$12 Million Medical Malpractice Settlement for an injury suffered during a laparoscopic appendectomy which resulted in permanent disability
The estate of a disabled husband and father alleged the defendant doctors and hospital, through its nursing staff and resident physicians, provided negligent medical care and treatment during, and subsequent to, a laparoscopic appendectomy (removal of the appendix through a laparoscope) which was alleged to have resulted in two strokes, hypoxic brain injury, and permanent disability to the patient.
$10 Million Medical Malpractice Settlement to the estate of a deceased husband and father who died as a result of the defendants’ failure to surgically treat mitral valve prolapse
The patient, a husband and father, presented to a local university hospital and their cardiologists for a work-up and treatment of his mitral valve prolapse. In spite of the significant nature of the mitral valve prolapse, it was alleged, the defendant cardiologists elected not to refer the patient to cardiac surgery for evaluation and surgical treatment which resulted in the patient’s sudden cardiac death as a result of his known mitral valve prolapse.
$8.7 Million Verdict for a surgical mishap during an exploratory laparoscopy in 26-year-old engineer
Brian Hurst and Thomas Boleky were on trial for nearly two weeks in a surgical malpractice case filed against Northwestern Memorial Hospital. This was the second time the partners had tried this case before a jury. A year earlier, the jury could not come to a unanimous decision despite deliberating for over 16 hours and it resulted in a hung jury (11-1 in Plaintiff’s favor). The case involved a 26-year-old female, admitted to the Emergency Room at Northwestern Memorial Hospital with a history of pelvic pain for several months, which had worsened that day. An exploratory laparoscopy was performed and during the procedure, a surgical resident, employed by the hospital, inserted a trocar into the Plaintiff’s abdomen too deeply, to a length that it pierced through the common iliac artery and vein, two major blood vessels located near the back of the pelvic cavity. The patient lost nearly 8000 ccs of blood and an emergency surgical team had to be brought in to immediately open her belly, identify the blood vessels perforated in the surgery, and repair them in time to prevent her from bleeding to death. The patient suffered a long and painful recovery from this surgery, including a lengthy stay in the ICU, and was left with significant inner abdominal adhesions (scar tissue), and forced her to give up her career as an industrial engineer. On retrial, despite a vigorous defense of the resident’s conduct in inserting the trocar far too deeply, a jury found in favor of the Plaintiff and awarded her $8.7 million. Northwestern Memorial Hospital later filed post-trial motions arguing for a remittitur – as they believed the jury awarded too much for her injuries – which the trial judge granted and reduced the judgment to $2.3 million.
See The Trial Lawyer Magazine article: “$8.7M in damages for botched laparoscopy” here
$7 Million Verdict on behalf of woman with Advanced Stage Breast Cancer after a 24-month delay in diagnosis.
A DuPage County jury returned an Illinois record $7 million verdicts on behalf of a 59-year-old woman from suburban Bolingbrook, who is currently suffering from Stage IV metastatic breast cancer, against two suburban radiologists and their employer. The Plaintiff was represented at trial by Brian Hurst and Thomas F. Boleky.
$5 Million Medical Malpractice Verdict against ob/gyn for the performance of an incontinence procedure resulting in permanent disability and sexual dysfunction
Brian Hurst obtained a $5 Million verdict in the Circuit Court of Cook County on behalf of a 57-year-old woman and her husband, formerly of DuPage County, in a trial where it was alleged the patient suffered the functional loss of her vagina as a result of an unnecessary suburethral sling procedure for stress urinary incontinence (SUI). The sling procedure, it was alleged, was unnecessary due to the fact the patient did not suffer from SUI and did not undergo a proper workup for SUI, the condition for which a suburethral sling would be indicated. The sling eventually eroded into the patient’s vagina, resulting in permanent scarring, infection, a loss of sexual function, and necessitating several surgical procedures. The woman and her husband have been unable to have intercourse since the performance of the procedure.
$4.565 Million Medical Malpractice Settlement to the estate of a disabled CPS teacher for failure to properly treat patient’s pneumonia
A female Chicago Public School teacher presented to the defendant hospital’s emergency department with chest pain, coughing and fever, was diagnosed with pneumonia and sent home. Three days later, she returned to the defendant hospital’s emergency department suffering from increasing respiratory difficulty and shortness of breath. Her blood gas tests showed the oxygen content of her blood was abnormally decreasing to dangerously low levels. The decision was eventually made to intubate the patient. It was alleged the intubation was performed negligently, was untimely, and resulted in severe hypoxic brain damage which left the patient in a permanent vegetative state.
