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Verdict Information: On Feb 5, the jury ruled in favor of the defense. Post-verdict, the case was settled as to one of the defendants pursuant to a high/low agreement-the details of which were not disclosed. The plaintiff also requested a new trial regarding Mid Atlantic, based on an alleged erroneous jury instruction on proximate cause.


Estate of Gerri Fuentes v. Nancy Hundt, M.D., Kaiser Foundation Health Plan
Failure to Diagnose Cancer Didn't Cause Woman's Death
Case Type: Wrongful Death
Case: Estate of Gerri Fuentes v. Nancy Hundt, M.D., Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Mid Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, No. 00-364
Venue: Arlington County, Circuit Court, VA
Judge: Joanne F. Alper
 
Verdict Date: 02-05-2002

Plaintiff(s)
Attorney:
R. Craig Jennings; Falls Church, VA, for Gerri Fuentes

Expert:
Thomas Butler M.D.; Oncology; Arlington, VA called by: R. Jennings
Raymond Hoare M.D.; Internal Medicine; Arlington, VA called by: R. Jennings
 
Defendant(s)
Attorney:
Adam W. Smith; Fairfax, VA, for Nancy Hundt, M.D.
Gary W. Brown; Fairfax, VA, for Nancy Hundt, M.D.
Jonathan M. Petty; Richmond, VA, for Mid Atlantic Permanente Medical Group
Robert W. Goodson; Washington, DC, for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan
Rodney K. Adams; Richmond, VA, for Mid Atlantic Permanente Medical Group
William B. Schroeder; Washington, DC, for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan
 
Expert:
Peter Cook M.D.; Otolaryngology; Baltimore, MD called by: Gary Brown,Adam Smith,William Schroeder,Robert Goodson,Rodney Adams,Jonathan Petty
Michael Hartwick M.D.; Internal Medicine; Fairfax, VA called by: Gary Brown,Adam Smith,William Schroeder,Robert Goodson,Rodney Adams,Jonathan Petty
James Stark M.D.; Oncology; Portsmouth, VA called by: Gary Brown,Adam Smith,William Schroeder,Robert Goodson,Rodney Adams,Jonathan Petty
Mitchell Miller M.D.; Family Medicine; Virginia Beach, VA called by: Gary Brown,Adam Smith,William Schroeder,Robert Goodson,Rodney Adams,Jonathan Petty
 
The family of a woman who died allegedly from a doctor's failure to diagnose her cancer was denied any recovery by a Virginia jury on Feb. 5. 

Gerri Fuentes, a 47-year-old owner/manager of a driving school, went to see Nancy Hundt, M.D., at the Kaiser Foundation medical center about swollen lymph nodes. At the center, which was staffed by Mid Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, Fuentes underwent several tests, all of which came back normal. Hundt then referred Fuentes to a second doctor at the center for a follow-up and additional testing, but Fuentes never followed up. Several months later, Fuentes saw a third doctor, who diagnosed her with nasopharyngeal cancer. Fuentes, who underwent radiation treatment and chemotherapy, died two and a half years later.

The plaintiff alleged that Hundt's failure to diagnose Fuentes' cancer resulted in her death and that Kaiser Foundation and Mid Atlantic Permanente were vicariously liable for Hundt's actions. The Hundt defense contended that the doctors carried out the appropriate standard of car and even if a diagnosis of cancer had been made, Fuentes would have died anyway. The Kaiser defense contended that it was not Hundt's employer and thus was not responsible for her actions.
 

Injury: 

The plaintiff sought damages for Fuentes' wrongful death resulting from an alleged failure to diagnose nasopharyngeal cancer.
 

Verdict Information: On Feb 5, the jury ruled in favor of the defense. Post-verdict, the case was settled as to one of the defendants pursuant to a high/low agreement-the details of which were not disclosed. The plaintiff also requested a new trial regarding Mid Atlantic, based on an alleged erroneous jury instruction on proximate cause.



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