Jury Enters $35.4 Million Verdict in Failure to Document Patient’s Medical Condition Resulting in Paralysis, Requiring 24-Hour Care

Andrea Larkin, 25, suffered from vertigo. When tested, she was shown to have a large venous varix on the left side of her brain and an aneurysm on the right side. A varix is an enlarged vein, artery or vessel. Larkin received her medical care from Dr. Jehane Johnston. A year or so later, she stopped seeing Dr. Johnston. She became pregnant. Her prenatal care was provided by the same medical association as Dr. Johnston.

After the vaginal delivery of her child, Larkin suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. As a result, Larkin has cognitive and speech difficulties and paralysis requiring 24-hour care.

Larkin’s husband, individually and on her behalf, filed a lawsuit against Dr. Johnston and her practice, alleging that the doctor chose not to properly treat the venous varix and alert the obstetrician about Andrea’s medical history.

Among other claims, the Larkins charged that Dr. Johnston failed to list Larkin’s abnormalities on the “problem list” in her medical chart, pursuant to the medical group’s own policies and procedures. It was further alleged that had the obstetrician known of Larkin’s medical history, she would not have undergone the stress of labor which, the Larkins maintained, led to the increased intracranial pressure and the resulting stroke.

There was no claim for lost time from work.

The jury entered its verdict of $35.4 million in favor of the Larkins. The lawyers representing the Larkin family were Benjamin R. Novotny and Karen A. Zahka.

Larkin v. Johnston, No. 11-00923 (Mass.Super Ct. Norfolk County, May 7, 2015).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical negligence cases and wrongful death 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 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Palos Heights, Palatine, Wilmette, Waukegan and Naperville, Ill.

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