$4.53 Million Jury Verdict for car crash victims struck by pizza delivery driver
Thomas Boleky obtained the second highest verdict in Kane County’s history at that time when he won $4.543 million for a couple who were passengers in a friend’s automobile when it was struck by a pizza delivery driver. The jury found both the driver of the vehicle Plaintiffs were traveling in and the driver of the pizza delivery company liable for Plaintiff’s injuries, which included partial paralysis due to cauda equina syndrome.
$4.5 Million Medical Malpractice Settlement for carotid artery stenting procedure which resulted in significant disability
The patient, a 49-year-old female, suffered a debilitating stroke resulting in permanent and significant disability following a carotid artery stenting procedure which was alleged to have been experimental, unnecessary—considering the nature and extent of the patient’s carotid artery disease—and performed negligently by the defendant physicians. The patient had a history of strokes and was evaluated for carotid artery stenosis by the defendant physicians who elected to perform the carotid artery stenting procedure which the plaintiff alleged was experimental at the time it was performed, though it was not explained to the patient that it was an experimental procedure.
$4.035 Million Wrongful Death From Electrocution Settlement
An industrial painter was working under the Chicago Transit Authority’s elevated tracks when an electrical shock caused him to fall forward into the controls of the JLG lift he was working on, resulting in it inadvertently raising and crushing him to death, against the underside of the CTA girder. The defendants included the Chicago Transit Authority, Commonwealth Edison and the JLG lift manufacturer. He was survived by his wife and three children, one of which was a starting tackle for the Notre Dame Football team.
$4 Million Medical Malpractice Settlement for permanent disfigurement following the performance of an ERCP
The patient, a 25-year-old female, suffered an injury to her duodenum during the performance of an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP) with biliary sphincterotomy for biliary stenosis. It was alleged the ERCP with biliary sphincterotomy was performed negligently, causing iatrogenic (physician caused) injury to the patient’s duodenum, and resulting in significant disability and disfigurement of the patient’s abdomen, requiring several additional surgical procedures including skin grafting.
$3.9 Million Medical Malpractice Settlement for the death of 44-year-old CNA, wife and mother
An unnecessary diagnostic laparoscopy was performed on a 44-year-old woman for complaints of a 2-3 week history of pelvic pain and pressure, thought to be caused by a relatively small, resolving left ovarian cyst. The woman, who was a CNA (certified nursing assistant) at NorthShore University HealthSystem, was at high risk for surgery due to her medical history, which included pelvic and abdominal adhesive disease from multiple prior pelvic surgical procedures. The laparoscopic procedure resulted in bowel perforation that was not diagnosed at the time of laparoscopy and resulted in the emergent re-admission of the woman 2 days later. The bowel perforation ultimately led to peritonitis, severe sepsis, respiratory failure and the woman’s death, while still in the hospital. The surgeon failed to perform an appropriate physical examination of the woman prior to surgery, which would have likely been negative and would have been an additional indication not to perform surgery, exposing the patient to an unnecessary risk of harm. Once the procedure began, the surgeon observed dense adhesive disease upon entry, which should have been a clear indication to either discontinue the surgery or convert to an open procedure, to minimize the risk of injury to the abdominal organs or tissues. Additionally, it was alleged, the surgeon failed to appropriately examine the bowel, prior to ending the procedure, to be certain injury to the bowel had not occurred during the dissection and biopsy of the abdominal cyst. The patient, a wife of 17 years and mother to a teenage daughter, was unable to recover from the massive infection and passed away approximately 6 weeks following the initial laparoscopy.
$3.75 Million Automobile/Motorcycle Personal Injury Verdict
Plaintiff was struck by the Defendant’s Ford-150 pickup truck while riding his motorcycle. Plaintiff suffered from multiple fractures, including his pelvis, leg, and nose. The injury to his right leg was so severe it had to be amputated above the knee.
$3.25 Million Settlement for third degree burns suffered in a natural gas explosion
Plaintiff suffered severe burns to his neck and chest when his house exploded from a buildup of natural gas as he walked in the front door. The leaking gas came from a flexible metal hose that supplied gas to the stove. It was alleged that People’s Gas Light and Coke Company had known or should have known of the propensity of this type of flexible hose to crack and leak gas, and had failed to ensure their customers replaced them or properly warned the customer of the danger.
