William Pratt, 67, was diagnosed with Stage IV liver cancer. He fell down a flight of stairs and was transferred to a hospital emergency room where he was examined and sent for radiological scans. A preliminary reading of the scans concluded that he had not broken any bones during the fall.
The next morning, radiologist Dr. Geoffrey Gilleland reviewed the films and determined that Pratt had in fact broken nine ribs. Dr. Gilleland did not notify the emergency department of his findings, and Pratt was later discharged.
Over the next two days, Pratt developed pneumonia. He was admitted to another hospital where he died two weeks later of the pneumonia and complications of end-stage liver cancer. He was survived by his wife and three adult children.