Articles Posted in Jury Instructions

Mary Leemputte came to the emergency room at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, Ill., in April 25, 2011. She was admitted to this hospital suffering from severe abdominal pain, urinary tract infection, tachycardia or rapid heart rate and an elevated white blood cell count, which often is associated with an infectious process.

She had a history of chronic constipation and was diagnosed with a large bowel obstruction after a CT scan showed a large bulging at the site of a previous colon resection and anastomosis done in 2007.

One of the defendants, Dr. Jonathan Wallace, provided a surgical consultation that night. The doctor observed that her cecum was dilated as he reviewed the CT scan, determined her clinical presentation did not require immediate surgical intervention and ordered additional tests for further evaluation to take place the next morning.

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In a strange but interesting medical malpractice case, the jury entered a verdict in favor of the plaintiff without awarding a single dollar for plaintiff’s noneconomic damages. In April 2013, after a three-day jury trial, the jury found in this medical negligence lawsuit that the defendant physician Dr. Sublette was negligent in the cause of the death of his patient, Concetta Cimino, but concluded that there could be no awarded damages. This wrongful death, medical malpractice case was brought by the family of Cimino.

She was 83 years old in January 2009 and, according to testimony from her family, was in “pretty good health” when she phoned her daughter and told her she had been vomiting regularly.

Cimino’s daughter then drove her to Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park, Ill., the following day.

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Mary Mitchell underwent a total abdominal hysterectomy, but the doctor chose not to employ the appropriate prophylactic measures to prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism that was alleged to have caused or contributed to her untimely and unfortunate death.. The doctor who did the surgery, Dr. Amalendu Majumdar was an obstetrician-gynecologist. When this patient flashed signs and symptoms of a pulmonary embolism during the post-op visit that he made on Nov. 20, 2004, he did not recognize and/or treat the signs and symptoms of this emergency.

As a result of Dr. Majumdar’s failings, Mitchell, who was only 43 years old, died the next day from extensive bilateral pulmonary emboli. She is survived by her husband and two children, ages 14 and 24.

The defendant doctor contended that he complied with the medical standard of care, that he did provide proper intra-operative and post-operative prophylaxis and that the patient did not exhibit “classic’ signs of a pulmonary embolism at the post-op visit on Nov. 20.

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A Cook County jury heard evidence in a medical malpractice jury trial related to postoperative physical therapy that was alleged to have caused left knee ligament damage to the patient. The plaintiff in this case was 44-year-old Michele Boucher-Kmiec, who underwent left knee ligament repair surgery at Swedish Covenant Hospital on July 6, 2009. After the surgery, her leg was placed in an immobilizer.

On July 7 and July 8, 2009, the defendant physical therapist Brittany Mynsberge worked with the patient for her physical therapy. The physical therapy order came from Boucher-Kmiec’s surgeon, who did the knee surgery.

In this lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that physical therapist Mynsberge was negligent in performing range of motion exercises on the post-surgical knee when it was contraindicated. It was also alleged that the physical therapist would have known that such a range of motion exercise was not indicated if she had noticed the immobilizer, which extended from the patient’s buttocks to her toes. It further contended that the defendant physical therapist’s improper therapy caused danger to the repaired medial collateral ligament, which later became infected.

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Melvin Jones received a cervical laminectomy on Feb. 6, 2008 by surgeon Dr. Martin Luken. Dr. Charles Beck, an internist at the same hospital, evaluated Jones after the surgery. Jones developed gastrointestinal issues, and Dr. Beck ordered a series of tests. Dr. Beck remained involved with Jones’s care over the next several days.

Dr. Beck had a scheduled vacation, and so he turned over the gastrointestinal care to Dr. Shibban Ganju. Dr. Ganju ordered additional tests, but shortly afterwards, Jones’s colon perforated. Because of the colon perforation, Jones had his colon removed and had a permanent ileostomy tube installed. On Dec, 4, 2008, Jones and his wife filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Drs. Beck and Ganju as well as the hospital in which he had received care.

In the lawsuit,. Jones alleged that the doctors chose not to properly treat and diagnose his condition. His wife, Loleather Jones, filed a claim for loss of consortium. Both the hospital and Dr. Ganju settled the case before trial and left Dr. Beck to defend at trial.

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In November 2008, 26-year-old Heather Hinshaw underwent gallbladder surgery at Trinity Medical Center in Rock Island, Ill.  The general surgeon who did the surgery thought he saw a stone in the common bile duct during an intraoperative cholangiogram, which is a procedure using a catheter to inject dye into the gallbladder to better visualize the blockage using X-ray.  He referred the patient to a gastroenterologist, the defendant Ahmad Cheema, M.D. 

A few hours after the gallbladder surgery, Dr. Cheema decided to perform an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), but he did not look at the cholangiogram results or discuss the case with the referring general surgeon.

Hinshaw did not have jaundice, yellowing of the skin, or any other symptoms of a stone in the common bile duct at the time. During the ERCP procedure, Dr. Cheema introduced a guidewire into the pancreatic duct and the wire curved back on itself puncturing the patient’s pancreatic duct.

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