$3 Million Wrongful Death Verdict for crime victim in a Product Liability lawsuit
Thomas Boleky secured a verdict of $3 million for the family of a man who was murdered when the Defendant negligently set up and monitored a house arrest ankle bracelet placed on a felon while on parole. The felon was able to leave his premises without the police being alerted and later shot and killed the plaintiff’s decedent with a handgun during the commission of a crime.
$2.75 Million Medical Malpractice Settlement for death from Pulmonary Embolism
The 46-year-old Chicago resident, who had recently started a mobile dog-grooming business, drove himself to a local community hospital after work, after experiencing swelling and pain in his leg and shortness of breath. An ultrasound of his left leg was performed, and he was diagnosed with a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and a Chest CT showed a massive pulmonary saddle embolus with near-complete occlusion of the right pulmonary artery as well as left-sided emboli. The man was started on standard IV heparin therapy in the ER and transferred to the ICU. Two days later, despite the fact that he was sub-therapeutic on the standard doses of heparin, he was switched to Lovenox (a heparin-based anti-coagulant at standard doses) and transferred from ICU to a general medical floor. The following day, the patient died as a result of another pulmonary embolism, which the plaintiff alleged would have been prevented by appropriate treatment for the known pulmonary embolism and DVT. The man was survived by his wife, 3 adult children, and a daughter born just three weeks prior to his death.
$2.65 Million Medical Malpractice Verdict against ophthalmologist who caused blind eye treating a chalazion
Brian Hurst and Thomas Boleky obtained a $2.65 million medical malpractice verdict in the Circuit Court of Cook County against a local ophthalmologist who treated a chalazion (small pimple-like bump) on his patient’s left lower eyelid by injecting the chalazion with a corticosteroid. It was alleged the corticosteroid was negligently injected into the patient’s central retinal artery causing complete and permanent loss of vision in the patient’s left eye as a result of ischemia.
$2.6 Million settlement for bowel and bladder injury suffered during low back decompression surgery
Plaintiff, a 69 year old male, had a history of low back pain for several years, but had never experienced leg weakness, loss of muscle control or bowel and bladder dysfunction. Defendant, an attending neurosurgeon at a Chicago area hospital, performed decompression surgery on Plaintiff’s spine for multilevel spondylolisthesis (vertebrae that had slipped forward into the one below). During surgery there was an iatrogenic dural tear which resulted in an accumulation of fluid and a buildup of pressure in his lumbar spine area. Post-operative imaging was not ordered despite the onset of new neurological symptoms in Plaintiff, including difficulty controlling his bowel and bladder. The treating surgeon failed to disclose the injury or condition to Plaintiff or how it was related to his problems urinating and defecating.
$2.5 Million Medical Malpractice Settlement against dermatologist who caused permanent scarring and facial disfigurement while performing a CO2 laser resurfacing procedure
The patient presented to Dr. Murad Alam and the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation Dermatology Clinic for a consultation for a history of wrinkles and sun damage around her mouth. It was alleged the defendant caused full-thickness, third-degree burns to the area around the patient’s mouth during the negligent performance of a CO2 laser resurfacing procedure. The plaintiff required several surgical procedures, including skin grafting, following the laser resurfacing and continues to suffer from scarring around her mouth. The defendants agreed to pay $2.5 Million to settle the case on the first day of trial after several years of litigation.
$2.5 Million Settlement for Palos Heights Bike Path Injury
Plaintiff received a $2.5 million settlement during the third day of trial after she suffered a spinal cord injury when the pedal of the bicycle she was riding on a Palos Heights bike path struck a drop gate, a short steel post affixed to the middle of the bike lane near an intersection with the roadway. The Village of Palos Heights claimed that it had the drop gates installed on its bike path to restrict motor vehicles’ access to the bike lanes. Plaintiff sought to prove that the drop gates were unnecessary and posed a danger to distracted bike riders as they approached the intersection.
$2.5 Million recovered against golf course for golfer injured during golf cart rollover
Thomas Boleky obtained a $2.5 Million settlement in the Circuit Court of Lake County in a case alleging the golf cart owned by Defendant rolled over as Plaintiff drove the cart around a sharp curve on a path at Defendant’s golf course. Plaintiff was partially paralyzed from his resulting cervical cord injury, losing function in both legs and his fingers, as well as requiring a surgical fusion and titanium plating in his neck.
