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Warren County Businessman Receives Record $11.6 Million Medical Malpractice Verdict

 The medical malpractice verdict is the largest ever handed down in Warren County and is believed to be the largest for an adult in the history of the entire 11-county Fourth Judicial District.

ALBANY, NY – James E. Bell, M.D. and Adirondack Radiology Associates, P.C. have been slapped with a record $11.6 million medical malpractice verdict after a unanimous finding that Dr. Bell’s failure to properly interpret and report a CT scan caused Kevin Orr, a Warren County small business owner, to suffer a stroke that left him permanently disabled, his attorneys said.

A physician’s assistant in the Emergency Department at Glens Falls Hospital had ordered a CT scan of the brain on January 25, 2012, after Mr. Orr came to the emergency room with a documented history of dizziness, headaches and the inability to stand, said attorney Margie Soehl, of the Albany law firm of Powers & Santola, LLP.

According to court documents:

Mr. Orr alleged that the CT scan showed that a blood vessel supplying blood to his brain was blocked, but that this serious abnormality was not reported by Dr. Bell to the emergency room provider who had ordered the scan. As a result of that failure by Dr. Bell, Mr. Orr was diagnosed as having a sinus infection and was discharged.

Because of Dr. Bell’s failure to identify and report the stroke seen on the CT scan images, the stroke was not diagnosed and Mr. Orr was not prescribed blood-thinning drugs that would have prevented a future, and more damaging, stroke. Seven weeks later, Mr. Orr suffered a second massive stroke that left him permanently disabled, said attorney Laura Jordan, who tried the case with Ms. Soehl.

“This is an unprecedented verdict in Warren County, through the use of technology in the courtroom the jurors were able to recognize that Dr. Bell had failed to report the stroke on January 25, 2012 that resulted in life altering injuries to Kevin Orr,” attorney Margie Soehl said.

According to the verdict that was handed down Monday, a Warren County Supreme Court jury composed of five women and one man concluded that Dr. Bell’s malpractice “was a substantial factor in causing the injuries and damages suffered by Kevin Orr.”

The trial began on February 1, 2016 before Supreme Court Justice Thomas Buchanan and included testimony from experts in the fields of radiology, neurology, rehabilitative medicine and economics.

“What happened to Kevin Orr is devastating. The six jurors of Warren County recognized that Dr. Bell needed to be held accountable for his negligence. That is what our civil justice system is designed to do,” said attorney Laura Jordan.

Before becoming disabled, Mr. Orr owned and operated DSO Machining & Consulting in Comstock, which did aerospace machining.

“I am very thankful to Margie Soehl and Laura Jordan for fighting for me both inside and outside of the courtroom. They were my voice when Dr. Bell didn’t want to take responsibility for causing the disabilities that I deal with everyday,” Kevin Orr said.

Dr. Bell was represented by Kevin Burke of the Albany law firm of Burke, Scolamiero, Mortati & Hurd, LLP.

The $11.6 million medical malpractice verdict is the largest ever handed down in Warren County and is believed to be the largest for an adult in the history of the entire 11-county Fourth Judicial District, Jordan said.*

Margie Soehl and Laura Jordan of the Albany law firm of Powers & Santola, LLP, represented the plaintiff in the case of Kevin Orr vs. James E. Bell, M.D. and Adirondack Radiology Associates, P.C., filed in Warren County Supreme Court, Index # 58820.

For additional information please contact Margie Soehl at (518) 465-5995.

*The Fourth Judicial District consists of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Saratoga, Schenectady, St. Lawrence, Warren and Washington counties.

About Powers & Santola, LLP

Founded in 1987, the law firm of Powers & Santola, LLP, assists individuals in Albany and Onondaga counties and throughout New York State who have suffered serious, catastrophic injuries due to the carelessness of others. The firm primarily focuses on medical malpractice, including cases involving the delayed diagnosis of cancer and construction site accident cases. The firm’s main office is located at 39 North Pearl Street, Suite 6, Albany, NY 12207 (local phone 518-465-5995). Please contact the firm to learn more.

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