$4.58 Million Jury Verdict in Medical Malpractice Death Case

Nakeyia McMichael, a 33-year-old nurse, was hospitalized for treatment for a cerebral edema. Just 18 months later she returned to the hospital’s emergency room complaining of head pain, nausea and vomiting.

Two hospital emergency department residents and the defendant, Dr. John Pakiela, an osteopath employed by General Emergency Medical Specialists, diagnosed her with a migraine headache and discharged her with medicine. The very next day, she became unresponsive and died. The cause was determined to be brain herniation resulting from the cerebral edema or brain swell. McMichael was survived by her husband and three minor children.

The McMichael family sued Dr. Pakiela and his employer alleging that he failed to refer her to a neurologist for further workup. The McMichael family claimed that in light of her medical history, Dr. Pakiela should have reviewed her medical records before discharging her and should have considered cerebral edema as a possible cause of her renewed symptoms. The doctor should have ruled out the most deadly and dangerous of illnesses or conditions.

The jury’s verdict of $4.58 million included $1.8 million in economic damages. The attorneys handling this case for the McMichael family were Peter H. Weinberger, Nicholas DiCello and Michael A. Hill.

McMichael v. Pakiela, No. CV-2013-11-5404 (Ohio Ct. Com. Pleas Summit County).

Robert Kreisman of Kreisman Law Offices litigated a very similar and unfortunate wrongful death case in a misdiagnosed and mistreated benign brain tumor case that was resolved before trial. In that case too, the patient died unnecessarily of a brain herniation when treatment was readily available that would have clearly saved her life.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical negligence cases, wrongful death cases, misdiagnosed brain tumor cases and birth trauma injury 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 Evergreen Park, Forest Park, Glencoe, Midlothian, Sauk Village, Rolling Meadows, Riverside, River Forest, River Grove, Westchester, Summit, Streamwood, Steger, South Holland, South Barrington, Chicago Heights, Country Club Hills, Chicago (Ravenswood Gardens, Loyola Park, Little Italy, Lithuanian Plaza, Lincoln Square, Archer Heights, Avondale, Back of the Yards), Oak Lawn, Crestwood and Oak Forest, Ill.

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