$1.012 Million Cook County Jury Verdict for Patient’s Bowel Puncture in Medical Malpractice Case

Ezekiel Flores, 89, was admitted to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, Ill., in January 2013 for complaints of leg pain. While he was there, an abdominal CT scan came back with abnormal results, which led the doctors to suspect possible colon cancer over diverticulitis.

The defendant gastroenterologist, Dr. Manuel Alva, did a colonoscopy on Jan. 11, 2013. It showed there was no cancer. However, during the procedure Flores sustained a perforated colon, which led to nearly fatal sepsis, a colostomy for eleven months and later a colonostomy reversal surgery in combination totaled medical expenses of $201,950.

Flores maintained at this jury trial that he refused to undergo the colonoscopy several times but the defendants, the physicians, persisted and persuaded him to do so without fully disclosing the risks and alternatives and thus choosing not to obtain Flores’s informed consent.

Flores’ medical expert testified at trial that defendants should have disclosed reasonably available alternatives to the proposed colonoscopy procedure. This included waiting for any inflammation to subside and then doing another CT scan.

Flores’ counsel, Stephen S. Shonder and Peter S. Stamatis argued that a reasonable person in Flores’ position would not have had the colonoscopy if all the risks and alternatives had been disclosed.

The defendant physician contended that all risks were disclosed to Flores, that there was no reasonable alternative for diagnoses or ruling out cancer other than by way of a colonoscopy and a reasonable person would have consented to the procedure in any case.

According to the report of this case, Flores’ attorneys, Shonder and Stamatis, noted that the settlement demand before trial was $450,000 and was made in 2015. The verdict of $1,011,950 exceeds the defendant, Dr. Manuel Alva’s $1 million insurance policy limit.

The jury’s verdict of $1,011,950 was made up of the following damages:
• $500,000 for pain and suffering;
• $250,000 for loss of normal life;
• $60,000 for disfigurement; and
• $201,950 for medical expenses.

According to the report of this case, the demand to settle was $1,200,000 which conflicts with what plaintiff’s counsels had noted. The jury was asked to return a verdict of $1,901,950. There was no offer made by the defendant physician and his practice to settle this lawsuit.

At trial, Flores’s attorney presented experts in gastroenterology, while the defendant doctor presented an expert in the same medical field of practice.

Ezekiel Flores v. Dr. Manuel Alva, Medicore Partners, S.C., No. 14 L 5131 (Cook County, Ill.).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical malpractice lawsuits, birth injury cases, hospital negligence cases and physician negligence 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 Flossmoor, Hinsdale, New Lenox, Zion, Naperville, Waukegan, Aurora, Joliet, St. Charles, Wheaton, Mt. Prospect, Chicago (North Lawndale, Pullman, Pilsen, Lincoln Park, Back of the Yards, Lincoln Square), Morton Grove, Niles and Skokie, Ill.

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