- $6,250,000 Wrongful Death-Verdict and Settlement (Illinois): In this case a father of four children died because his doctor and the hospital failed to get him timely surgery for a life-threatening condition called "aortic aneurysm," or "aortic dissection." This case is particularly noteworthy because $4,000,000 dollars of the verdict represented the loss the children experienced in losing the relationship of their father. In other words, it was the type of loss that juries are known to not like giving money for because of its "intangible" nature. That it was in the conservative Will County makes it even more unique. Of course, we believe that though intangible, these losses represent the most serious kind of harm a person can experience, and is why we work diligently at being able to tell our client's story in a way that creates real empathy. The jury in this case felt deeply just how important a father is to his family.
- $8,200,000 Wrongful Death-Verdict (Illinois): During a hospitalization, patients may get nutrition or medicine by way of tubes inserted into their arteries. It is imperative that these tubes be inserted and removed carefully so that air does not accidentally enter the bloodstream. When air enters the blood it is called an air embolism. If large enough, an air embolism will act like a beach ball that travels through the blood. If this beach ball-this air embolism-gets stuck in the wrong place, it can cause a cardiac arrest. In this case, a major university hospital doctor negligently allowed an air embolism to enter the pulmonary artery. After the air embolism blocked blood flow to the lungs, the patient had difficulty breathing and an x-ray was taken. Unfortunately, the radiologist-a young resident-misread the x-ray which clearly showed an air embolism. The patient, a father of three young children, died as a result of this careless removal of a central line and missed diagnosis.
- $1,000,000 Wrongful Death-Midtrial Settlement (Illinois): The reason cuts don't keep bleeding is because blood has something in it that makes it "clot;" i.e., forms a sticky patch over the cut blood vessels. Clots, then, can be good things-when they seal off a leak. But sometimes clots form inside the body; inside a vein. When this happens, the clot is called a thrombus. If some or all of that clot moves to another area of the body, the clot is then called an embolus. Like an air embolus, a blood clot embolus can cause serious injury and death if it is big enough to block a major pulmonary artery. When it does that, it is called a pulmonary embolism. There are certain "risk factors" commonly associated with the formation of pulmonary emboli. When these risk factors are present, doctors must take steps to prevent clots from forming. Some of the risks factors for internal clot formation include: blood clotting disorder, recent surgery; fractures to the hip or legs; standing or sitting still for long periods of time, such as on a long plane trip or car ride (the reason why airlines like to get you walking); cancer; obesity; smoking; older than 55 (although this factor has been questioned as of late); history of a heart attack or stroke; pregnancy, taking birth control pills, or taking estrogen replacement therapy; and a period of bed rest in hospital. In this case, a middle aged man had been immobilized for several days following emergency surgery. The doctor rightfully ordered steps to prevent the formation of clots (see Blood Clots, Compartment Syndrome, and Pulmonary Emboli), but the nurses didn't follow his orders and the man died of a pulmonary embolism.
- $750,000 Permanent Injury-Pretrial Settlement (Georgia): In the case summary above this, we talked about blood clots leading to pulmonary embolism; however, blood clots can also cause another kind of injury: compartment syndrome. (see Blood Clots, Compartment Syndrome, and Pulmonary Emboli). Compartment syndrome can also occur from trauma, when blood gets trapped inside the body. In this case, a young boy broke his arm, and the break led to compartment syndrome in the arm. Despite the clear signs, his doctors missed the syndrome, and the boy had to have the arm amputated.
If you have suffered a serious injury caused by medical malpractice, or a loved one has been seriously injured or died, we invite you to contact our firm and talk to one of our physician attorneys about whether a lawsuit would protect your best interests.
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