Jury: Physicians not at fault for missed rare spine disease — 4 insights

Written by Eric Oliver | December 03, 2019 | Print  |

A federal jury said two physicians were not at fault after they failed to diagnose a man with a disease that affects 5 in 5 million people, which a lawsuit claimed led to missed treatment opportunities, Law.com reports.

What you should know:

1. Daniel Shaw contracted neurosarcoidosis, a rare disease for which there is no cure. He sued his primary care provider, David Boaz, MD, and orthopedic spine specialist Ali Mortazavi, DO, on the grounds that they failed to diagnose the disease and prescribe high-dose steroids that would've prevented his eventual paralysis.

2. The jury sided with Drs. Boaz and Mortazavi on the grounds that even if the physicians had correctly diagnosed the disease, it would've been impossible to treat, as there is no known cure.

3. The case began in 2013 when Mr. Shaw was involved in a car accident. He visited Dr. Boaz, who prescribed pain medication. The pain worsened and Mr. Shaw was then referred to Dr. Mortazavi, who scheduled an MRI.

4. Before the MRI, Mr. Shaw returned to Dr. Boaz complaining of numbness, pain and difficulty urinating. Dr. Boaz expedited the MRI, but the results were inconclusive. Nine days later, Mr. Shaw could no longer walk. Mr. Shaw's thoracic spinal cord was severely inflamed and Mr. Shaw was initially diagnosed with transverse myelitis, but the condition was ultimately diagnosed as neurosarcoidosis.

5. It's unclear if Mr. Shaw's attorneys will appeal the ruling.

More articles on spine:
RTI Surgical receives FDA clearance for spinal fixation device
OrthoIndy's Dr. Dean Maar dies during home invasion
NASS, The Spine Journal honor Indian research team for lumbar disc disease paper

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2019. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies here.

Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months