$10.14 Million Jury Verdict to Child Whose Bacterial Meningitis Was Missed

Shamir Tillery was 11 months old when he went to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia emergency room. Shamir was suffering from fever and breathing difficulties. The hospital and emergency room staff diagnosed an upper respiratory infection or pneumonia and sent him home.

The next day, Shamir was returned to the Children’s Hospital with worsened symptoms. This included increased fever, irritability, increased pulse and respiration rates, dehydration and lethargy. The emergency room physician, Dr. Monika Goyal, ordered chest X-rays, ruled out pneumonia and upper respiratory infection and again sent Shamir home with instructions to follow up with his pediatrician.

The following day, Shamir returned to the same hospital. Over the next several hours he was examined and received a diagnosis of possible pneumonia or bacterial infection. More than 6 hours after he arrived at Children’s Hospital, he underwent a lumbar puncture that revealed bacterial meningitis. The late diagnosis and treatment was devastating. Shamir is now 6 years old. He suffers from brain damage and a profound hearing loss.

Shamir’s mother, individually and on Shamir’s behalf, filed a lawsuit against Children’s Hospital and Dr. Goyal claiming that they chose not to timely diagnose and treat bacterial meningitis.

The jury’s verdict was $10,140,000 finding that the hospital was 60% responsible and Dr. Goyal 40% liable. The trial judge later denied the defendants’ motion for post-trial relief, including judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) and awarded the Tillery family about $1.25 million in delay damages.

The attorney representing the Tillery family was Andrew J. Stern.

Tillery v. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, No. 111202168 (Pa. Ct. Com. Pleas Phila. County, April 13, 2016).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling birth trauma injury cases, medical negligence cases, hospital negligence cases and catastrophic injury 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 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Schaumburg, Schiller Park, Long Grove, Wheaton, Yorkville, Elmhurst, Elmwood Park, Chicago (Rogers Park, Hegewisch, East Side, Lawndale, Jefferson Park, Washington Park, Garfield Park), Joliet, Elgin, Aurora, St. Charles, Midlothian, Gurnee and Lincolnshire, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

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