Woman goes 0-for-2 with her lawsuits

By John O'Brien | Jan 9, 2007

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Rhode Island's Supreme Court recently upheld a Superior Court decision that a Providence law firm wasn't to blame for a woman losing her medical malpractice case.

The order, released Monday, says Lois Gullage did not adequately prove her pro se case against Bowerman and Taylor Guertin.

She alleged that the firm did not return her x-rays, which prevented her from acquiring an expert witness for her medical malpractice case against Rhode Island Hospital. Bowerman and Taylor Guertin represented the hospital in the case, which was dismissed because she did not have an expert witness -- a necessity in a med mal case.

Rhode Island Hospital was granted summary judgment on Oct. 26, 2004, and the case against Bowerman and Taylor Guertin was filed the same day.

"Irrespective of the timing of the defendant's possession of the x-rays in question, the failure to either return them to the plaintiff or to inform her that it had returned them to (MGH Image Service Center) does not provide the plaintiff with a recognizable cause of action," the order says.

Gullage had requested the x-rays on Sept. 4, 2004. A letter from MGH said they were not located in the proper folder as of Nov. 18, 2004.

The firm was able to produce a letter of return dated Oct. 8, 2004, and a canceled check date June 6, 2004, seven months before MGH claimed they had not received payment.

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