$19.9 Settlement in Negligence, Wrongful Death After Attempted Heart Transplant

Mr. Doe, a 59-year-old carpenter, suffered from myocarditis. He was placed on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) heart transplant list.

Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle. The condition can affect the heart muscle and the heart’s electrical system, reducing the heart’s ability to pump. It can cause rapid or abnormal heart rhythms (arrythmias).

In many cases, myocarditis is caused by a viral infection. A severe case can weaken the heart, which can lead to heart failure, abnormal heart rate and sudden death. Under these circumstances, a heart transplant may be necessary.

After UNOS placed the hospital where Doe received cardiac care on probation, Doe received a letter from the hospital informing him that it had agreed to be placed on probation due to the low volume of transplants in 2014. The letter did not list other reasons for the probation, including the hospital’s transplant recipient death rate.

Several months later, Doe underwent a heart transplant at the same hospital. The treating surgeon allegedly misplaced and then clamped the cannula instead of the aorta, thus shutting down the bypass machine.

After this error was corrected, the lead anesthesiologist allegedly returned to the operating room and noted that Mr. Doe’s pupils were fixed and dilated. The heart transplant surgical team discontinued the procedure and told Mr. Doe’s family that he had suffered brain death resulting from an anesthesia issue. Doe’s family later shut off Doe’s mechanical life support, allowing him to die. Doe was survived by his wife and daughters.

Doe’s family sued the hospital alleging medical malpractice. Among other things, the Doe family alleged that the defendant hospitalchose not to state the more serious reasons for its probation, which deprived the family of transferring Doe’s care to another hospital.

The lawsuit claimed that the attending surgeon negligently misplaced the cannula back toward Doe’s heart instead of up toward his brain and failed to timely realize his mistake before causing a lack of blood flow to Mr. Doe’s brain. This caused the brain death.

Additionally, the Doe family claimed that the surgical team discontinued the procedure prematurely to avoid having another patient death and chose not to tell them what actually happened during the surgery.

Before trial, the parties settled for $19.9 million. The Doe family attorneys presented an expert in cardiology.

The attorneys successfully handling this tragic case for the Doe family were Charles Kampinski and Kristin Roberts.

Doe v. Roe Hospital, Confidential Docket.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling organ transplant negligence lawsuits, medical malpractice cases, birth injury lawsuits, nursing home abuse cases, traumatic brain injury lawsuits, surgical negligence lawsuits and wrongful death 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 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Skokie, Lincolnwood, Oak Park, Cicero, Joliet, Batavia, Aurora, St. Charles, Bolingbrook, Homer Glen, Orland Hills, Alsip, Hickory Hills, South Holland, Park Forest, Crete, Chicago Heights, Itasca, Buffalo Grove, Chicago (Near West Side, West Loop, Lincoln Park, North Center, Albany Park, McKinley Park, Wrigleyville, Englewood, Austin, Auburn Gresham, South Side, South Chicago, South Shore), Stickney, LaGrange Park, Westchester, Broadview, Western Springs, Willowbrook and Naperville, Ill.

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

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