$2.4 Million Medical Malpractice Verdict against ER doctor and hospital for the delay in diagnosing and treating acute arterial insufficiency which resulted in an above-the-knee amputation
Brian Hurst obtained a $2.4 million medical malpractice verdict in the Circuit Court of Cook County against St. Francis Hospital of Blue Island, Illinois, and it’s emergency room physician, for an alleged failure to timely diagnose and treat the patient’s acute arterial insufficiency. The patient, a 51-year-old male, presented to the emergency department of the defendant hospital in the middle of the night following a fall on his stairs at home. It was alleged the fall caused an acute arterial injury to the patient’s right leg, resulting in an acute arterial insufficiency to his right lower extremity. Plaintiff sought to show that the failure to timely diagnose and treat the acute arterial insufficiency with an emergent revascularization procedure resulted in an above-the-knee amputation of the patient’s right leg the following morning.
$2 Million Medical Malpractice Settlement against an orthopedic surgeon for disability and disfigurement resulting from a mishandled leg fracture
Plaintiff, a 43-year-old male, suffered a severely comminuted tibial plateau leg fracture following a fall from a ladder while working at home. He was subsequently treated with surgery by the defendant orthopedic surgeon who performed an internal fixation utilizing hardware several days after the patient had initially presented to defendant. It was alleged the negligence of the orthopedic surgeon in delaying performance of the definitive repair, operating in the face of a likely infection, improperly performing the internal fixation and subsequently mishandling the surgical infection, resulted in severe deformity to the patient’s leg, continuing knee pain, and necessitated several surgical procedures including skin grafting and a muscle flap repair. Plaintiff’s counsel retained one of the world’s foremost experts on tibial plateau leg fractures. The defense settled the case for the full extent of the defendant’s liability insurance on the eve of trial following several years of litigation.
$2 Million Wrongful Death Settlement for a woman attempting to change her tire on side of the road
A woman was changing the tire of her van parked on the side of the road when she was killed by the Defendant’s car. Prior to her death, police had set up a number of warnings to oncoming traffic, including a parked police car with emergency lights, traffic cones, flares, and a police officer directing traffic. Despite all warnings, Defendant swerved his car into oncoming traffic to get around the woman’s van and causing a car wreck, killing the woman.
$1.85 Million Medical Malpractice Settlement from radiologist’s failure to report abnormality on lung CT scan
A 49-year-old woman visited the emergency room of a local hospital for difficulty breathing and had a chest x-ray performed which reported an abnormality in the right lower lung. She was immediately referred for a chest CT scan, which again demonstrated the abnormality in the right lower lung, however, the interpreting radiologist failed to comment on the abnormality and no workup of the abnormality was ordered or performed. Eleven months later, a second CT scan was performed and again demonstrated the abnormality in the right lower lung, which was biopsied and determined to be cancer. The patient, due to the delay in reporting the abnormality and working-up the abnormality, it was alleged, progressed to stage IV lung cancer at the time of diagnosis. The defendant radiologist and hospital settled the case for $1.85 million in the days leading up to trial.
$1.5 Million Medical Malpractice Settlement for the death of a 3-year-old boy from meningitis
The 3-year-old child developed a fever in the early morning hours of Halloween and was taken by his parents to the local hospital’s Emergency Department. Vital signs indicated an elevated blood pressure and increased heart rate upon admission to the ED, along with an elevated temperature. No septic work-up was initiated and no blood test, urine culture or x-ray was performed prior to discharge. In the afternoon after his discharge, his parents tried to feed him some soup and he vomited, and then developed a high fever, so his parents brought him to their family practice physician, who examined him and recommended Tylenol and Pedialyte. The boy vomited 2 more times after this visit. Early in the morning on the next day, the boy again developed a high fever, was having difficulty breathing and could not stand on his own while being dressed. His parents again took him to the hospital Emergency Department. After several hours in the ED, he became cyanotic. Attempts to transfer the child to a pediatric intensive care unit proved too late and the child died later that day as a result of overwhelming meningitis. The boy was survived by his parents and 4 siblings.
$1.5 Million Medical Malpractice Settlement for death from the delay of Re-do Aortic Valve Replacement
The 54-year-old Michigan resident with a congenital heart defect and a history of aortic valve replacement surgery was on a business trip in Chicago when he began having difficulty breathing in the middle of the night and was taken by ambulance from his hotel to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Despite a diagnosis of acute severe aortic insufficiency, necessitating aortic valve replacement surgery within 24 to 48 hours, the surgery was delayed for approximately two weeks for what the patient’s team of physicians suspected was pneumonia and endocarditis. By the time his valve surgery commenced, his heart had weakened beyond repair and he suffered multi-system organ failure, dying shortly after surgery. He died shortly following the procedure. He is survived by his wife of 28 years and two adult daughters.
