$24.5 Million Jury Verdict for Maternal Death for Medical Negligence Choosing Not to Timely Treat Placenta Accreta

Lilia Torres began spotting during the eighth week of her pregnancy. She was 34 years old at the time. She went to a hospital, where an ultrasound was completed, and later followed up with her treating obstetrician after receiving a diagnosis of placenta previa and possible placenta accreta – a condition in which the placenta attaches too deeply to the uterine wall. For the rest of her pregnancy, she received medical care from several obstetricians and midwives.

At 39 weeks gestation, a cesarean section was scheduled and performed one day later by two obstetricians. After the delivery, she suffered a massive blood loss, necessitating a hysterectomy.

Torres, who lost at least 10 liters of blood, suffered cardiogenic and pulmonary shock. Shortly after, she died of complications of hemorrhagic shock and multiple-organ failure. She was survived by her husband and four minor children.

Torres’s husband, individually and on behalf of the Torres’s estate and the couple’s children, sued two of the obstetricians who provided prenatal care to Lilia; the two obstetricians who performed the delivery; and each of their employers under a vicarious liability theory, alleging electing not to treat placental accrete and perform a timely hysterectomy.

The Torres family asserted that she should have undergone an MRI to rule out placenta accreta, deliver her baby at 34-36 weeks in the presence of a multidisciplinary team, and she should have received a higher incision to avoid cutting into the placenta when the c-section was done.

The lawsuit did not claim lost income. The jury signed a verdict for $24.5 million.

The attorneys successfully handling this tragic case were Daniel Harwin and Todd Michaels.

At trial, the Torres family and attorneys presented an expert in maternal fetal medicine. The report of this case made no mention of the health of the baby delivered by c-section.

Chavez v. Gonzalez-Garcia, No. CACE 18001011 (25) (Fla. Cir. Ct. Broward County, April 17, 2019).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling maternal wrongful death lawsuits, birth injury lawsuits, neonatal brain injury lawsuits and labor and delivery negligence lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones 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 LaGrange, Oak Lawn, Calumet City, Frankfort, Joliet, Lockport, Romeoville, Bolingbrook, Downers Grove, Lombard, Carol Stream, Buffalo Grove, Vernon Hills, Winthrop Harbor, Fox Lake, Elgin, St. Charles, Batavia, Schaumburg, Countryside, Tinley Park, Chicago (Englewood, Gage Park, Douglas, Chatham, Calumet Heights, Belmont Cragin, Avondale, Auburn, Gresham, East Side, Greater Grand Crossing, Hegewisch, Hyde Park, Irving Park, Lincoln Square, Morgan Park, North Lawndale, Oakland, Roseland, Uptown), Burbank, Evergreen Park, Blue Island, Harvey and South Holland, Ill.

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