$1 Million Settlement with Hospital and Jury Verdict Against Physician in Negligent Discharge Case

Leon Radcliff, 48, suffered from heroin addiction when he was admitted to Holy Cross Hospital after developing severe asthmatic symptoms resulting from large doses of prednisone. He received treatment for approximately two days. He was prescribed Ativan to stabilize his condition.

About ten hours after his last dose of Ativan, Radcliff was discharged from the hospital. He was drowsy, dizzy and unsteady at the time and required wheelchair assistance when he left the hospital.

Radcliff drove 1-2 blocks away from the hospital when he collided with several parked cars. He suffered blunt force trauma to his chest, which caused a fractured rib and a lacerated liver. After a two-week hospital stay, Radcliff was discharged. Two days later, he returned to the hospital and died there.

The cause of death was determined to be a pulmonary embolism resulting from the liver laceration and blunt chest trauma. Radcliff was survived by his eight siblings.

His estate sued Holy Cross Hospital and the treating emergency department physician, alleging these defendants had chosen not to warn him against driving while under the influence of Ativan. The defendants argued that Radcliff had absorbed the Ativan before his discharge.

Holy Cross Hospital settled before trial for an undisclosed amount. The physician and plaintiff reached a high-low agreement during jury deliberations. The jury signed a verdict of approximately $1 million, finding Radcliff 49% at fault, which reduced the jury’s verdict by that percentage.

The attorney successfully handling this lawsuit for Radcliff and his family were Chicago’s attorneys Zane D. Smith and Boris G. Famovalov.

At trial, the Radcliff family attorneys presented experts in hospital medicine, pharmacology and toxicology.

The defendants presented experts in hospital medicine and toxicology.

Radcliff v. Holy Cross Hospital, 2017 L 3976 (Ill. Cir. Ct. Cook County, June 24, 2022).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling wrongful death lawsuits, hospital negligence cases, emergency doctor negligence cases, and traumatic brain injury 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 45 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Palos Heights, Lombard, Inverness, Arlington Heights, Tinley Park, Hinsdale, Waukegan, Joliet, Naperville, Chicago (Little Village, Back of the Yards, Pilsen, Pullman, Rogers Park, North Lawndale), Kenilworth, Lake Zurich, Glenview and Alsip, Ill.

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

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