$1.5 Million Medical Malpractice Settlement for vascular injury causing death during surgical resection of liver cancer
The patient, a 67-year-old male, was being treated at a local university hospital for liver cancer. During the performance of a liver resection to treat liver cancer, it was alleged the surgeons lacerated the patient’s vena cava, resulting in massive blood loss, exsanguination, hypoxemia, and death. The patient was survived by his wife and two adult children.
$1.5 Million Interstate Trucking Wrongful Death Settlement
Plaintiff was a passenger in a car struck on Illinois Interstate Highway 80 by a merging truck owned by Defendant shipping company. The collision caused Plaintiff’s car to crash into a concrete median post, killing Plaintiff.
$1.456 Million Verdict for a 41-year-old woman injured at work from falling ceiling
Thomas Boleky tried a case to a successful verdict involving a woman who was struck by falling ceiling debris while sitting at her desk at work. Plaintiff was employed as a Job Corp counselor for at-risk teens on the south side of Chicago when small sections of the plaster and drop ceiling above her collapsed, suddenly, while she was working at her desk. She was struck on her head and body by the falling debris, including plaster, ceiling tiles and a light fixture that had been mounted on the ceiling. It was later determined that water had been leaking into the ceiling above the Plaintiff’s desk for some time, which had weakened the plaster and led to the collapse of the ceiling. Plaintiff sustained head and neck trauma and was ultimately diagnosed with a concussion, post-concussive syndrome, cervicogenic headaches and cervical radiculopathy. Plaintiff also suffered a sprain of the medial collateral ligament and the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee which eventually led to arthroscopic surgery 6 years later.
$1.45 Million settlement for Westchester man that suffered a Type B aortic dissection and bowel ischemia following a delay in surgery
Plaintiff, a 52-year-old male, employed as a union electrician, alleged the defendant physicians and hospital staff were negligent while Plaintiff was a patient at a Chicago area hospital. Upon being admitted to the hospital, Plaintiff was diagnosed with a complicated Type B aortic dissection, which involves a tear in the wall of the lower, or descending, aorta. Plaintiff claimed that the Defendants failed to recognize the severity of his condition and the necessity of proceeding with an endovascular surgical repair of the aortic dissection. Plaintiff further alleged that the physicians, knowing that they were unable to perform the surgery at their hospital, failed to timely transfer him to a nearby specialized hospital where the surgical repair could be performed emergently. The failure to timely transfer Plaintiff, and the delay in surgery, resulted in severe and permanent injuries, including the loss of over two-thirds of his small bowel, which occurred due to bowel ischemia (death of bowel from lack of blood flow). Plaintiff now suffers from Short Bowel Syndrome, which can cause chronic bouts of diarrhea and a significantly increased risk of dehydration, malabsorption, and malnutrition, and requires lifetime management by a gastroenterologist and strict dietary restrictions.
$1.36 Million medical malpractice settlement with Cook County for failure to manage patient with severe cardiovascular disease
Plaintiff’s decedent, a longtime heavy smoker with hypertension and high cholesterol, was admitted to Stroger Cook County Hospital complaining of shortness of breath, fatigue and leg swelling. This was following a hospitalization at Northwest Community Hospital several months earlier in which he had similar symptoms. He was seen by a cardiologist and cardiothoracic surgeon at Cook County, and had a cardiac catheterization performed, along with an echocardiogram, which showed he had heart failure and had blockage or narrowing of all three major coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart. A Transthoracic echocardiogram showed severely reduced systolic function with an injection fraction of 10-15%. Plaintiff’s decedent was discharged after it was determined by his team of cardiovascular physicians that no acute intervention was necessary at that point, and recommended he follow up with outpatient visits. He returned to Cook County on numerous cardiac outpatient visits in the months following for further workup, however the physicians at Cook County never moved forward with a plan for the surgery he needed, despite his known severe coronary artery disease. In September 2018, he sought care from a new cardiovascular team, this time at Rush Medical Center and was again diagnosed with severe coronary artery disease and in need of heart bypass surgery. Unfortunately, while Plaintiff’s decedent was waiting for updated test results, he died suddenly on October 11, 2018. The autopsy determined he died from cardiac arrhythmia and that he suffered from severe hypertensive and arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease. The Plaintiff, wife of the decedent, settled with Cook County, while the claims against Rush and its cardiovascular team are still pending in court.
