Sandra Hernandez, 46, underwent a laparoscopic hysterectomy that was performed by the defendant obstetrician/gynecologist, Dr. Joseph Thomas. The surgery was done at Trinity Hospital in Chicago on March 31, 2010.

During the surgery, Dr. Thomas’s placement of a laparoscopic trocar resulted in lacerations to the iliac artery, iliac vein and small bowel. The iliac arteries are three arteries located in the region of the ilium in the pelvis. The three arteries are the common iliac artery, the external iliac artery and the internal iliac artery. These vessels are located in the pelvic area of the body.

After the lacerations, Hernandez suffered severe abdominal bleeding with massive blood loss leading to cardiac arrest and a call for a code blue resuscitation. Extensive amounts of blood products were administered after which surgery was coompleted to repair the small bowel and blood vessels.
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The appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court arose from the Circuit Court of Peoria County, which granted the motion of the defendants, Dr. Clarissa Rhode and Central Illinois Radiological Associates Ltd. The plaintiff — Randall Moon — filed a complaint under the Illinois Wrongful Act (740 ILCS 180/1, et seq.) and the Survival Act (755 ILCS 5/27-6). The complaint was dismissed as time-barred. The Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the dismissal and held that the two-year statute of limitations for filing the complaint began to run at the time of the decedent’s death and not after the plaintiff discovered defendants’ alleged medical negligence.

On May 18, 2009, Randall Moon’s mother, 90-year-old Kathryn Moon, was admitted to Proctor Hospital in Peoria, Ill., for rectal prolapse. On May 20, 2009, she underwent a perineal proctectomy. During her hospitalization, she experienced numerous complications including labored breathing, pain, fluid overload, pulmonary infiltrates, pneumoperitoneum, sepsis and an elevated white blood cell count.

On May 23, a CT scan of her chest and abdominal area was ordered. Dr. Rhode, a radiologist, read the CT scans on May 24, 2009. Randall W. Moon, who is Kathryn Moon’s son and the plaintiff in this case, returned from out-of-state to his mother’s bedside on the evening of May 27, 2009. Her oxygen levels had significantly dropped and she was not awake or responsive. Two days later she died in the hospital.
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The Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to accept for consideration a case appealed from the Illinois Appellate Court for the 1st District stating that this is a case of first impression. The case of Sheri Lawler v. The University of Chicago Medical Center was decided early this year, reversing a Cook County judge’s decision that disallowed an amendment to the medical malpractice lawsuit for wrongful death.

In the appellate court decision, the court held that the plaintiff’s estate was allowed to add new wrongful-death claims even after the statute of repose had expired.

The original lawsuit was brought by Jill Prusak who sued The University of Chicago Medical Center and Advocate Christ Hospital and a doctor and some others for medical malpractice in August 2011. It was claimed that the doctors and hospitals misdiagnosed her central nervous system lymphoma, a tumor affecting the brain or spinal cord as a macular pathology, which is a condition in a patient’s retinas.
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Betty Spotts fell and fractured her pelvis at her home on Feb. 10, 2011. The fracture required surgery at Ingalls Memorial Hospital. She was transferred to the defendant Providence Health Care in South Holland, Ill., on Feb. 14, 2011. Providence Health Care was supposed to provide a course of rehabilitation, including physical therapy and occupational therapy.

Just days after her admission to Providence Health Care, she began exhibiting symptoms of low oxygen levels (hypoxia) including shortness of breath, allegedly indicative of pulmonary emboli. Spotts was 81 years old.

Her symptoms got worse on Feb. 21, 2011, at which time a pulmonary embolism was diagnosed. She was readmitted to Ingalls Memorial Hospital where treatment was ultimately unsuccessful. She died on Feb. 22, 2011 survived by two adult children.
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Johnna Hunt, 40, underwent an outpatient hysteroscopic D&C that was performed by an obstetrician, Dr. John Kaczmarek. She returned home after this procedure and began to hemorrhage. She was admitted to a local hospital and was diagnosed as having a perforated uterine wall and arterial injuries.

Hunt required a hysterectomy and now suffers from scarring, pain and emotional distress as a result of the injuries she sustained. She filed a medical negligence lawsuit against Dr. Kaczmarek and his medical practice claiming that the doctor chose not to recognize that during the procedure he had not entered her endometrial cavity, negligently perforated her uterine wall and chose not to diagnose this intraoperatively and failed to treat intraoperative bleeding. The lawsuit did not claim any lost income.

