th-2Ms. Doe, 33, was injured in a car accident. She underwent leg surgery after the car crash. Her uninjured left leg was kept in the hemilithotomy position for more than six hours. While the injured leg was being repaired, which is held straight in traction, the uninjured leg is positioned above and is bent. Because of the position of the good leg, it does require some repositioning during a lengthy surgery like this. However, in this case, Ms. Doe was later diagnosed with compartment syndrome in her left leg, the uninjured leg, which necessitated surgery.

Ms. Doe underwent rehabilitation and was fitted with orthotics, but now she has difficulty walking and climbing stairs. Her medical expenses related to the uninjured left leg were $8,600.

Ms. Doe filed a lawsuit against her treating orthopedic surgeon and the hospital claiming that the defendants chose not to timely reposition her uninjured leg and timely diagnose compartment syndrome. The lawsuit did not request lost income.

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th-1Ms. Doe, 17, experienced back and abdominal pain in her 34th week of the pregnancy. She was admitted to a local hospital where her condition deteriorated over the next several days.

Ms. Doe was then diagnosed as having sepsis and placed on a ventilator. After giving birth to her daughter, Ms. Doe’s respiratory status worsened, prompting a Code Blue. Despite efforts to resuscitate, she suffered a hypoxic brain injury resulting in cognitive impairment. Ms. Doe now requires 24-hour care and lives in a nursing home facility.

The lawsuit against the hospital claimed that the hospital’s respiratory therapists chose not to properly adjust Ms. Doe’s ventilator settings. It was alleged that the settings or the lack of the proper settings was the cause of Ms. Doe’s brain injury. The lawsuit did not claim lost income.

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thThe Illinois Appellate Court has affirmed a decision of a Cook County circuit court judge dismissing a legal malpractice case because of the running of the statute of limitations barred the plaintiff from filing suit.

On Feb. 4, 2005, Rose Anne Godbold underwent a positron emission tomography scan in a clinic run by Advocate Medical Group and overseen by Brian McMahon. Sometime between August and September 2005, Godbold became aware that the protocols that had been followed in her scan and results had been concealed. The primary consequence of this was that Godbold had Hodgkin’s disease, which a properly performed positron emission tomography would have detected. However, Godbold did not discover that she had the disease until June 18, 2007.

Godbold hired lawyers to pursue a medical negligence case. She hired the Chicago law firm of Karlin & Fleischer LLC. The firm forwarded to Godbold a retainer agreement on Nov. 10, 2008 and the request for medical authorization and a cost advanced payment of $2,500.

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thRobert Cruz filed a lawsuit alleging medical negligence against Dr. Robert R. Schenk and Hand Surgery Ltd., his medical practice, claiming that Dr. Schenk had chosen not to follow the standard of care. In his lawsuit, Cruz said Dr. Schenk used excessive injections and failed to adequately explore or treat the superficial radial right nerve, all of which, it was claimed, injured Cruz.

The jury trial proceeded without incident, but during the jury deliberations, the jury sent two questions to the trial judge. The first one was, “Is the Jury making a decision on how Mr. Cruz got originally hurt or are we making a decision on the quality of care that . . . provided?” The second question was, “After reading the ‘proximate cause statement’ is the jury correct to assume to interpret it in the following way: That if we, the jury, believe that Dr. Schank (sic) is not the only cause for Mr. Cruz’s injury, then we decide with the defense?”

The trial judge met with the parties to discuss the court’s response. The attorney for Cruz stated that the jury’s question should be answered “specifically and accurately.” However, the lawyer did not provide what response should be given to the jury by the judge and gave no written response to the court to give to the jury.

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th-1On March 10, 2007, Ramona Sue Yates was a patient in the emergency room at Memorial Hospital in Carbondale, Ill. She complained of severe back and abdominal pain. The defendant, emergency room physician, Dr. Daniel Doolittle, who was employed by the defendant Legatus Emergency Services, chose not to correctly diagnose or even suspect that Yates was suffering from a bowel obstruction and internal hernia.

Two years earlier, Yates, 47, had undergone gastric bypass surgery. Bowel obstruction is a known complication for patients following the weight-loss surgery.

Dr. Doolittle reportedly misdiagnosed Yates as having back spasms and had her admitted to the hospital for observation. Unfortunately, Yates died from the bowel obstruction the next day, March 11, 2007. She is survived by her husband and an adult son. She was employed as a nurse at a mental health facility.

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th-2Joel Burnette was just 40 years old with bipolar disorder and other mental health issues. He underwent a lumbar epidural steroid injection at a pain clinic to combat his back pain. The following week Burnette developed a lump at the epidural injection site. Burnette informed nurses at the pain clinic, and he was told by a nurse that this was not something to be concerned about. Days later, Burnette received a second epidural injection. After that second injection, Burnette developed an epidural abscess, deep tissue infection and MRSA meningitis and was diagnosed as having cauda equina syndrome, which left him with chronic pain, among other problems.

Cauda equina is a condition in which the nerves in the spine are compressed. MRSA meningitis is an uncommon disease that affects the lining around the brain and spinal cord. It can be fatal. MRSA alone is a bacterial infection that if not treated and eradicated by intense antibiotic treatment can be deadly. Burnette unfortunately later committed suicide

Burnette was survived by his parents who sued the anesthesiologist, Kimber Eubanks, M.D. and the pain clinic claiming that all were negligent in choosing not to identify the infection after the first injection and giving a second injection to an infected patient.

