals and the Healthcare Industry – are pleased to announce that on Sept. 30, 2014, the firm achieved a complete defense verdict for its client, defendant Jorge Jose Sowers, M.D., in a failure to detect breast cancer case. The jury rejected the plaintiff’s theory of liability against Dr. Sowers in court case # 12-41665 CA 10 (Hortensia Martin, Alain Martin and Alan Martin, Plaintiffs v. Jorge Sowers, MD, defendant).
The plaintiff’s counsel, Maria Rubio, Esq. of Miami, Fla., requested damages in excess of $26 million. The defendant was insured by Lancet Indemnity RRG, a physician owned and directed professional liability insurance carrier.
Lubell Rosen Partners Lubell and Aldo M. Leiva, Esq. represented the defendant. Associates Ariel Widlansky and Josh Bloom also participated for the defense. The case was heard by Judge Peter Lopez for the 11th Judicial Circuit for Miami-Dade County, Florida.
The plaintiff, 41-year-old patient Hortensia Martin, alleged that Dr. Sowers failed to detect cancer in her right breast. The plaintiff’s counsel requested damages in the amount of $5,316,940 in lost earnings, past and future medicals; and $20,985,000 in pain and suffering.
Court records confirmed that the plaintiff went for a routine mammogram screening test on July 14, 2008, which was interpreted by Dr. Sowers, a radiologist. The mammography report, which was offered into evidence, identified a “nodule” in the plaintiff’s right breast. It was uncontroverted at trial that the plaintiff’s primary care doctor never met with the patient nor informed the plaintiff of the results. It was also uncontroverted that the plaintiff subsequently presented to a second primary care doctor complaining of breast pain.
Lubell called both primary care doctors as adverse witnesses. The first primary care doctor admitted that it took four months for him to fax the plaintiff a copy of her mammography report. The second primary care doctor admitted that although she saw the plaintiff on four occasions, she did not review the mammography report at all.
Lubell called Kevin Inwood, M.D., a board certified internal medicine specialist of Jupiter, Fla., to testify against the primary care doctors. Dr. Inwood testified that the primary care doctors fell below the standard of care by failing to refer the plaintiff for a surgical consult and/or surgical biopsy. Expert testimony offered by both parties confirmed that had a surgical biopsy been ordered within a year of the original finding, the plaintiff’s cancer more likely than not would have been detected before it metastasized.
The plaintiff’s oncologist testified that approximately one year later, the plaintiff developed metastasized cancer, which spread from her breast to her lymph nodes and ultimately to her vertebrae. By the time of trial, the plaintiff’s cancer progressed and testimony offered at court indicated that her life expectancy is less than two years.
Court records confirm that the plaintiff dismissed both primary care doctors as co-defendants prior to trial.
The plaintiff’s counsel argued that Dr. Sowers actually knew that there was cancer on the film in 2008, but failed to indicate it in his report. Counsel played to the jury a videotaped deposition, taken in 2013, in which Dr. Sowers admitted he was aware of cancer in July of 2008. Dr. Sowers subsequently recanted the testimony in a later deposition, claiming that he was confused at the earlier deposition.
“As medical malpractice defense attorneys, we were able to successfully defend our client in this very difficult case,” said Lubell. “As we do for all of our clients, we worked diligently to prove Dr. Sowers’ innocence.”
Lubell closed the trial by stating to the jury, “Our hearts go out to Ms. Martin and her family. However, Dr. Sowers did nothing wrong in this case, except give a bad deposition.”
About Lubell Rosen
Lubell Rosen is a law firm dedicated to providing full service representation as well as defending and protecting physicians, healthcare professionals and businesses in the healthcare industry. The firm has been named a U.S. Top Ranked Law Firm by FORTUNE Money Magazine. Only the finest attorneys are invited to join the practice. Lubell Rosen’s headquarters are located at 200 S. Andrews Ave., Suite 900, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. To reach Lubell Rosen’s headquarters, call 954-880-9500. The firm also has offices in Coral Gables, FL. and Syosset, N.Y. For more information, visit www.lubellrosen.com.
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SOURCE Lubell Rosen