$2.1 Million Cook County Jury Verdict After Doctor’s Failure to Diagnose Child’s Infection

Tony Love, 13, came through the emergency department at Ingalls Memorial Hospital complaining of left knee pain and a fever on Sept. 23, 2007.  He was diagnosed with a quadriceps strain and was sent home. 

The next morning, Sept. 24, 2007, Love was seen by the defendant physician, Dr. Arun Shah at Harvey Health Center for complaints of continuing knee pain, but his temperature was normal. 

Dr. Shah diagnosed Love as having a sprained knee.  Three days later on Sept. 27, 2007, Love was taken to South Suburban Hospital with a high fever, severe knee pain and inability to walk. The lab work there showed an elevated white blood count and elevated liver enzymes as well as a blood culture that revealed methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the knee.

Tony was transferred that same day to the University of Chicago Hospital for treatment.  However, the infection spread throughout Love’s body and he remained hospitalized at the University of Chicago Hospital until Dec. 9, 2007.  During his hospitalization, he underwent 17 separate surgeries to treat the MRSA infection.  There was over $1.1 million in medical expenses.

In the lawsuit that was brought against Dr. Shah, it was alleged that the doctor was negligent in choosing not to order blood work, choosing not to recognize signs and symptoms of infection and choosing not to diagnose and treat Love’s infection.

Tony Love also maintained that the staph infection had been present at least 4 days before he was diagnosed based on the severity and nature of the infection.  The defendant argued that Love did not have a clinically diagnosable infection on the day that Dr. Shah saw him and that his condition progressed over the next 3 days.  The emergency department doctor at Ingalls, who was also sued, settled out of court for $765,000 before the beginning of the trial.

The jury’s verdict of $2,100,000 was made up of the following damages:

  • $1,100,000 for medical expenses;
  • $500,000 for past pain and suffering;
  • $500,000 for disability;
  • $0 for future pain and suffering; and
  • $0 for disfigurement.

The attorneys representing Tony Love were James Sanford and John K. Kennedy.

The demand before trial to settle the case was $1 million.  There was no offer to settle from defendant. 

Counsel for Love asked the jury to return a verdict of $8,100,000.

Tony Love v. Dr. Arun Shah, No. 09 L 8164 (Cook County, Illinois).

Kreisman Law Offices has been successfully handling hospital negligence cases, misdiagnosed infection cases and nursing home abuse 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 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Hawthorn Woods, Lake Zurich, Kildeer, Long Grove, Buffalo Grove, Wheeling, Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village, Wood Dale, Franklin Park, South Barrington, Fox River Grove, Lincolnshire, Hoffman Estates and Aurora, Ill.

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