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Medical Malpractice Timeline Animation Aids in Settlement 4x Initial Offer

In 2019, a VA-contracted physician met with a man who exhibited symptoms warranting a colonoscopy, including persistent rectal bleeding and abdominal pain. She attributed it to hemorrhoids and neglected to examine him. This disregard proved fatal for her patient.

The doctor prescribed the man hemorrhoid treatment, but his symptoms continued. He knew something was wrong. Two months later, the man pleaded with the doctor for a colonoscopy referral, but she refused. Unable to schedule a colonoscopy without a referral, the man switched doctors. Tragically, when he was finally seen by a gastroenterologist eight months later, doctors diagnosed him with stage 4 rectal cancer. The man underwent many agonizing rounds of chemotherapy, but the cancer spread to his vital organs.

As the man deteriorated, he and his wife searched for an attorney to hold the physician and her clinic accountable. They retained an attorney who filed their lawsuit. The attorney gathered the evidence, deposed the man to document his testimony, and filed a federal declaratory judgment. After the action was resolved in favor of the Plaintiffs, the attorney referred the case to Dan Luginbill and Julia Flumian of McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC.

Unfortunately, as the case continued, the man died. Without his testimony, Dan and Julia sought the help of several medical experts, including an internist, an oncologist, and a primary care physician, to help give evidence and establish causation. Their oncologist opined that the Defendant had several opportunities to refer the man for a colonoscopy, which may have prevented his death.

Dan and Julia met with the opposing counsel to mediate. Towards the end of the meeting, the mediator met with both parties separately. The Defendants brought an offer so low, the mediator refused to share it with Dan. After several expert depositions, Dan and Julia attended another unsuccessful mediation. There, the Defense offered a seven-figure amount to settle, but Dan and Julia declined and planned for trial.

As they prepared their oncologist to testify, they anticipated a jury would have trouble following along without a visualization. Thus, they brought on DK Global to work with them and their doctors to create a medical timeline that effectively presented their evidence and expert opinions.

The animation commenced with an anatomical view of the Plaintiff’s abdomen, showing the early stage-one rectal cancer. Each event on the timeline was highlighted green, yellow, or red to signify the points where medical intervention would have increased his chances of survival. The timeline explained that the man met with the Defendant two months after his initial emergency room visit. Six months later, the Plaintiff’s cancer progressed and the Defendant still refused to refer him for a colonoscopy, forcing him to switch doctors. The animation explained the new doctor referred him to a surgeon, who finally ordered a colonoscopy. More than a year after his initial emergency room visit, his cancer advanced to stage four before the tumor was finally discovered. The man underwent colostomy surgery, but unfortunately, it was too late – the cancer had spread to his right lung and liver.

Dan shared the animation with the Defense and the judge. He asserted that a jury would have no problem understanding the gravity of the Defendant’s malpractice with the timeline. Eight days before trial, the Defense contacted Dan and Julia, looking to mediate. They agreed to settle the case for an amount 4x more than the Defense’s initial seven-figure offer.

For 22 years, Dan Luginbill of McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC, one of South Carolina's most successful plaintiffs’ firms, has represented those involved in medical malpractice and personal injury matters. Recently selected as a “Super Lawyer,” Dan has tried dozens of personal injury trials to verdict, earning himself recognition as one of the top-rated attorneys in the nation.

Since 2008, Julia Marie Flumian of McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC has specialized in several areas of law including personal injury, medical malpractice, and estate and trust litigation. A member of the South Carolina Association for Justice and the Charleston County Bar, Julia brings a passion for obtaining justice for her clients.


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"It is unquestionable that having the animation made them [the Defense] decide not to try the case."
Dan Luginbill – McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC




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