$1 Million Jury Verdict in Failure to Diagnose Rib Fractures in Cancer Patient

William Pratt, 67, was diagnosed with Stage IV liver cancer. He fell down a flight of stairs and was transferred to a hospital emergency room where he was examined and sent for radiological scans. A preliminary reading of the scans concluded that he had not broken any bones during the fall.

The next morning, radiologist Dr. Geoffrey Gilleland reviewed the films and determined that Pratt had in fact broken nine ribs. Dr. Gilleland did not notify the emergency department of his findings, and Pratt was later discharged.

Over the next two days, Pratt developed pneumonia. He was admitted to another hospital where he died two weeks later of the pneumonia and complications of end-stage liver cancer. He was survived by his wife and three adult children.

Pratt’s wife, individually and on behalf of his estate, filed a lawsuit against Dr. Gilleland, his employer, and the first hospital, alleging that they chose not to timely diagnose and treat the nine broken ribs. The Pratt family asserted that under the hospital’s policy, Dr. Gilleland was required to notify the emergency department physicians of his discrepant interpretation of the scans; however, he chose not to do that. His failure to act resulted in the discharge of Pratt, which was a cause of his unfortunate demise.

During trial, the hospital settled for an undisclosed amount. At the end of the trial, the jury signed a verdict for $1 million.

At trial, the Pratt family attorneys presented experts in radiology, emergency medicine and hospital medicine.

The Pratt family attorneys who successfully handled this tragic case were Chad McGowan, Ashley Creech, Jay Wright, Susan Campbell and Eve Goodstein.

Pratt v. Varaly, No. 2016-CP-46-3181 (S.C. Ct. Com. Pl. York County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling misdiagnosis of cancer lawsuits, wrongful death cases, radiology errors, hospital negligence lawsuits and emergency department errors 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 Park Ridge, Elmwood Park, Melrose Park, Oak Park, Cicero, Joliet, Justice, Willow Springs, Oak Lawn, Palos Heights, Worth, Chicago Ridge, Blue Island, Orland Park, Orland Hills, Tinley Park, Western Springs, LaGrange, Prospect Heights, Palatine, Long Grove, Chicago (West Rogers Park, Ravenswood, Uptown, Bronzeville, Ravenswood Manor, Roscoe Village, Irving Park East, Avondale, Old Irving Park, Belmont Gardens, Belmont Cragin, Belmont Central, Galewood, North Austin, Humboldt Park, Ukrainian Village, West Town, Fulton River District, River North, Little Italy, South Loop, Bridgeport, Canaryville, Oakland, North Kenwood, Douglas), Franklin Park, Morton Grove, Niles, Skokie, Vernon Hills and South Barrington, Ill.

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

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