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Medical malpractice suit alleges failure to correctly diagnose

New York Yankees fans may be interested in the latest addition to third baseman Alex Rodriguez's media saga.

The player has been under scrutiny for the alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. Although Rodriguez denies the allegation -- and even brought lawsuits against Major League Baseball -- he recently agreed to a settlement that suspends him for the season. Commentators say it's the longest penalty to date for a performance drug use charge.

However, the 38-year-old player still has a remaining lawsuit. This one is against an orthopedic surgeon and the hospital where he received an MRI after a 2012 hip injury. Rodriguez claims that the surgeon committed malpractice by giving him a faulty diagnosis. Specifically, the doctor's allegedly encouraged Rodriguez to keep playing after his October 2012 MRI, instead of informing him about a joint tear in his left hip. 

Admittedly, there was a lot at stake: The doctor's diagnosis meant that Rodriguez did not have to withdraw from the American League playoffs. Yet at 38 years of age, Rodriguez cannot afford to worsen any injuries he receives. Rodriguez claims that his continued activity only worsened the joint tear and ultimately required surgery in January 2013. The post-surgery recuperation time prevented Rodriguez from rejoining the Yankees for around seven months.

Patients depend on their doctors to correctly analyze the results of diagnostic imaging, such as MRIs. A failure to diagnose can worsen injuries or, in more severe cases, lead to more significant injuries or even death. With the help of a medical malpractice attorney, a patient injured in this manner can hold doctors and hospitals accountable for their negligence.

Source: Sports Illustrated, "A-Rod wants to keep video deposition uncirculated," March 25, 2014

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