Unknown-2On Aug. 4, 2011, Jill Prusak filed a medical malpractice case within both the two-year statute of limitation and four-year statute of repose under Section 13-212(a). The lawsuit contained a two-count complaint against the defendants, University of Chicago Medical Center and other medical providers who have since been dismissed from the case. It was alleged that Dr. Rama Jager misdiagnosed Prusak’s macular pathology and that this misdiagnosis led to the defendants’ choosing to not recognize nervous system lymphoma.

The first count alleged negligence against the University of Chicago defendants and asserted that Dr. Jager was an agent or apparent agent of the University of Chicago defendants.  The second count of the complaint made the same allegations with respect to Advocate defendants and the Christ Hospital defendants.

Prusak died on Nov. 24, 2013 after the expiration of the four-year statute of repose. On March 11, 2014, the trial court granted Prusak’s daughter, Sheri Lawler, leave to file an amended complaint, substituting herself as party plaintiff and as the executor of Prusak’s estate.

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Unknown-1Angelica Heavner, 41, went to the hospital emergency room for treatment of jaw and head pain. A hospital employee placed an IV into Heavner’s metacarpal vein on her right hand. The insertion of the IV caused her to develop a blister at that site, plus burning and stinging pain.

The IV was not removed immediately. Heavner developed complications and was later diagnosed with having complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) of the right hand, which necessitated medication and a spinal cord stimulator. CRPS, or reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, causes chronic pain in patients who have contracted it. The cause of CRPS is varied. In some cases, the cause of CRPS is the dysfunction in the central or peripheral nervous system.

Heavner filed a lawsuit against the hospital, alleging its employee negligently inserted the IV, which resulted in nerve contact and thus was the cause of the CRPS. The lawsuit also maintained that the defendant’s failure to promptly identify the problem and remove the IV led to the chronic pain syndrome. There was no claim for lost income.

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imagesGlenn Garofano, 63, underwent an ultrasound of his gallbladder, which revealed gallstones and a 4-cm mass on his liver. He then underwent a CT scan, which radiologist Dr. Clifford Barker reported as showing no evidence of a mass. Dr. Barker also suggested that Garofano consider an MRI. Thirteen months later, Garofano was hospitalized for Lyme disease and underwent testing, which led to a diagnosis of metastatic liver cancer that had spread to his heart.

Garofano died two months after the diagnosis and was survived by his wife and three adult children. His family filed a lawsuit against Dr. Barker alleging that he chose not to order the MRI or a liver biopsy in light of the previous test results. It was claimed that had adequate testing been done and a timely diagnosis been received, Garofano would have had a 42% chance of survival. The lawsuit does not claim lost income. Thus, the lawsuit was for the lost opportunity to save Garofano from his untimely death. The jury’s verdict was for $7 million.

The attorney representing the Garofano family was Paul A. O’Connor.

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Benjamin Serico was 58 years old when he underwent a colonoscopy done by a colorectal surgeon, Dr. Robert Rothberg. Dr. Rothberg informed Serico that the test did not reveal any signs of colon cancer.

Two years later, Serico was diagnosed with having metastatic colon cancer; despite a treatment plan, Serico later died of the cancer. He had been an assistant professor and was survived by his wife and two sons.

The Serico family sued Dr. Rothberg, claiming that his choosing not to remove a polyp during the colonoscopy procedure and then failing to properly perform the test, led to the late diagnosis of cancer. The jury’s verdict was $6 million in favor of the estate of Serico and his wife for the wrongful death and medical malpractice.

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imagesIn November 2008, Anil R. Shah, a medical doctor who practices facial surgery and otolaryngology, performed several outpatient plastic surgery procedures for Daniel Green in the doctor’s Schaumburg, Ill., office. The procedures did not require general anesthesia and were performed under local anesthetic in Dr. Shah’s outpatient office.

Although Green was not given a general anesthetic, Dr. Shah gave him both Valium and Phenergan, medications designed to sedate a patient as well as prevent nausea.

Dr. Shah testified at trial that Green was lucid and talking throughout the operation. Dr. Shah also said Green was aware and able to understand instructions.

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imagesGregory Cotter was 42 years old and had a history of alcoholism and mental health problems. He was also diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. He had attempted suicide.

