$4.8 Million Jury Verdict for Negligent Surgery, Wrongful Death

Linda Shelly, 56, suffered from various health problems including hypertension, congestive heart failure and diabetes. When she experienced shortness of breath, she was admitted to a local hospital, where a CT scan revealed a retroperitoneal cyst.

The next day, Dr. Muthiah Thangavelu, a general surgeon, performed surgery to remove the cyst. A subsequent pathology report showed that a portion of Shelly’s ureter was removed during the surgery and was included with the frozen section of the cyst. She was later diagnosed as having a right ureteral injury, a urinoma, and kidney swelling. Urinoma is the result of a breach of the integrity of the pelvis or calices of the kidney or of the ureter. Urinomas are urine collections usually found in the retroperitoneum, most commonly in the perirenal space, as a result of renal tract leakage caused by urinary obstruction, trauma or post-surgery complications.

Despite attempts to save her ureter and kidney over the next two years, she lost a kidney, necessitating dialysis and hastening her death. She was survived by her three adult children.

Her daughter, on behalf of her estate, filed a lawsuit against Dr. Thangavelu and his employer, alleging that Dr. Thangavelu chose not to identify her mother’s ureter intraoperatively, protect the ureter during the surgery, and avoid severing it during that same surgery. The Shelly family did not claim lost income.

The jury signed a verdict for more than $4.8 million.

The attorneys successfully handling this tragic case were James D. Spiros and Miranda L. Soucie, both of Danville, Ill.

The Shelly family presented experts at trial in general surgery and nephrology. The defendants presented experts in general surgery and radiology.

Reed v. Thangavelu, No. 2010-L-100 (Illinois Circuit Court, Vermilion County, March 27, 2019).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical malpractice lawsuits, general surgery negligence lawsuits, wrongful death cases, birth trauma injury lawsuits, brain injury lawsuits and hospital negligence cases 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 Addison, Wood Dale, Franklin Park, Mount Prospect, Palatine, Buffalo Grove, Northfield, Lincolnshire, Skokie, Rosemont, Park Ridge, Elmwood Park, Chicago (North Mayfair, Albany Park, Irving Park, Bucktown, Lincoln Park, Roscoe Village, Beverly, Old Town, Near East Side, Little Italy, Chinatown, Armour Square, Douglas, Oakland, Kenwood, Bronzeville, Hyde Park, Woodlawn, Englewood, Avalon Park, South Shore, Calumet Heights, Washington Heights, Pullman, Marquette Park, West Lawn, Fuller Park, Archer Heights), Stickney, Maywood, Forest Park, Crestwood, Berkeley, Hillside and Hanover Park, Ill.

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

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