Former Patriots Defensive Star Files Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Former New England Patriots defensive back Tebucky Jones has filed a lawsuit against Patriots team physicians Dr. Thomas J. Gill IV and Dr. Dr. Bertram Zarins . Dr. Jeffrey Brody, the Rhode Island Hospital physician who interpreted the results of Jones’ third MRI, and Shields MRI of Rhode Island are also named in the lawsuit. Jones suffered the career ending knee injury in a 2006 pre-season game against the Washington Redskins. The lawsuit filed in Suffolk County Superior Court alleges that the “failure to diagnose his injuries led to his wrongful release by the New England Patriots and consequential loss of income.” After Jones was assisted off the field during the 2006 pre-season game, he was taken the following day to Shields MRI in Rhode Island. The results of that MRI showed a chronic ACL tear as well as a hamstring injury. According to Jones, Drs. Gill and Zarins told the football player that he suffered a hamstring injury. They instructed him to ice the hamstring and recommended strengthening exercises. Jones insists neither doctor mentioned the torn ACL in spite of the MRI results. The pain persisted so Jones went back to Gill and Zarins who ordered another MRI at Shields in Rhode Island. Once again, the MRI showed a chronic ACL tear coupled with a hamstring injury. Yet, the star defensive back was not informed of the torn ACL. In December 2006, Jones underwent a third MRI. This MRI noted no ACL tear. Jones’ lawyer has stated that the third MRI was performed with a machine called an open MRI. According to Jones’ lawyer, open MRIs can produce low resolution results that are not as accurate as closed MRI machines. In October 2007, Jones finally learned the severity of his knee injury. During a tryout with the Oakland Raiders, Jones underwent another medical exam which revealed the torn ACL. The injury was so severe the Raiders refused to sign him to a contract. According to the Boston Herald, Dr. Gill has been sued before. “Gill has been sued at least one other time in the last 10 years. In 2005, the medical malpractice insurance company representing Gill made a payment to a woman who sued him claiming he failed to diagnose a tumor, according to Suffolk Superior Court records and the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine. Prior to the case’s dismissal, a medical tribunal ruled in favor of the patient.”