Medical Malpractice Case Will County, Joliet IL
Recently awarded the highest settled Medical Malpractice suit in the history of Will County for 9.2 million.
Will County, Il.(a suburb of Chicago) – On January 15, 2015, a Will County woman and her husband settled a medical malpractice lawsuit against a local hospital and surgical group, for a Will County record high settlement of $9.2 million. She filed suit because surgical complications after weight loss surgery in November, 2010, led to above-the-knee amputation of both of her legs. The surgeon was an employee of the surgical group and an agent of a local hospital. Based upon claims of agency the hospital participated in the settlement. There were no other significant claims against the hospital. A local hematologist also contributed to the settlement.
On November, 10, 2010, a local woman underwent a weight loss procedure called a gastric sleeve surgery, which involved removal of approximately 70% of her stomach. She had a preexisting blood clotting disorder, and for the previous ten years had been required to take a blood thinner called Coumadin every day. The blood thinner had to be discontinued just before surgery, with the expectation that it would be restarted in a timely manner after the operation. Unfortunately, she suffered a bleeding complication after surgery, and the surgeon decided to delay the restarting of those blood thinners. Due to the absence of an anticoagulation bridging plan, blood thinners were never restarted and after two weeks, she developed massive blood clots in her legs that ultimately resulted in the complete loss of blood circulation to her legs. Because circulation could not be restored, both of her legs were amputated above the knees on November 26, 2010.
A lawsuit was filed in Will County by Laird Ozmon of the Law Offices of Laird M. Ozmon, Ltd. alleging that her doctor failed to sufficiently educate her that due to her hyper coagulable condition, she should have had a less invasive and risky weight loss surgery called a lap band procedure, failed to properly manager her anticoagulants before surgery, failed to restart her anticoagulants when it was safe to do so, and failed to respond in a timely manner when she developed extensive blood clots.
The plaintiffs were represented by Laird Ozmon of Laird M. Ozmon, Ltd, (Joliet) and Mark McNabola, Ted Jennings and Ruth Degnan of McNabola Law Group, P.C. (Chicago) who were subsequently added as trial counsel. Defendant hospital was represented by Brian Fetzer of Johnson & Bell, Ltd. (Chicago); defendant surgeon and medical group were represented by Troy Lundquist of Langhenry, Gillen, Lundquist & Johnson, LLC (Joliet); and the hematologist and medical group were represented by Martha Swatek of Swatek Law Group, Ltd. (Geneva).
Plaintiff, a bricklayer-carpenter, age 42, sustained a nearly complete amputation of his left hand, while using a power miter saw found to be unreasonably dangerous due to a lack of a right side lower blade guard. Plaintiff’s expert was the invertor and designer of the 10-inch Black & Decker Power Miter Box Saw ( Model 7717, Type 1) testified he designed guards for both sides but for marketing reasons Black & Decker omitted the right side guard.
Laird Ozmon from Ozmon Law settled an $8,000,000.00 dollar Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD, A1AD) case for client Scott S. Scott was misdiagnosed with COPD for years when he actually had the rare Alpha-1 protein deficiency.
Beginning in 1991, defts misdiagnosed M-40 pltf’s genetic disorder(Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency) as asthma, resulting in loss of over 75% of pltf’s lung function, leaving him a pulmonary cripple and diminishing his life expectancy by 15-20 years. If identified by a simple blood test, progress of the disease could have been halted by serum replacement therapy and pltf’s emphysema prevented. Due to his extended treatment for asthma with steroids, pltf also developed osteoporosis and suffered multiple vertebral fractures. NOTE: this is the first known case involving the misdiagnosis of Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Defeciency.
Age 49, a carpenter, was using a 10-inch Black and Decker miter box saw when an unguarded blade on the right side struck his left hand, amputating one-third around the thumb. Thumb was sewn back on and palm repaired, but a year later index finger had to be removed and other fingers are unable to grasp, numb and have pain, due to tendon injury. Inventor had testified he designed guards for both sides but deft omitted right side because most users are right-handed.
