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Spring in St. Louis was a jealous rival to the beauty of Fall’s elegance. It crept in unnoticed amongst the dull grey clouds of winter, lingered with shouts of colors and perfume, then quickly exited before the arrival of the summer heat. The ephemeral change in season deluded many a native in believing that better times were ahead.

It was Dr. Nomura who discovered the error. It was a routine review of a prostate biopsy case that

Bryce Collins was the laboratory manager of ULS.

ULS had a laboratory information system that was optimized to report laboratory information to physician’s offices. Ironically, this same system so competent in delivering laboratory data was embarrassingly inept at delivering data on biopsies and Pap smears. Sadly, anatomic pathology was a poor stepchild to clinical pathology, a

An internal investigation

The answer arrived two months later with a certified letter delivered to Drs. Nomura and Deetan.

Notice of intention to file suit by plaintiff Paul Jackson.

Named as defendants in the suit were the Ladue Surgicenter where the biopsy was obtained, ULS, Dr. Masao Nomura, and Dr. James Deetan.

Initial meeting with Jerome Moynihan, the lawyer for Nomura and Deetan outlined a plan for intended cooperation with ULS lawyers, to present a unified front to the plaintiff. As a courtesy, the lawyer for Ladue Surgicenter was also invited though all agreed that Ladue should be dismissed.

ULS lawyers had changed their tone charging that Drs. Nomura and Deetan were negligent and careless in their handling of the case. They also

Nomura was incensed that ULS would raise such an audacious charge

Nomura and Deetan lawyers visibly upset that ULS was dividing the defense, exactly what the plaintiffs had hoped.

Settlement hinged upon defendants pushing for a limit of $30,000, the maximum settlement that did not have to reported to the medical board.

Lawyers from ULS finally capitulated the Friday before all were set to go to trial on Monday. Nomura was on the phone with Moynihan who informed him of the final settlement.

Dr. Nomura looked up and through James, slowly turned, then entered his office and closed his door, the bolt confirming the lock. Once inside, he dimmed the lights, slumped into his chair, and stared at the many diplomas and awards he had accumulated. He was tired. His very soul had been on trial.

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