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Civil liability related to imaging exams in Brazil
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Damage liability

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Fontana MP, Liedke GS, Fontoura H da S, Silveira HLD da, Silveira HED da. Civil liability related to imaging exams in Brazil. Braz. J. Oral Sci. [Internet]. 2015 Mar. 29 [cited 2024 Jun. 16];14(1):10-5. Available from:


Aim: To analyze all court lawsuits in Brazil in relation to civil liability involving radiographic and tomographic images up to February 2014. Methods: All Brazilian courts were surveyed for “civil liability,” “error,” “radiology,” “radiography,” and “tomography,” returning 3923 second-instance lawsuits. Out of them were excluded labor legislation, health insurance coverage of radiological examinations, and criminal liability cases and 359 were selected. Compliance with expert reports, involvement of imaging exams, the defendant professional, the reasons of claims and convictions, and indemnity were evaluated. Results: Of the 359 selected lawsuits, physicians were defendants in 71%, radiologist physicians in 10.6% and dentists in 18.4%. The prevalence of physicians found liable was related to the lack or delay in requesting the imaging exams (49.6%), and among radiologist physicians, misdiagnosis (47.1%). Considering the dentists, imaging exams had mostly an indirect involvement, and failure of the proposed treatment (73.8%) was the most prevalent cause of dentists found liable; no radiologist was sued. Regarding indemnity, 50% of lawsuits resulted in compensation up to R$ 20,000 (US$ 8,583). Conclusions: Misdiagnosis was the main cause of claims and radiologists were found liable. The medical field showed the largest absolute number of claims and physicians were found liable, but the highest proportion was directed to dentists.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2015 Mathias Pante Fontana, Gabriela Salatino Liedke, Helena da Silveira Fontoura, Heraldo Luis Dias da Silveira, Heloísa Emilia Dias da Silveira


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