$11.6 Million Jury Verdict in Failure to Correctly Interpret CT Scan and Diagnose and Treat Stroke

Business owner Kevin Orr, 42, went to a hospital emergency room complaining of dizziness, headache and inability to stand. A CT scan, interpreted by the radiologist and defendant, Dr. James Bell, showed blockage of blood vessels supplying blood to Orr’s brain. However, this was not reported by the physician’s assistant who ordered the scan.

Dr. Bell concluded that the CT scan was normal and showed only sinusitis. Orr was diagnosed as having a sinus infection and was then discharged.

Orr returned to his primary care physician’s office in the next two weeks and reported vomiting and headaches. The physician’s assistant again diagnosed sinusitis. Three weeks after Orr’s emergency room visit, he suffered a massive stroke resulting in permanent disability, including impaired gait, facial pain and tingling, and arm and leg numbness.

Kevin Orr sued Dr. Bell and his employer, alleging failure to identify and report the abnormality on the CT scan. Had Orr received a timely diagnosis, the doctor would have prescribed blood thinners and he would not have suffered a damaging stroke. That was the plaintiff’s position.

The lawsuit also alleged that the hospital was liable for the two physician assistants who chose not to perform an adequate stroke workup when Orr’s symptoms, including a lack of nasal discharge, did not indicate a sinus infection. This would have revealed that Orr had suffered a stroke before coming to the hospital and that he was suffering from an impending stroke after his discharge.

Before trial, the hospital settled with Orr for $900,000. The jury’s verdict against Dr. Bell and his professional practice was $11.6 million.

The attorneys representing Kevin Orr were Margie Soehl and Laura Jordan.

Orr v. Bell, No. 58820 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Warren County, Feb. 8, 2016).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling misdiagnosis of stroke cases, medical malpractice cases, hospital negligence cases, physician malpractice cases,  birth trauma injury cases and nursing home abuse and 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 Riverdale, Prospect Heights, Richton Park, Homewood, Broadview, Berkeley, Bedford Park, Bartlett, Barrington Hills, Alsip, Elk Grove Village, Elgin, East Hazel Crest, Des Plaines, Dolton, Chicago Ridge, Chicago Heights, Crestwood, Melrose Park, Lyons, Lincolnshire, South Barrington, Stickney, Chicago (Printer’s Row, Pulaski Park, North Town, Mayfair, Lincoln Square, Lincoln Park, Lithuanian Plaza, The Loop, Buena Park, Craigin, Garfield Ridge, Gold Coast, Irving Park, Marquette Park), Wood Dale and Rolling Meadows, Ill.

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