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thA jury deliberated 12 hours over two days before it was deadlocked, unable to reach a verdict by unanimous consent. The jury was deadlocked 8-4 or 7-5 in favor of the defendant Dr. Ian J. Goldberg.

This case arose out of an April 25, 2009 event, when Michael Knorps experienced crushing chest pain, shortness of breath and diaphoresis. Diaphoresis is a medical term for sweating profusely. Paramedics came to the 52-year-old Knorps giving him nitroglycerin, which completely relieved his chest pain. He was admitted to St. Alexius Hospital in Hoffman Estates, Ill., and was diagnosed with unstable angina. EKGs, cardiac enzymes and a cardiology consultation were all ordered. Knorps, 52, was seen the next day by a cardiologist, Dr. Ian Goldberg, who suspected coronary artery disease and recommended cardiac catherization/angiogram.

The angiogram was done the following day by Dr. Sumeet Sachdev, who found only mild coronary disease with 20% blockage of the left anterior descending artery and no disease in the other coronary arteries.

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200177292-001Butch Borden, 51, underwent lower back surgery by neurosurgeon Dr. Tom Staner. While Borden was recuperating, he developed weakness and sensory deficits in his legs. Dr. Staner instructed Borden to go to Brookwood Medical Center, where testing there revealed a small hematoma in the lower back. A hematoma is where a pool of blood gathers in an area of the body for different reasons. Borden was then admitted to the hospital.

While overnight in that hospital, Borden developed urinary incontinence and lost the use of both legs. This development was not communicated to any of Borden’s treating physicians, including Dr. Staner.

The next morning, however, Dr. Staner examined Borden and ordered an urgent CT scan and myelogram, which showed a large hematoma, another pool of collecting blood, compressing Borden’s cauda equina. The cauda equina, which is Latin for horse’s tail, is a bundle of spinal nerves and spinal nerve roots that run through the second to fifth lumbar nerves in the back. The compression of the cauda equina is a serious neurological condition and can cause loss of function. The cauda equina syndrome is caused by the compression of nerves at the end of the spinal cord.

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DownloadedFile-2Linda Lawson, 55, underwent a CT scan of her thoracic spine after she was experiencing leg and lower back pain. The scan was reported as being benign. Lawson’s symptoms continued and she had a lumbar CT scan 2 months later. The results of the CT were again reported by a second radiologist as being benign.

After her condition worsened, Lawson underwent an MRI, which showed a pelvic mass. She subsequently was diagnosed as having Stage IV non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which had spread to several lymph nodes and bones. She underwent aggressive inpatient treatment and is now in remission.

Lawson was a teacher earning about $40,000 annually and was unable to work for one year. She filed a lawsuit against Southwest Radiology, whose radiologist interpreted the first scan and the radiologist who read the second scan claiming that the radiologist chose not to timely diagnose her condition. Had she received an earlier diagnosis, Lawson argued she would have undergone less aggressive treatment on an outpatient basis.

Lawson settled with the second radiologist for a confidential amount. The jury awarded $640,000 against the first radiologist and the radiology practice.

The attorney representing Linda Lawson was Roger A. Johnson and Erin Voorhees.

Lawson v. Southwest Radiology, No. 11AO-CC00346 (Mo., Jasper Co. Cir. Sept. 13, 2013).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical malpractice cases, misdiagnosis of cancer cases and hospital negligence cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Glen Ellyn, Roselle, North Aurora, Plainfield, Tinley Park, Chicago Heights, Buffalo Grove, Lake in the Hills, Algonquin, Arlington Heights, Gurnee, Grayslake, Crystal Lake, Highland Park, Niles, Westridge, Westmont and Lombard, Ill.

Related blog posts:

Illinois Appellate Court Reverses Medical Malpractice Jury Verdict Because Trial Exhibit Went Beyond the Fairness Limit

$2.5 Million Settlement for Doctor’s Failure to Follow Up on Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Cook County Jury Sides with Family of Deceased in Medical Malpractice Case Related to Delay in Treatment of Bladder Cancer





thA 65-year-old woman, we’ll call her Ms. Doe, underwent a successful elective surgery at a California hospital and was later transferred to a private room. The woman was stable by midnight that day, but three hours later nurses found her unresponsive. A code blue was called and despite resuscitation efforts, Doe’s condition deteriorated. She died of cardiopulmonary arrest. Doe had been retired and was survived by her husband and two adult children.

The family of Doe sued the hospital and several nurses claiming that a malfunctioning medication pump had caused Doe to receive an overdose of morphine. In addition, the lawsuit claimed that an inadequate pulse oximetry alarms prevented the nurses from timely responding to Doe before she became unresponsive. The defendants denied that they had chosen not to attend to Doe’s hypoxia state in a timely fashion. Before trial, the parties settled for $375,000.

In some cases, morphine, which is an extremely potent pain drug, can give rise to severe and often deadly side effects for patients who have an intolerance to this drug.  There are many effective pain medication alternatives to the use of morphine for patients who have a history of harmful side effects.

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