SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Luvera Law Firm announced an $18 million settlement with Swedish Health Services and others in a medical negligence case involving a radiologist who failed to identify evidence of a brain hemorrhage in an MRI for Isabel De Jesus-Congdon, a former Swedish Health lactation nurse. Several other Swedish physicians relied on the radiologist’s faulty conclusions, as De Jesus-Congdon continued to seek care until she ultimately suffered a catastrophic stroke, leaving the 61-year-old mother of two with irreparable cognitive and physical injuries.
“Mrs. De Jesus-Congdon advocated for her care repeatedly over two weeks, including three visits to the emergency room, and the Swedish Health Services system failed her,” said Robert Gellatly of Luvera Law Firm, the lead attorney representing the Congdon family. “Then, throughout this case, the defense tried time after time to avoid responsibility. This settlement is a huge relief for the family after a long and hard-fought battle for accountability.”
For several years, De Jesus-Congdon’s husband, adult daughters and their attorneys fought to hold Swedish responsible for the negligence of Dr. Richard Travis Clark, an attending radiologist with a large radiology group under contract with Swedish, when De Jesus-Congdon suffered her devastating stroke. The health system pushed back, denying responsibility and, alternatively, placed blame on co-defendants Seattle Radiologists and Integra Imaging – Clark’s employers.
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Then in spring 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the family encountered new headwinds when defense attorneys insisted on conducting depositions in person, which was not possible with pandemic-related travel and social-distancing restrictions, and would have added considerable delays to the case. Ultimately, the Luvera team won a motion allowing all-remote video depositions and preventing defense counsel from using in-person attendance as an excuse to delay the case. The motion is believed to be the first granted by King County Superior Court and has been cited by other cases to support virtual depositions.
“We immediately recognized the importance for this case, and others like it, to continue to move forward in a timely manner,” Gellatly said. “Not only do video depositions ensure the safety of witnesses, reporters, counsel and others, they also allow for a more efficient and cost-effective discovery process. We wanted to alleviate the burden on the Congdon family, and knew that we could prevent a delay by quickly using the technology available to us.”