Pulmonology Medical Review


ABC plaintiff v. XYZ College


The Boston attorney represented the defendant college in an employee termination dispute in which the employee, having been terminated due to excessive absenteeism, brings an action against the school in essence claiming that she and her children suffered from serious chronic health conditions and should have been granted leave to care for her children under the Family and Medical Leave Act.


The reviewing medical expert in Pulmonology concluded that there was no evidence of a serious chronic health condition for either the employee or her children. 

There were repeated absences from her work for reasons stated as depression, stress, and asthmatic bronchitis.  There were medical visits in which she reported episodes of cough and sinus congestion. However, there was nothing in the medical record to suggest a diagnosis of a more serious lung condition, nor was there evidence of any hospitalizations for such conditions.  The medical expert noted her on-going smoking habit which continued during this time despite the urging of medical providers to stop.  The only other objective evidence in the medical record were chest radiographs, all of which were read as normal. 

Both children had also been seen by their pediatrician and although both had evidenced some respiratory problems, there was nothing beyond routine acute viral illnesses.  That is, there was no objective evidence of a serious chronic health condition.

The case was settled prior to trial.



Author’s note: This is the first in a series of actual cases that will be presented on this blog for the information of interested readers. Obviously, we will mask identifying information for reasons of privacy.  Also, readers should know that most of our cases involve providing medical opinions requested by plaintiff or plaintiff’s counsel. The medical expert here is rendering an opinion at the request of defendant’s counsel.


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