After attempting suicide, Cotter was admitted to St. Francis Hospital where Dr. Sadaf Ahsan, the former director of the psychiatry department, treated him. After a 5-day period, Cotter was released to the custody of a friend.

Cotter disappeared one day later. His body was found with deep stab wounds, and his death was ruled suicide. Cotter, who had been earning about $40,000 a year as a painter, was survived by his wife.

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00381370030164_cf_A city of St. Louis Circuit Court jury found that Johnson & Johnson’s well-known white powder, Baby Powder and Shower to Shower and other products containing talcum, were the cause of the ovarian cancer and death of an Alabama woman. The Shower to Shower product line was sold by Johnson & Johnson in 2012. For decades, these products have been depicted in advertisements as beneficial for women and children.

The civil lawsuit was brought by Jackie Fox of Birmingham, Ala., which was part of a larger claim involving 60 other injured individuals. Fox’s claim was brought by her son who took over the case after his mother passed away in October 2015 at the age of 62. She died 2 years after her diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Fox underwent painful chemotherapy and radiation therapies in the effort to control her cancer.

It was alleged and proved in the lawsuit that Fox used the talcum powder as a bathroom staple for years. The jury deliberated for five hours after a 3-week trial. It was the first such case among more than 1,200 nationally that are still pending against Johnson & Johnson.

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imagesIn a recent New York Times article, it was reported that Johnson & Johnson and Bayer, the makers of the anticlotting drug Xarelto, were complicit in staying silent in what is claimed to be an effort to protect the drug from criticism over its safety. Xarelto is sold in the U.S. by Johnson & Johnson and overseas by Bayer. Sales in the U.S. in 2015 were nearly $2 billion. Xarelto is said to be the best seller in a new category of drugs used to break up blood clots.

The claim of deception comes from what was a letter published in The New England Journal of Medicine and written primarily by researchers at Duke University that omitted laboratory data about Xarelto. Xarelto is widely used as a replacement to Warfarin, which is an older blood thinner. Johnson & Johnson and Bayer hired the Duke Clinical Research Institute to run a 3-year clinical trial involving more than 14,000 patients that led to Xarelto’s approval by federal regulators.

Those research results have come under scrutiny since Sept. 20, 2015, when the companies notified regulators that a blood-testing device used in the study had malfunctioned.

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imagesJoyce Williamson was 73 years old when she underwent surgery to treat spinal cord compression caused from cervical stenosis. Cervical stenosis is a slowly progressing condition that impinges on the spinal cord section of the neck. It can be very painful.

Several days after her surgery, she complained of shoulder weakness and then underwent an MRI of the cervical spine. The results showed fluid collecting, but no compression of the spinal cord. Her condition worsened. Her rehabilitation physician contacted her treating neurosurgeon who was Dr. George Shanno.

Dr. Shanno evaluated Williamson several hours later and gave a different diagnosis of stroke or epidural hematoma. An epidural hematoma is the traumatic accumulation of blood between the tough outer membrane of the nervous system and the skull. An epidural hematoma would usually occur because of a sudden and blunt blow to the head or in the event of a skull fracture.

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UnknownKreisman Law Offices is reviewing and handling lawsuits on behalf of patients who have suffered infections following knee, hip or other joint replacement surgeries. The lawsuits currently in place allege that 3M’s Bair Hugger warming blanket, which is widely used in hospitals across the country, are the cause of devastating injuries related to infection. Surgical patients exposed to the use of the Bair Hugger blanket have been known to be contaminated by the air in operating rooms that many times causes infections leading to sepsis and MRSA.

Many of the pending lawsuits have named Arizant Healthcare and 3M Company, charging the companies that the Bair Hugger warming blankets have manufactured, designed and distributed are defective and cause severe and debilitating infections. It has been alleged in the lawsuits that the manufacturers and distributors have known about the infection risks for more than 6 years and have chosen not to warn hospitals, doctors and patients about the dangers.

The 3M Bair Hugger is a warming blanket that uses forced air designed to keep the patient’s body temperature at a normal range. It is used principally during hip and knee replacement surgeries. The Bair Hugger device forces warm air through a hose into a special blanket that is draped over the patient in the surgical suite.

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