Missed hip fracture left woman
with permanent disability, suit says
By David Baker
Posted Nov. 19, 2014
A woman who was sent to physical therapy with a broken hip after a radiologist reported that there was no fracture is claiming compensation from the doctor, his medical group and Ellis Hospital in Schenectady.
This, according to the lawsuit, is what happened: In October 2012, Marilyn Snare fell while at Proctor’s Theater in Schenectady and was taken by ambulance to the emergency room at Ellis Hospital, where ex-ray images and CT scans of her left hip were taken. Later, in a report of a review of the x-rays, a radiologist, Dr. John D. Fulco, wrote that “no fractures or dislocations are documented.”
Snare went home, where she continued to complain of extreme pain in her left hip.
The next day, Snare’s daughters brought her back to Ellis Hospital, but despite Snare’s complaints of excruciating pain and her repeated requests for either more x-rays or at least another review of the earlier images, no further x-rays were done. Snare was given a referral for physical therapy.
Two days later Snare was discharged with a transfer summary signed by an Ellis Hospital staff physician, Pajesh Ghimire, in which one notation said: “CT of Pelvis without IV contrast, Impression of fracture, dislocation is evident,” while another note said “Hip X-ray: Impression, Degenerative Joint, left hip joint, no fracture of dislocation noted.”
For the following nine days, Snare received physical therapy at the Ellis Residential and Rehabilitation Center, where staff members noted in her chart that she was in “screaming pain,” and while her daughters repeatedly asked for either another x-ray or a review of the existing images.
“Finally, on October 16, 2012, a further MRI was performed which revealed that the Plaintiff now had a displaced fracture of her left hip. On October 22, 2012, the Plaintiff’s left hip was operated on and repaired by means of an artificial hip.”
According to the compliant, Snare has been permanently disabled as a result of the failure to report a non-displaced fracture of the neck of the left femur which, it says, “is “obvious to a layman and should clearly have been detected by a trained radiologist … the progression of the Plaintiff’s left hip from the non-displaced fracture shown in Exhibit ‘A’ to the displaced fracture shown in Exhibit ‘C’ all took place during and as a result of the physical therapy and/or rehabilitate services prescribed for and administer to the Plaintiff by the Defendant Ellis Hospital.
“Prior to October 2, 2012, the Plaintiff was a healthy and fully independent widower [sic], living independently in a two-story house and who had just purchased a new vehicle in which to get herself around. Following the operation on October 22, 2012, she has not regained the full use of her left leg and she now requires full-time live-in assistance, cannot drive an automobile and ambulates by means of a walker.”
In addition to Fulco, the complaint names Schenectady Radiologists and Ellis Hospital. It was filed by the Tuttle Law Firm of Schenectady.
Representing the defendants are the law firms Thorne, Gershon, Tymann & Bonanni, and Burke, Scolamiero, Mortati & Hurd, both of Albany.
A check of archives of the area’s three daily newspapers – including the Schenectady-based Daily Gazette – produced no indication that details of the lawsuit have been published.