Medical malpractice litigation in Oregon and other jurisdictions may involve complicated legal issues that the parties raise for various tactical reasons. That is why a seasoned and experienced medical malpractice attorney is one's best assurance of getting the strongest possible outcome. A simple factual scenario of several doctors making a misdiagnosis or a late diagnosis can sometimes meander into a procedural morass; the plaintiff's attorney will use his or her experience to unravel the matter and get it moving forward again.
In a recent appellate case in another jurisdiction, the facts were that a man saw his primary care physician with complaints of abdominal pain and cramping. The doctor ordered a CT scan. The defendant radiologist interpreted the scan and wrote up a report. The patient claimed in his lawsuit that the radiologist had missed a gastric ulcer that appeared on the scan. With no relief, the man returned to the hospital emergency room several times.
After being shuffled back and forth and having several doctors fail to make a correct diagnosis, he went to another hospital. A CT scan found a large perforated gastric ulcer, which required the patient to undergo surgery. The patient filed a lawsuit against the original set of physicians and hospitals, but several defendants asked for a change of venue from one county in the state to another one.
The court denied the requests, and the defendants appealed. The appellate court denied the appeals, explaining that the defendants were either located in the forum county or they did work there. The two counties in question, in fact, were contiguous to each other, which proved an element of insincerity to the requests.
The court concluded that the defendants were not upset about the place of trial but were likely more upset about the fact of trial. The case stayed in its original county and was sent back for a trial on the misdiagnosis issue. Such procedural side journeys are common in Oregon as well as all jurisdictions. The appellate court got to the heart of the matter and made what appears to be a correct and well-reasoned decision.
Source: madisonrecord.com, "Fifth District affirms Mudge's order denying transfer in medical malpractice suit; Concluded 'fact of trial' rather than 'place of trial' is inconvenient", Heather Isringhausen Gvillo, Nov. 15, 2016