Following a six-day trial, Tracy Kolb, secured a defense verdict for a small rural hospital in North Dakota. The estate for the Plaintiff sought $2.5 million in damages, alleging our hospital client was negligent because it did not have a policy that told a radiologist how to communicate a CT finding incidental to a critical, life-threatening pulmonary embolism, for which the patient was transferred from the hospital’s emergency department to another hospital to receive the higher level of necessary life-saving care. Everything about the patient’s condition was sent to the receiving hospital.

A few years later, after surviving the pulmonary embolism, the patient returned to the emergency department suffering a stroke. The workup revealed the patient had metastatic kidney cancer, the origin of which was depicted on the earlier CT, that had spread to the brain and lungs. The patient did not survive the cancer. It was unfortunate and unintended that the patient’s cancer was not recognized earlier, but it was not a consequence of the absence of a policy by the hospital. In less than an hour of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict finding the hospital was not at fault.

Tracy has been practicing law in North Dakota since 1995. She has practiced in the private and public sector handling litigation, administrative and legislative matters, and legal and regulatory compliance matters, particularly in the health care setting. Her private practice has been devoted primarily to litigation, mostly representing health care providers—hospitals, clinics, physicians, nurses, and long-term care facilities—and the defense of medical malpractice cases. Tracy has also represented providers in state regulatory licensing and disciplinary matters.