$3 Million Settlement in Misdiagnosis and Death of a Thirteen-Year-Old Girl Caused by Untreated Septic Shock

In this confidential settlement, a 13-year-old girl was sent to the hospital after she was involved in an automobile accident. She underwent an abdominal CT scan with contrast, which revealed a lacerated spleen with free fluid. The girl was referred to as “Doe” in this case for the purpose of maintaining confidentiality. Doe was transferred to a local hospital. An emergency room physician there reviewed the CT images with the radiologist. A pediatric surgeon also saw the scans.

Doe’s vital signs continued to worsen, and she complained of abdominal pain. A nurse notified the on-call resident of the worsening condition. This doctor diagnosed fluid shifting and ordered IV fluid and morphine.

The next morning a trauma surgeon ordered emergency surgery. Doe suffered a heart attack and required resuscitation before the procedure, which revealed a necrotic bowel resulting from the seatbelt injury in the automobile crash. Doe was then transferred to the ICU where she suffered a heart attack and died. The cause of death was determined to be septic shock resulting from seatbelt-related intra-abdominal injuries.The girl’s family sued the hospital plus several physicians and residents alleging failure to timely diagnose and treat her necrotic bowel and worsening sepsis.

The family argued that the obstructed blood flow to Doe’s small intestine was evident on the CT scan taken at the first hospital but that this was not identified by the hospital’s physician. The lawsuit also alleged that the hospital chose not to properly supervise its residents.

Before trial, the parties settled this very preventable wrongful death claim of a 13-year-old girl for $3 million. Plaintiff’s counsel was David P. Angueira.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical negligence cases, wrongful death cases, birth injury cases, birth trauma cases and hospital negligence 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, Orland Park, Barrington, South Barrington, New Lenox, Lansing, Winnetka, Waukegan, Elgin, Joliet, Aurora, Bolingbrook, St. Charles, Wheaton, Hinsdale, Winfield, Chicago (Rogers Park, Jefferson Park, Bronzeville, Lincoln Square, Wicker Park, Irving Park), Plainfield and Palos Park, Ill.

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