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Jury Awards $11.5M Settlement, Ending Medical Malpractice Suit Against Radiologist

— June 10, 2019

A medical malpractice lawsuit against a Newton-Wellesley Hospital radiologist recently settled for 11.5 million.

The family of a Framingham girl was recently awarded $11.5 million, ending a medical malpractice lawsuit the family had filed against a radiologist at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. According to the suit, Radiologist Dr. William Denison, was negligent while caring for Anna Coelho. Coelho visited the hospital 10 years ago when she began experiencing heart problems.

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Legal Gavel; Image Courtesy of

The incident all began back in 2009 when Coelho was 18-months-old. On April 12, 2009, her father took her to the hospital “with complaints of vomiting and possible dehydration.” While there, the child underwent a chest X-ray. From there, Denison determined that “bronchiolitis v. atypical pneumonia was likely present,” according to the suit. However, he also identified that Coelho’s heart was enlarged, and did nothing. That enlarged heart ended up being myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle that caused the child to go into cardiac arrest. She also suffered permanent brain damage as a result.

During the litigation process, the attorney’s representing Coelho argued that if Denison had reported her enlarged heart, the child would have “undergone an echocardiogram, her myocarditis would have been diagnosed and treated, and more likely than not, Anna would not have suffered heart failure and cardiac arrest which resulted in her severe and permanent neurological injury.”

The trial over the matter took place earlier this month. After two weeks of deliberating in Middlesex Superior Court, a jury reached a verdict. Their verdict found Denison “negligent in his care and treatment of Coelho” and also found that he was a “ substantial contributing factor in causing injury to her.”

One of Coehlo’s attorney’s, William Thompson, welcomed the verdict. He said his client, “who is now 11, functions in some ways as a 4-year-old in terms of her development, because of the episode.” He added:

“We’re very happy that the jury recognized that the harm to Anna Coelho was preventable and the seriousness of that x-ray should not have been dismissed, without further examination.”

Prior to the verdict, attorneys for the defendants pushed back against the accusations and argued the defendants “complied with the standard of care with respect to all of the treatment and care they provided to Anna Coelho.” A pre-trial memorandum further read:

“Anna did not present with any signs or symptoms that would raise a suspicion of viral myocarditis and she was appropriately transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital when her condition suddenly deteriorated. Thus, they further expect that the evidence will show that nothing they did or failed to do caused or contributed to the plaintiff’s alleged injuries.”


Jury awards $11.5 million to Framingham girl in medical malpractice suit

Framingham girl awarded $11.5 million; jury finds radiologist at Newton-Wellesley hospital negligent

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