$1.3 Million Pedestrian-Automobile Personal Injury Settlement
Thomas Boleky obtained a $1.3 Million settlement in the Circuit Court of DuPage County for a woman’s estate after she was killed when struck by Defendant’s car as she crossed the road after eating breakfast at a nearby restaurant. She suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured skull, fractured ribs, and a heart attack, all leading to her death.
$1.22 Million Medical Malpractice Settlement for death following breast reduction surgery
The estate of the deceased mother of three adult children alleged the woman died as a result of the negligence of the defendant physicians in failing to appropriately manage the patient’s volume status during and subsequent to a breast reduction surgery. It was alleged the patient suffered from extensive blood and volume loss during the breast reduction surgery and that the defendants’ negligence in failing to adequately and timely address the fluid and blood loss resulted in the patient’s cardiopulmonary arrest and death in the immediate post-operative period while in the post-anesthesia recovery unit of the defendant hospital.
$1.2 Million Wrongful Death Settlement for drowning in Prospect Heights swimming pool
A 5-year-old child drowned in a Prospect Heights municipal swimming pool after wandering from an adjacent playground where he was being supervised by the municipality’s park district employees. It was alleged that he gained access to the pool through an unlocked gate and that lifeguards who were offering private lessons in a separate area of the pool were negligent in failing to notice him in the pool until it was too late to save him.
$1.2 Million Medical Malpractice Settlement for a 54-year-old woman who suffered vocal cord paralysis during medical procedure
Brian Hurst filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a Pain Management Specialist who, allegedly, partially paralyzed his patient’s vocal cords during a neurotomy, a procedure targeted to deaden nerves in the cervical spine for relief of chronic neck pain. During the procedure, the defendant physician injured the right recurrent laryngeal nerve which helps to control the movement of the vocal cords. Following a vigorous examination of the defendant at his deposition, it became apparent the procedure was performed in the wrong area of the cervical spine.
$1.2 Million Settlement for teenager Injured when he lost control of his car while attempting to avoid a delivery truck’s tire tread left in the roadway
Plaintiff filed a suit alleging that Defendant trucking company failed to properly maintain the tires on one of its delivery trucks resulting in the tread separating from the tire and rolling down the hire into Plaintiff’s lane of travel. Plaintiff, traveling in the same lane as the truck, attempted to avoid the tire tread but lost control of his vehicle and collided with a light pole on the shoulder off of Interstate 355 in Schaumburg, Illinois. Plaintiff sustained several fractures to his hip and a mild traumatic brain injury. The defendants sued by Plaintiff also included the trucking firm’s maintenance contractor and a tire vendor that performed regular inspections of the fleet’s tires.
$1.1 Million Medical Malpractice Settlement for the death of an elementary school assistant librarian
The patient, a 57-year-old woman, presented to her family physician with a cyst in her left breast. The patient was sent for a screening mammogram, which was determined to have suspicious findings. Approximately two weeks later, a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound of the left breast were performed and were also determined to have suspicious findings. The results of both mammograms and the ultrasound were communicated to the family physician with a recommendation by the interpreting radiologist that the patient is sent for a repeat mammogram in 6 months. The family physician continued to treat the patient for routine examinations and other health care needs, but never informed her or counseled her regarding the test results of the left breast and recommendation for follow up. Twenty-three months after the initial mammogram, an ultrasound-guided biopsy of the left breast was performed and it demonstrated an abnormality in the same area that was earlier viewed as suspicious; which turned out to be cancer at an advanced stage. It was alleged that, due to the delay in following up on the radiologist’s recommendation, the disease progressed to metastatic breast cancer and the patient suffered a painful, tragic and untimely death approximately 20 months after the diagnosis. Additionally, there was a potential issue of spoliation of evidence related to the diagnostic facility’s failure to preserve the initial breast ultrasound at issue in this case.
