$543,000 Jury Verdict in Medical Malpractice Case In Which Patient Suffered Complications After Weight Loss Surgery

James P. McKillip underwent a sleeve gastrectomy for weight reduction at a hospital in Rock Island, Ill. This took place in January 2012 by the defendant general surgeon, Dr. James Schrier. McKillip was 46 years old at the time.

According to the report of this jury trial, McKillip’s expert testified at trial that Dr. Schrier improperly stapled the nasogastric tube into McKillip’s stomach and also was negligent in creating a hole at the junction between the esophagus and his stomach.

As a result, McKillip suffered from two large perforations and gastric leaks at these two sites in the stomach, which caused him to develop sepsis and undergo three months of antibiotic therapy. Eventually he will require additional surgery to remove the remaining portion of his stomach.

McKillip made a lost wage claim of $13,275 from his job as a crane operator.

The defendant, Dr. Schrier and his practice, General Surgery Associates, maintained that the leaks that McKillip experienced are known to develop after gastric bypass surgery in 3% of these procedures where no negligence occurred.

The jury thought otherwise and signed a verdict for a total of $543,316 made up of the following damages:
• $200,000 for past pain and suffering;
• $326,578 for past medical expenses; and
• $13,275 for past lost earnings.

The attorney representing McKillip was Stephen T. Fieweger. The demand to settle the case before trial was $1 million, which was the defendant physician’s insurance policy limits. The jury was asked to return a verdict of $2,100,000. The attorneys representing the defendants made no offer to settle this case.

At trial, McKillip’s counsel presented an expert in gastrointestinal surgery. The defendants presented an expert who testified about bariatric surgery.

James P. McKillip v. Dr. James Schrier, General Surgery Associates, No. 14 L 9 (Rock Island County, Ill.).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical negligence lawsuits, wrongful death cases, brain injury cases, labor and delivery negligence lawsuits, birth trauma injury cases and physician negligence lawsuits for individuals, families and the loved ones who have been injured, harmed or killed by the negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Rolling Meadows, Bedford Park, Bensenville, Schiller Park, Arlington Heights, Vernon Hills, Buffalo Grove, Skokie, Chicago (Albany Park, Mayfair, Sauganash, Edgebrook, West Ridge, Englewood, Washington Heights), Evanston, Wilmette and Mount Prospect, Ill.

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