$3.3 million verdict awarded in Maryland after radiology practice fails to detect stage I cancer

By Stephanie Srakocic | Fact-checked by Davi Sherman
Published March 22, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • A thickening was visible in a Maryland woman’s CT scan but a radiologist reportedly noted it as a normal variant.

  • The growth was terminal stage IV cancer by the time it was diagnosed in 2022.  

  • The $3.3 million verdict is the largest in Wicomico County, MD history.

Late last month, a Maryland woman was awarded $3.38 million in a medical malpractice verdict against  Peninsula Radiology Associates after the practice failed to diagnose her Stage I cancer. A Wicomico County, MD, jury ruled in favor of Tim and Mary Raver in their malpractice case against Peter Libby, MD, and Peninsula Radiology Associates, PA. The unanimous verdict found that Dr. Libby had violated standards of care when he failed to report a thickening of Mary Raver’s right salivary gland on a 2014 CT scan. Raver’s condition had progressed to terminal Stage IV cancer by the time it was diagnosed in January 2022. [][] []

Raver first noticed a small bump developing in front of her right ear in early March 2021. Her primary care physician referred her to Peninsula Radiology Associates for a CT scan of her neck. Dr. Libby read her scan and classified the results as a “normal variant”; he did not recommend further testing or treatment.[][]

In July 2021, Raver again sought care from a specialist because she’d noticed increases in the growth on her neck. Raver underwent surgery in January 2022. During surgery, it was found that the mass had grown more than 5 centimeters and had wrapped around Raver’s facial nerve. Pathology at this time revealed Stage IV cancer that had metastasized in Raver’s bones and liver.[]

The Raver family sued Peninsula Radiology Associates and Dr. Libby in 2022. In the complaint, the Ravers alleged that Dr. Libby violated standards of care by failing to accurately interpret and identify abnormalities on Mary Raver’s CT scan, leading to the progression of her cancer. The family sued for negligence, non-economic damages, including loss of consortium, and economic damages[]

During the February 2024 trial, the jury saw an image of the initial 2014 CT scan. Reportedly, expert witnesses testified that the thickening was visible in the image and suggested Raver’s cancer would have been treatable had it been diagnosed at that stage. During the case, it was pointed out that Dr. Libby was reading up to 130 CT scans a day in 2014.[]

The $3.38 million award is the largest in Wicomico County’s history. However, Maryland has a cap on non-economic damages, and this award will eventually be reduced by $300,000.[]

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