$1.015 Million medical malpractice settlement for woman who had her common iliac artery nicked during lumbar laminectomy
Plaintiff underwent a lumbar laminectomy on performed by Defendant, an orthopedic surgeon, at a Chicago area hospital. During the procedure, the surgeon injured Plaintiff’s common iliac artery, which resulted in an ongoing bleed into her retroperitoneum. The surgeon failed to notice the vascular injury and bleeding and completed the surgery and closed the surgical wound. In the hours following surgery, a CT scan identified a retroperitoneal hematoma, which should have alerted Plaintiff’s care team, along with a drop in hemoglobin, of a potential bleed. Her doctors, however, were slow to recognize and respond to Plaintiff’s deteriorating health. This ongoing bleeding caused Plaintiff to become hypotensive and hypovolemic in the hours after surgery. The following day, a decision was finally made to intervene with an endovascular stenting procedure; however, the hypovolemic shock caused Plaintiff to suffer a cardiac arrest. Although Plaintiff was resuscitated, she suffered severe and long-lasting injuries, including a permanent renal injury. It was required by the standard of care that the physicians caring for Plaintiff post-operatively, including the orthopedic surgeon, the anesthesiologists, the ICU hospitalist, and the consulting general surgeon and vascular surgeon, to order appropriate and necessary tests, including a CT angiogram, to fully define and delineate the nature and extent of the iatrogenic blood vessel injury. Once the vascular injury was delineated, they should then have determined the care and treatment that was necessary to repair the injured blood vessel in an urgent manner.
$1 Million Medical Malpractice Settlement for the death of a retired Chicago Police Sergeant as a result of alleged negligence of cardiologist in failing to address patient’s pericardial effusion
The estate of a deceased father of two adult children alleged the patient, a 67-year-old retired Chicago Police Sergeant, died as a result of the failure of the defendant, Virendra Bisla, M.D., to timely diagnose and treat the patient’s known pericardial effusion. Although the defendant, Dr. Bisla, was aware, from a CT scan ordered by the defendant and performed at the defendant’s medical practice, that the patient was suffering from a 3.0 cm pericardial effusion and was on the blood thinner, Coumadin, the defendant failed to discontinue or reduce the amount of Coumadin the patient was taking and failed to refer the patient for definitive care of the pericardial effusion which allegedly resulted in cardiac tamponade and death of the patient. The defendant settled the case for the full extent of his liability insurance.
$1 Million (plus waiver of $444,000.00 5(b) Workman’s Compensation lien) settlement for union plumber injured on construction job site while moving a cast iron bathtub
Plaintiff was working as an apprentice plumber for Norman Mechanical on a multi-unit townhome construction project on Chicago’s near south side. Norman Mechanical had been hired by general contractor, Summit Design + Build, LLC. One of the plumbing subcontractor’s tasks was to install 300 lb. plus cast iron Kohler bathtubs on the third floor in each townhouse unit.
Prior to the date of incident, Plaintiff’s foreman had made arrangements with another subcontractor working on the project, to use their crane to lift the cast iron tubs up and place them on the upper floors, to avoid using manpower to carry the tubs up or down the steps. However, around the time of the incident, the third floor of the subject townhouse unit had already been closed out by the erection of the walls and ceiling by the carpenter, forcing Norman Mechanical to use its workers to physically move and maneuver the heavy bathtub onto the third floor, instead of the safer method of using the crane.
On the day of the incident, Plaintiff was instructed by his foreman, to use an appliance dolly to move the cast iron tub from the 4th floor (top floor) to the 3rd floor, along with a co-worker. While maneuvering the tub on the steps, Plaintiff felt a pop and pain in his groin and left the jobsite to seek medical attention. He was diagnosed with bilateral hernias and underwent surgical repair. When his symptoms failed to improve, subsequent scans performed nine months following the incident, revealed bilateral torn labrums in his hips. Plaintiff filed suit against the general contractor Summit, for its failure to properly sequence the work of the contractors on the jobsite which exposed Plaintiff to a hazard which could have easily been avoided.
$600,000 settlement for death of an 8-month old infant suffering from febrile seizures
An 8-month-old infant died due to Defendants’ negligence in treating him upon his arrival at a Chicagoland hospital while suffering from febrile seizures. The infant had a prior history of febrile seizures and had been admitted into the same hospital for a short stay a few weeks earlier. When he arrived at the Emergency Department, he was unconscious and suffering from convulsions and other intermittent seizure activity. After he was noted to have shallow breathing and a rapid heart rate, it was decided that the infant should be intubated to protect his airway. Prior to intubation, he was sedated with valium and fentanyl, however, shortly after these drugs were administered, he became pulseless, and CPR was commenced. After approximately 35 minutes of resuscitation efforts, without restoration of his vital signs, the infant was pronounced dead. Plaintiff alleged in her Kane County action, among other things, that the infant’s death was a result of excessive amounts of sedative agents that were administered to him, particularly valium and fentanyl, and that Defendants failed to properly protect his airway during the attempt to resuscitate. Defendants argued that he died from his febrile seizures, and they did everything within the standard of care to try and save his life. At the time of his death, the infant left behind his mother, father and 3 minor siblings.