The jury entered a verdict in favor of Johnna Hunt in the amount of $500,000. Hunt’s attorney was Timothy P. Pothin.
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A medical malpractice lawsuit was filed by Beverly Coote on behalf of her mother, Phyllis Brevitz, against Dr. Robert A. Miller and Midwest Orthopaedics Consultants S.C. The issue in the case was whether the Coote’s expert had enough credibility to testify at trial. The trial judge ruled that Coote’s expert was inadequate and granted summary judgment in favor of Dr. Miller and Midwest Orthopaedics Consultants.

However, on appeal to the 1st District Appellate Court, the ruling was reversed finding that Coote’s medical expert, Dr. William C. Daniels, met the necessary qualifications to testify in this case.

“Based [on] our review of the record, we find that Dr. Daniels possesses the requisite knowledge and familiarity with the methods, procedures and treatment in this case to provide expert testimony.”
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A 16-year-old girl was incarcerated at a county juvenile detention center.She had a history of chronic depression and other mental health issues, was noted to be irritable and at risk for self-injurious behavior and suicide.

During her approximately two-month stay, this young woman was placed on suicide watch many times. Medications included Abilify, which was prescribed to help with her mood and anxiety.

This detainee experienced chest pains and increased anxiety. She asked the probation officer if she could see a mental health expert. The next day she complained to a physician that the Abilify was not working and that she was experiencing panic attacks. The doctor referred the young woman to a psychiatrist. Several hours later however, the woman barricaded herself in her room and hanged herself with a bedsheet. She is survived by her parents.

A bench trial brought by the mother of 12-year-old Akeem Manago resulted in a $200,000 judgement in favor of Akeem. The case was brought by Akeem’s mother, April Pritchett. Akeem suffered permanent scars, pain and suffering and loss of normal life resulting in this judgment. Akeem was treated for his burns at Cook County’s Stroger Hospital, which accumulated $79,572 in bills. In the bench trial judgment, there was no award for medical expenses, although the hospital bills were presented to the judge by stipulation of the parties.

Pritchett faced liability for Akeem’s hospital bills under the Family Expense Statute. However, the court ruled that the defendants in the case were not liable for health-care damages because “no evidence was adduced to establish that April Pritchett had any expectation that she had to pay any of the $79,572 back to Stroger Hospital.”

The county nevertheless asserted a hospital lien against the $200,000 judgment based on Section 10(a) of the Health Care Services Lien Act.
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Mary McNair had knee replacement surgery at Rush University Medical Center. The surgery did not go as expected and left her with permanent injuries. On April 8, 2014, she filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Rush University Medical Center alleging medical negligence related to the anesthesia and post-anesthesia care. She sought discovery from one of the named respondents in discovery pursuant to the Illinois statute. The respondent in discovery was Dr. Asokumar Buvanendran. The trial judge entered an order requiring written discovery to be answered by July 17, 2014. Dr. Buvanendran filed responses to all of the interrogatories by the date set by the court. Dr. Buvanendran also responded to requests for additional production of documents by the deadline of Aug. 4, 2014.

The trial judge ordered a deposition of Dr. Buvanendran to take place on Sept. 8, 2014. Dr. Buvanendran sat for that deposition as was required.

Two weeks later, McNair filed an emergency motion for “an extension of time to convert respondents in discovery to defendants,” alleging that she needed additional time to complete discovery from other respondents in discovery. Her motion claimed that she needed discovery from these other respondents in order to decide whether she would make Dr. Buvanendran a party defendant.

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John Pluard, 51, fell from an attic and landed on a concrete surface 14 feet below, fracturing his leg and left elbow. Pluard was admitted to Harborview Medical Center where he underwent leg surgery to repair his fractured leg, but not to his arm.

After the surgery, Pluard reported increased pain in his left arm for which he was given morphine. Almost seven hours later, an orthopedic surgeon examined him. The doctor increased his morphine dose and saw him again the next morning. Pluard later lost most of his neuromotor functioning in his hand.  Despite emergency surgery, he does not have a functioning left hand.

Pluard had worked as a carpenter earning about $46,500 per year and has not been able to return to work. He and his wife sued the hospital, maintaining that it chose not to timely diagnose and treat compartment syndrome, which was the source and cause of his arm injury. The jury entered their verdict in favor of both Pluard and his wife for $1.58 million.

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