Maya Cotton underwent a mammogram after she developed a lump in her right breast. The interpreting radiologist allegedly reported that her condition was “probably benign.”

Approximately 16 months later, she was diagnosed as having Stage IIIB breast cancer, which required a bilateral mastectomy, radiation, chemotherapy and hormone therapy.

Cotton sued the radiologist and the radiology group, alleging that they chose not to properly interpret the mammogram, perform an ultrasound and perform a complete examination of her breast lump. The lawsuit claimed that this lack of affirmative action allowed her cancer to spread and become more advanced.
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The Illinois Appellate Court for the First District affirmed the decision of a Cook County judge with respect to a jury verdict. In 2014, Jesse Perez, as independent executor of the Estate of Marilyn Medina Perez, filed this lawsuit against St. Alexius Medical Center, Jeffrey E. Chung M.D., Christopher Michael M.D., and Suburban Women’s Health Specialist Ltd., among other defendants.

At trial, only claims against these four named defendants were considered.

Marilyn Perez died from metastatic pelvic abdominal cancer seven months after giving birth to twins by cesarean section.
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Jay West, 59, cut the fingertip of his left thumb while using a table saw. He went to Springhill Medical Center where he was advised that a fingertip amputation was medically necessary.

After the surgery, his treating surgeon wrote an order authorizing up to 4 mg of IV Dilaudid every three hours.

West was moved to the orthopedic floor, where a nurse administered 8 mg of IV Dilaudid in a course of two hours. Almost four hours later, West was found unresponsive. Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful. West had been a carpenter. He was survived by his wife and two adult children.
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Chasidy Plunkard, 40, experienced pelvic pain and irregular bleeding. After undergoing a transvaginal ultrasound and diagnosed as having a cyst in the right ovary, she was referred to an osteopath, Dr. Charles Marks, who did an endometrial biopsy.

The biopsy was interpreted as benign. Dr. Marks allegedly told Plunkard that absent abnormal bleeding, nothing more needed to be done for her.

However, nine months later, Plunkard sought treatment for what was described as widespread pain. She also presented to a hospital emergency room five months later, complaining of severe abdominal pain. Plunkard underwent laparoscopic surgery and was later advised that she suffered from metastatic cancer.
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Margaret Parr, 68, underwent a hiatal hernia repair done by Dr. Medhat Allam. She was discharged several hours after the surgery. That night and the next morning, she suffered severe pain and was brought to another hospital where she underwent a second surgery, which revealed necrosis of her gallbladder, intestines, pancreas and stomach.

Unfortunately, Parr later died of ischemia resulting from thrombosis that had compromised one or more of the stents that been implanted in her celiac and mesenteric artery the year before.

Parr was a retiree and survived by her wife and adult daughter.
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Doe, 24, underwent a cesarean section to deliver her twins. After the delivery, the on-call obstetrician, Dr. Mohannad Rajjoub, attempted to remove the placenta.

Doe, who suffered from placenta accreta, experienced massive hemorrhaging that required a blood transfusion, which was done approximately 30 minutes later.

A placenta accreta is a very serious pregnancy condition. It occurs when the placenta grows too deeply into the uterine wall. Often times, the placenta in these cases detaches from the uterine wall after childbirth. This can cause severe blood loss after the delivery, which happened in the case of the birth of the twins.
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Hansaben Patel, 74, was hospitalized and diagnosed as having uncontrolled diabetes and an electrolyte imbalance. While hospitalized, Patel’s hemoglobin dropped.

A gastroenterologist, Dr. Fadi Deeb, diagnosed a duodenal ulcer and prescribed proton pump inhibitors. Patel suffered two large bleeds and was then transferred to the facility’s ICU.

After a third massive bleed, Dr. Deeb performed surgery. It was unsuccessful in stopping Patel’s bleeding. Before scheduled embolization by an interventional radiologist, Patel vomited and aspirated blood.
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Mr. Doe., 66, presented to a hospital emergency room shortly before midnight, complaining of chest pain. He underwent an EKG and testing of his troponin levels; both tests allegedly were “nonspecific.” After Doe began belching excessively, treating physicians and medical providers allegedly administered a gastrointestinal cocktail.

Doe fell asleep and was later discharged and sent home. The next evening, Doe returned to the emergency room, complaining of continued chest pain.

He was transferred to another facility where testing revealed a 100% occlusion, blockage in his coronary artery. Doe also was treated for shock, stroke, acute kidney injury and respiratory failure among other things.
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During an endoscopy procedure at a surgery center, Nicholas Merlo’s oxygen saturation declined. A surgery center employee called 911. Emergency medical crews from American Ambulance arrived. Merlo was intubated and transported to the nearest hospital.

Enroute to the hospital, paramedics in the ambulance allegedly noted that Merlo had no breath sounds on one side and that his oxygen levels had dropped. Multiple attempts to reintubate Merlo in the back of the ambulance were unsuccessful.

When Merlo did arrive at the hospital, he suffered cardiac arrest. That lack of oxygen resulted in hypoxic brain damage. Merlo, 39, is now in a permanent vegetative state.
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Lonnie Kersey had a family history of prostate cancer. He took Avodart to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia. His treating internist, Dr. Michael Pisano, allegedly ordered lab work in 2012 and 2014, including a prostate-specific antigen test (PSA).

The following year, Dr. Pisano allegedly ordered another PSA, which showed a value of 3.0 ng/mL, nearly triple the previous results.

Dr. Pisano ordered further testing two years later, at which point Kersey’s PSA was significantly elevated at 203.3 ng/mL. This led to a biopsy and diagnosis of Stage IV prostate cancer.
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