December 1, 2003, pltf M-16 presented to the emergency room of Deft Hospital with a two-day history of abdominal pain and diarrhea. He had a fever and was tachycardic. His CBC blood test revealed that his white blood count was elevated with marked shift to the left. A CT scan of his abdomen revealed that appendicitis could not be excluded as a possible diagnosis. He was admitted thereafter to deft Mercy Hospital. On December 2, 2003, he was discharged from the deft Mercy Hospital by deft Cesare Menendez, M.D., despite an abdominal white blood count, bandemia, and fever spike noted at time of discharge. On December 3, 2003, pltf’s decedent’s parents called deft Cesare Menendez, M.D. on two occasions informing him that their son’s condition was worsening. However, it was not recommended that they return to the hospital immediately, but rather were given an appointment for the following day at 1:00p.m. On December 4, 2003 at 1:40a.m., pltf’s decedent told his father to take him to the hospital but then collapsed and died. Autopsy later disclosed a purulent infectious process in the right lower quadrant most likely related to a perforated appendicitis resulting in peritonits, sepsis and ultimately his death.
Male 44 yr old cabinet maker’s August 1996 chest x-ray was misread and defendants failed to diagnose his lung cancer until May, 1997, when it was Stage III and had metastasized to his brain. He died in Sept. 1997 (survived by wife and 3 grown children)
A male 37 year old tripped over a nail protruding from concrete on a top step at a Chicago construction project and fell down a stairway sustaining a L4-L5 herniation requiring decompressive laminectomy and fusion. Plaintiff could not return to work as a carpet installer and now works as a truck driver without lifting requirements.
A male, 35 years old, was entering a fast food establishment carrying his child and was injured when a mat in the entranceway slipped due to an accumulation of water and/or other substances on the underlying floor causing him to violently twist in an attempt to avoid falling and potentially injuring his child. He sustained back injuries at the L3/L4, L4/L5 and L5/S1 levels which required a posterolateral intertransverse arthrodesis with pedicle screw segmental fixation, posterior lumber interbody fusion and placement of a prosthetic devise.
Student, M-12 was struck and killed at a Joliet corner because a Suburban Bus did not employ safety procedures or equipment such as a “stop arm” in violation of federal school bus regulations. The suburban bus route had been created specifically to take children to and from Washington Junior High School, and was a “de facto” school bus according to the estate. Child is survived by his parents, a twin brother, and 3 sisters.
Plaintiff’s decedent, M age 6, was playing with his siblings and a 5 year-old girl outside the front of the apartment his mother and stepfather had leased from Defendant, two weeks earlier. Although the children were instructed by their mother to stay in front of the apartment building, Plaintiff’s decedent, his 4 year-old brother and the 5 year-old girl left the vicinity and walked within the fenced apartment complex.
Behind the last apartment building they came upon a pool which either the Plaintiff’s decedent nor his parents knew existed. Said pool was enclosed by a fence and a gate which was supposed to be chained and locked. However, the lock had been cut off earlier at the direction of Defendant by his workers who had been unable to find the key. Rather than replace the lock, Defendant instructed his workers to merely wrap the chain around the gate. As the pool had not been opened for use or maintained since the end of 2002, it had partially filled with black septic water to a depth of 5 feet in the deep end which normally would be filled to a depth of 9 feet. The shallow end was totally empty. The depth and opaqueness of the water in the deep end prevented visualizing that it had steep inclines on all sides which had become covered in slime which would severely impede anyone who might try to get out of the pool. Additionally, multiple debris, such as leaves, garbage cans and equipment were hidden beneath the surface of the pool by the water’s lack of clarity. Apparently, the children entered the pool area and subsequently the 5 year old neighbor girl walked into the empty shallow end of the pool by way of the concrete steps. She thereafter allegedly was caused to slip on the slime covered concrete incline, where the deep and shallow ends met, causing her to not only fall into the water, but also to be unable to extricate herself. Upon seeing this, Plaintiff’s decedent went to her aid and pulled her from the water. However, in so doing, he was himself caused to fall into the deep end of the pool from which he was unable to escape. Within minutes, a tenant in the adjacent building, who heard the commotion, entered the pool in an attempt to rescue Plaintiff’s decedent. However, he was unable to locate his body due to the condition of the water and being further hampered by debris and poor footing.
Ultimately Plaintiff’s decedent was found by paramedics who likewise were severely impeded in their rescue efforts resulting in his being submerged for over fifteen minutes. He was rushed to Christ Hospital suffering from severe anoxic encephalopathy where he remained in intensive care for seven days until his death.
Comments: Policy limits of $1,000,000.00