Connecticut jury awards $9M to man injured by collapsing imaging table

By Stephanie Srakocic | Fact-checked by Davi Sherman
Published April 30, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • An imaging table collapsed under a Connecticut man after staff reportedly assured him it could hold his weight.

  • The man allegedly sustained significant injuries and now has right-sided hemiparesis. 

  • After a 3-week trial, a jury ruled in favor of the patient and awarded a $9 million verdict.  

James Griswold came to the Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists P.C. of Bridgeport, CT, in 2014 for a “nuclear stress and/or other radiologic imaging” test. Mr. Griswold was 6 feet, 4 inches tall, and weighed approximately 340 pounds at the time of the test. The imaging table collapsed under Griswold shortly after he got on top of it, resulting in significant injuries. In 2016, Griswold and his wife, Diana, brought a malpractice suit against Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists and two healthcare providers at the practice: physician Micheal Logue, MD, and radiologic technologist Joyce Giannelli.[][] 

According to the lawsuit, Griswold had a history of back injuries. He expressed concern to staff about the table holding his weight but was assured that it had previously “held persons much bigger than he.” Additionally, the suit alleges that Giannelli and other staff told Griswold not to “tell her/them how to do her/their jobs.”[] 

Contrary to the staff’s assurances, the table quickly broke under Griswold’s weight. Reportedly, the head of the table hit the floor with “sudden force and violence,” resulting in injuries to Griswold. 

The resulting injuries 

Griswold sustained back, neck, and spinal injuries that required surgical treatment. Following his surgeries, Griswold developed septic emboli, Leading to a stroke and brain abscess.[] 

Today, Griswold has right-sided hemiparesis; he is unable to walk independently and has permanent speech and communication impairments. According to the lawsuit, Griswold has faced numerous health challenges in the years since he fell from the exam table; he’s reportedly had multiple serious infections, including pneumonia and bacteremia. Additionally, Griswold has experienced conditions such as rhabdomyolysis, kidney failure, changes in mental status, delirium, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, edema in the lower extremities, and neuropathy.[]

The Griswolds’ malpractice suit alleges that Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists, Giannelli, and Dr. Logue were negligent and careless in their treatment of Griswold. The suit argues that the defendants had a responsibility to know the weight limits of the exam table, stating that they should have checked the weight-bearing capacities of the table and ensured that Griswold’s weight did not exceed those capacities. Additionally, the suit argues that Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists had a responsibility to consider the possibility that the table would not support Griswold appropriately and explore potential alternative testing methods.[] 

Additional information from the defense 

The defense for Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists stated that on the day of his nuclear stress test, Giannelli spoke with Griswold multiple times. In her own reports of the day, Gianelli recorded Griswold’s fall and reported that she asked him if he‌ was OK. According to her notes, Griswold stated that he was fine at the time.[] 

Giannelli and a nurse reportedly helped Griswold off the table and to his feet. Giannelli’s notes indicate that he appeared steady and stable. When asked, he denied any dizziness or pain. Later that day, Gianelli spoke to Griswold on the phone; during the call, he told her that his neck “was starting to click.” At this time, Giannelli advised him to return for an assessment. []

When Griswold returned to Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists, he felt more pain in his neck. He was advised to go to a hospital for X-rays but declined, reportedly stating that he did not want to spend hours waiting in the emergency room. Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists staff arranged for Griswold to have spinal X-rays at a nearby practice the next day. Giannelli’s notes indicate that Griswold was pleased with this solution and thanked her for the follow-up.[]

The verdict

In April 2024, a Plymouth, CT, jury delivered a verdict after a three-week trial, ruling in favor of the Griswolds and awarding a $9 million verdict. The jury awarded $4 million for noneconomic damages, $3 million for economic damages, and $2 million to Diana Griswold. []

In its ruling, the jury found that Giannelli was 100% responsible for all negligence. Dr. Logue was found to be 0% responsible.[] 

In a comment, lawyer Joaquin Madry, who represented the Griswolds, said they were pleased with the verdict: “We're pleased that the jury rejected the attacks on Mr. and Mrs. Griswold during the trial and recognized the defendants’ responsibility for causing Mr. Griswold’s terrible injuries. This is yet another example of a jury sorting through a lot of misdirection and finding a just result.”[]

No statements have been released by Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists, Giannelli, Dr. Logue, or their legal teams. 

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