$7 Million Settlement for Late Response to Respiratory Distress

Susan Clifford was a 40-year-old Iraq war veteran who was admitted to Veterans Hospital suffering from shortness of breath and flu-like symptoms. Over the next week, she received respiratory therapy, nebulizer treatments and mask ventilation.

When the treating medical providers attempted to switch her from the ventilator mask to a nasal cannula, she suffered an acute bronchial spasm. She was intubated approximately 44 minutes later but suffered oxygen deprivation, which resulted in permanent brain damage, blindness and quadriparesis.

Clifford sued the United States (Veteran’s Administration) alleging that its medical providers chose not to properly respond to acute respiratory distress and timely restore her airway. The lawsuit did not claim lost income or medical expenses.

The United States argued that she had suffered a panic attack, not respiratory distress and that her damages resulted from posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome.

Before trial, the parties settled for $7 million.

The attorneys successfully handling this tragic case were John M. Curtin and Roger Sharp.

Clifford v. United States, No. 2:15-CV-00503 (D. Ariz.).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling wrongful death lawsuits, medical negligence lawsuits, brain injury cases, birth trauma injury lawsuits and hospital negligence cases for individuals, families and loved ones who have been injured, harmed or killed by the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Harvey, Calumet City, Berwyn, Western Springs, Naperville, St. Charles, Aurora, Hinsdale, Wheaton, Highland Park, Gurnee, Waukegan, Joliet, Fox River Grove, Evergreen Park, Chicago (Little Italy, Loyola Park, Sauganash, Sheffield, South Chicago, University of Chicago, West Loop, Jackson Park Highlands, Horner Park, Greek Town, Edgewater, Edgebrook, East Garfield Park, Chinatown, Canaryville), Lincolnwood, Round Lake Beach, Skokie and Countryside, Ill.

Related blog posts:

$3 Million Jury Verdict in Failure to Properly Monitor Patient With Fall Risk

$1.46 Million Judgment in Negligent Misdiagnosis of Lung Cancer

$1.25 Million Jury Verdict for Below Knee Amputation Caused by Incorrectly Wrapped Wound Dressing