Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

During a physical therapy session following her hip surgery, Anita Hanson began to experience increased pain in her leg. The pain did not subside and hospital staff later diagnosed her with a fractured femur.

Hanson and her husband brought a lawsuit against the physical therapy company and the hospital. It was alleged in the lawsuit that the physical therapist was negligent during the physical therapy session, that the hospital was negligent in choosing not to timely diagnose the fractured femur, and that Hanson was injured as a result of the negligence of both the hospital and the physical therapist. The defendants separately moved for summary judgment. The plaintiffs, Anita Hanson and her husband Marvin Hanson, filed an appeal.

On Sept. 8, 2014, Anita Hanson underwent a right total hip arthroplasty. The surgeon, Dr. Michael Vener performed the surgery. After the surgery, Dr. Vener took x-rays, which confirmed a properly placed artificial joint. The x-ray did not reveal any fractured bones.
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According to the report of this case, the Illinois Appellate Court has reversed the dismissal of a medical malpractice case. The case had been dismissed by the trial judge on the ground that the plaintiff did not meet the requirement of filing the 90-day certificate of merit, which is required by Section 2-622 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure.

A doctor’s affidavit, which was filed late, should not have been enough to reject a medical malpractice lawsuit, the appeals panel ruled.

According to the Illinois Appellate Court opinion, the Cook County Circuit Court judge abused his discretion when he dismissed Earnest and Mildred Lee’s lawsuit against Rush Oak Park Hospital and Dr. Juan Cobo. The circuit court judge dismissed the case because they did not file their Health Professional’s Report within the 90-day window.
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Robert Suryadeth, 64, suffered from valvular heart disease. Before he underwent an outpatient surgery for his back issues, he met with Dr. Aruna Paspula, an internist, who had never seen him before that day.

Dr. Paspula performed an electrocardiogram, listened to his heart, and cleared him for the back surgery.

After the surgery, Suryadeth was discharged to home where he died later that day. An autopsy revealed three blocked coronary arteries and identified the cause of death as cardiac arrest. He was survived by his wife and three children.
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Sarita Kellman, 70, underwent treatment for a fractured left ankle. After the ankle was repaired at Bellevue Hospital Center, a nurse offered her the use of crutches. However, she requested an escort, telling the nurse that she was feeling lightheaded and that she could not use the crutches safely. The nurse refused Kellman’s request for an escort as she was being discharged from the hospital.

Kellman took a taxi home. While getting out of the cab, she fell, fracturing her right wrist and left ankle. This was the same ankle that had been fractured earlier. Kellman was taken back to the hospital where she underwent wrist surgery followed by a second ankle surgery and rehabilitation.

Kellman now suffers pain in her right wrist and restricted range of motion. She sued the hospital’s operator, alleging that the nurse was negligent in choosing not to provide her with an escort along with crutches.
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Thomas Rogers was 54 years old when he underwent surgery at Optim Medical Center-Tattnall to remove a cervical disk at C-3. Later that night following the surgery, he complained of neck pain and difficulty speaking and swallowing.

Four hours later, a code blue was started. Despite four attempts to intubate, he died. He was survived by his wife.

Rogers’s wife, individually and on behalf of the Rogers’ estate, sued the hospital and Rogers’s attending physician claiming that the doctor and the hospital’s nurses chose not to respond to his postoperative complaints. It was also claimed that there was a failure to control Rogers’s bleeding at the surgical site.
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On June 26, 2014, Dr. Corey Solman performed arthroscopic surgery on the knee of Leslie Grussing. At her follow-up appointment on July 9, 2014, she met with a physician’s assistant and reported swelling in her knee. The physician’s assistant suggested physical therapy.

Dr. Solman did not examine her at that visit. Grussing returned to Dr. Solman’s office on July 18, 2014, again reporting pain and swelling in her knee.

Dr. Solman then removed fluid associated with the swelling from Grussing’s knee and observed that the synovial fluid looked normal. Dr. Solman did not test the fluid for infection.
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The State Supreme Court of Rhode Island has held that a trial judge improperly ordered a new trial based on the judge’s conclusion that a jury had misjudged the credibility of a witness. In this case, Stacia Aptt filed a lawsuit against Dr. Michael Baaklini alleging that the doctor had misdiagnosed her symptoms. He diagnosed her with a fatal kidney condition; she stated that this diagnosis caused her to suffer severe emotional distress.

At trial, the jury found in favor of the doctor. Aptt moved for a new trial. The trial judge, finding that the jury had come to the incorrect conclusion based on Aptt’s hyperemotional state while testifying at trial, ordered the defendant to agree to additur (added damages) or face a new trial on damages. The defendant appealed.

The State Supreme Court vacated and remanded the case noting that it is the fact finder’s duty to decide whether trial testimony is credible.
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A 20-year-old new mother identified as Ms. Doe collapsed at her home a week after delivering her baby prematurely. Two paramedics employed by Capital Health System Inc. arrived at her home. A student paramedic was training with the paramedics and was allowed to establish and monitor Ms. Doe’s airway before she was transported to the hospital. At the hospital, it was discovered that Ms. Doe’s endotracheal tube had been placed incorrectly.

Ms. Doe later died and was survived by her father and her infant child.

Ms. Doe’s father sued Capital Health System claiming that it chose not to act in good faith and allowed the student ENT to attempt to intubate Ms. Doe.
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Stephanie Hollingsworth, 26, suffered from lupus and bilateral arm and leg pain. She was admitted to a hospital’s cardiac care unit where she was diagnosed as having acute vasculitis secondary to Sjogren’s syndrome, an immune system disorder.

The rheumatologist assigned to her care was Dr. Yvonne Sherrer, who ordered a STAT dermatology consultation and a skin biopsy, which showed necrotizing vasculitis. Hollingsworth, who was taking broad-spectrum antibiotics, developed a foot drop. Neurological assessments showed abnormalities of her lower extremities.

Dr. Sherrer transferred her to another facility three days later. Staff at this hospital administered Cytoxan for her necrotizing vasculitis on or around the third day of that admission.
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Under the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure Section 2-1009, an Illinois plaintiff is allowed to voluntarily dismiss all or part of a claim without prejudice before a trial or a hearing begins. The statute allows this process upon payment of costs. Related to Section 2-1009 is Illinois Supreme Court Rule 219(e), which states, “A party shall not be permitted to avoid compliance with discovery deadlines, orders or applicable rules by voluntarily dismissing a lawsuit.”

Continuing, Rule 219 says: “In establishing discovery deadlines and ruling on permissible discovery and testimony, the court shall consider discovery undertaken (or the absence of same), any misconduct, and orders entered in prior litigation involving a party. . .”

In the case of Boehle v. OSF Healthcare System, a medical-malpractice lawsuit, the claim was for a failure to diagnose and treat a cancerous growth in the spine of the patient.
The alleged medical negligence led to the death of the plaintiff’s son.
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