Firm obtains defense verdict for nurse practitioner

BOSTON/PROVIDENCE (March 2, 2012) – Angela Carr recently persuaded a Massachusetts Superior Court jury that a nurse practitioner and her medical practice employer provided proper care and treatment to a woman who eventually died of lung cancer.

In the wrongful death case, the woman’s husband alleged that the firm’s clients negligently failed to diagnose the woman’s lung cancer by not ordering or performing a CT scan of the chest.

However, Carr presented evidence demonstrating that the nurse practitioner during the course of treating the woman over a four-year period complied with professional medical standards and responded appropriately during each of the woman’s routine physicals and sick visits.

Over the course of the eight-day trial, the evidence in the case showed that the woman, a 25-year smoker, did not exhibit any symptoms of lung cancer until 7 months after she was last seen by the nurse practitioner. Subsequent testing ultimately revealed that the woman had advanced stage lung cancer. She died within four months of diagnosis at age 40.

After three hours of deliberations, the Plymouth Superior Court jury found that the nurse practitioner and her employer were not negligent and returned a verdict in their favor.

“We are pleased that the jury decided in favor of our clients. The evidence showed that the nurse practitioner appropriately responded to all of the patient’s complaints and counseled her regarding any risk factors that she presented,” Carr said. “No major medical organization recommends screening a patient with no symptoms of lung cancer simply because they smoke. The standard of care for treating a smoker is to counsel them to stop smoking.”

About Barton Gilman

Barton Gilman is one of New England’s leading civil litigation law firms with offices in Boston and Providence, including its active medical liability practice. Its experienced trial attorneys appear regularly in the federal and state courts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The Providence Business News has named the firm four consecutive years as one of Rhode Island’s Best Places to Work (2008–2011).