$3.5 Million Jury Verdict in Death Caused by Failure to Timely Contact Treating Physician

Michael Banks was 39 years old when he underwent cervical spine surgery. Right after the surgery, he began to experience fever, chills and coughing. His wife called the office of the treating neurosurgeon, Dr. Shahram Rezaiamiri, and told one of the doctor’s medical assistants about her husband’s symptoms. The Banks family did not hear from the doctor, which prompted another call later that afternoon.

Dr. Rezaiamiri’s medical assistant, Teshara Hall, later returned the call to Banks’s wife and said she would pass along the message to Dr. Rezaiamiri. The doctor never called back.

Early the next morning, Banks suffered a fatal respiratory arrest. The cause of death was determined to be pneumonia resulting from bilateral Alpha Strep. Alpha Strep is also known as alpha hemolysis. This is sometimes referred to as green hemolysis because of the color change in the colony of bacteria. The Alpha Strep or alpha hemolysis is caused by hydrogen peroxide produced by bacteria and often leads to pneumonia.

Banks is survived by his wife, two adult children and a step-daughter.

The Banks family filed a lawsuit against Dr. Rezaiamiri and his practice, claiming liability for Teshara Hall’s failure to attempt to reach Dr. Rezaiamiri before sending him an email at 5:30 p.m. the night before Banks died. The lawsuit did not claim lost income. The jury’s verdict was $3,500,000. The attorneys representing the Banks family were Keith L. Lindsay, Roderick E. Edmond, William J. Atkins and Tricia Hoffler.

At this jury trial, the Banks family attorneys engaged an expert in infectious disease. The defendant also engaged an expert to testify about infectious disease.

Douglas-Banks v. South Atlanta Neurosurgery, PC, No. 2008 CV 0-8001 MG (Ga. St. Ct. Clayton County, Aug. 3, 2015).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical malpractice cases, misdiagnose of infectious process cases and birth injury cases for individuals and families who have been injured or killed by the negligence of a medical provider for more than 38 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas including, Evanston, Naperville, Aurora, Joliet, Waukegan, Elgin, South Holland, Blue Island, Chicago (Wicker Park, Rodgers Park, Andersonville, Old Town, Woodlawn, East Side, Kenwood, Hyde Park), Grayslake, Winnetka, Glenview and Blue Island, Ill.

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