$575,000 medical malpractice settlement for misplaced nasogastric tube
Plaintiff’s decedent, a 68-year-old male, suffered misplacement of an NG (nasogastric) tube into his left main bronchus (lung), while an inpatient at a Chicagoland hospital. The NG tube had been ordered to decompress his stomach for what was thought to be a bowel obstruction. The misplacement of the NG tube into the patient’s lung, instead of his stomach, and allowing it to remain in the patient’s lung overnight, resulted in aspirational pneumonia, and a prolonged stay in the hospital’s ICU.
Initially, the nurses failed to understand the potential risks of an incorrectly placed NG tube to the patient when they had difficulty placing it. Next, the radiologist, who was to interpret a chest x-ray to confirm “proper placement” of the NG tube, misread the x-ray and reported it in his esophagus, and not his lung. Finally, the hospitalist, who was monitoring the patient remotely via telehealth, ordered the NG tube to remain in the patient, even though he was aware it had no use and could only be a potential for injury to the patient. It was only after numerous hours passed before a second radiologist read the initial chest x-ray and determined the NG tube was, in fact, in the patient’s lung and had to be removed immediately, but not soon enough to avoid significant injury to the patient.
Plaintiff’s decedent spent several weeks in the ICU battling sepsis and acute obstructive pneumonia at the hospital before being discharged for additional care to an extended care facility.
$575,000 settlement for Champaign woman crossing the street with witnesses disputing who was at fault
Plaintiff, a 46-year-old female, was struck while crossing Bloomington Road in Champaign, Illinois, by a large heavy-duty pick-up truck, pulling a large utility trailer, driven by Defendant. Defendant was driving his company’s truck and returning to the shop from a job site near the University of Illinois campus. Defendant testified that as he approached Plaintiff, she was standing on the sidewalk and stepped towards the curb and stop. Plaintiff testified that she was standing on the sidewalk waiting for traffic to clear but had no recollection of the impact itself. A witness, driving in the vicinity, told police that he saw Plaintiff step out into the street into the path of the truck and trailer and Defendant had no warning. The plaintiff’s body was found lying in the gutter/curb area near where she was last seen standing, bleeding profusely from her head.
The determination was quickly made that the local hospital was not equipped to handle the severity and extent of Plaintiff’s injuries, and she was then life-flighted to Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, and admitted into the ICU. She spent the next five weeks undergoing treatment including two separate craniotomies, exploratory laparotomy with endovascular repair with stent graft placement for an aortic dissection, had her gall bladder removed and underwent liver repair surgery. Following her discharge, she followed up with her local doctors for continuous pain in her low back and in her legs, generalized weakness, migraine headaches and a complete loss of her sense of smell.
Plaintiff filed her case in the Circuit Court of Champaign County alleging that Defendant had driven on or too close to the curb, and failed to take proper defensive driving measures to avoid Plaintiff standing near the curb.
$250,000 verdict for shoulder injury in a low-speed motor vehicle intersection collision
Plaintiff, a 77-year-old retired teacher, was driving north on Western Avenue in Northbrook, Illinois, when she was struck by Defendant, who failed to stop at a stop sign at its intersection with Illinois Road. Defendant estimated she was traveling less than 10 mph at impact and there was minimal damage to Plaintiff’s vehicle. Plaintiff was seen two days later at the Glenbrook Hospital Emergency Room and was diagnosed with a fractured rib, and strains to her neck and right shoulder. She had a history of a prior rotator cuff tear, with surgery to the same shoulder, years before the occurrence. Plaintiff was initially placed in a physical therapy program for her neck complaints. Five months following the occurrence, Plaintiff first sought care for her shoulder pain from a well-known shoulder specialist with Illinois Bone and Joint Institute. The surgeon diagnosed Plaintiff with a rotator cuff tear and recommended surgery. During surgery, he documented evidence of degenerative arthritis throughout her shoulder due to her advanced age and prior surgery. Plaintiff continued to have shoulder pain following the surgery which, although improved, remained through the time of trial. The defense argued that Plaintiff only sustained a minor neck and shoulder injury from the low speed impact, that her injuries should have healed within a few months, and that her continuing pain was due to her pre-existing osteoarthritis. The parties were unable to settle the case through negotiations and proceeded to trial in March 2023. After a four day trial, a Cook County jury awarded Plaintiff $250,000.00, plus costs and pre-judgment interest.