Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

Lonnie Kersey had a family history of prostate cancer. He took Avodart to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia. His treating internist, Dr. Michael Pisano, allegedly ordered lab work in 2012 and 2014, including a prostate-specific antigen test (PSA).

The following year, Dr. Pisano allegedly ordered another PSA, which showed a value of 3.0 ng/mL, nearly triple the previous results.

Dr. Pisano ordered further testing two years later, at which point Kersey’s PSA was significantly elevated at 203.3 ng/mL. This led to a biopsy and diagnosis of Stage IV prostate cancer.
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Julius D’Amico, 73, was admitted to Bryn Mawr Hospital for surgery to treat what was believed to be an infection in her arm AV graft used for hemodialysis. During the surgery, she lost blood and fluid volume, which led to a postoperative decrease in her blood pressure, blood volume and hemoglobin.

In addition, that night she suffered prolonged periods of hypotension and decreased tissue profusion. After undergoing hemodialysis the next day, she became unstable, lost consciousness and suffered a fatal heart attack.

D’Amico was survived by her husband and two adult daughters.
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Lois K. Ries, a public aid recipient, was paralyzed by what was alleged to be medical malpractice. This took place in 2011. Her medical malpractice lawsuit was pending when she died. After settling the case for $415,000, her two sons, who were the co-executors of her estate and her sole heirs, received an unpleasant surprise.

During the negotiations, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (the holder of the Illinois public aid lien) reduced its lien under Section 11-22 of the Illinois Public Aid Code to $20,000. It had paid $124,679 for her medical expenses after she was paralyzed. The sons expected to receive the next proceeds of the settlement: $80,819. However, the department insisted that it was entitled to all of the money based on Section 5-13 because it had provided $87,929 in medical benefits to Rise before her injury.

The co-executors objected, insisting that they never would have settled the medical malpractice lawsuit if they knew they would receive nothing. They would have instead pressed on, taking the case to trial with the hope that they would obtain a verdict more than the settlement and thus have some money for themselves after satisfying the public aid lien.
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Laurence Seng was seen at a hospital emergency room where he complained of a persistent cough, chest heaviness and burning following an outpatient urological procedure.

Seng, who vomited in the ER, was administered a gastrointestinal cocktail in an effort to relieve his chest symptoms. However, his pain level increased. An osteopath, Dr. Joseph Robinson, diagnosed Seng as having a persistent cough and discharged him to home the same evening.

At home, Seng continued to experience chest heaviness and developed a racing heart. The next morning, his wife discovered that he was unresponsive. Seng, 66, died of a myocardial infarction. He was survived by his wife and four adult children. Seng’s wife, individually and on behalf of his estate, sued Dr. Robinson, alleging that he chose not evaluate Seng for a potential cardiac cause of his symptoms. Plaintiff alleged that he should have ordered an EKG and a blood test.
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When Juanita Norton, 88, fell in her yard, she was taken to the local emergency room. At the hospital, she was diagnosed as having multiple pelvic fractures.

She was admitted to the hospital for pain control and rehabilitation when placed on DVT (deep vein thrombosis) prophylaxis.

During the hospitalization, Norton experienced pain, nausea, vomiting and constipation. Later, she had difficulty breathing. Unfortunately, Norton died three days after her hospital admission.
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Thomas Lapsley went to a nearby hospital emergency room where doctors ordered a CT scan of his abdomen and pelvis. The scan revealed a lesion on his liver. A follow-up liver CT scan was ordered to rule out metastatic disease. There was nothing in the report as to the symptoms Lapsley might have experienced that prompted him to go to the emergency room.

After the CT scan, a surgeon, Dr. Ben Davis, did an exploratory laparotomy and repaired Lapsley’s gastric ulcer.

Over the next week, as Lapsley was admitted to the hospital, he did not undergo further evaluation of the liver mass and allegedly was not informed of the mass at his discharge. Eighteen months later, another doctor referred him for yet another CT scan. That scan led to a diagnosis of Stage IV metastatic cancer. Sadly, Lapsley died just one month later.
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James Kowher underwent a stress test after experiencing an episode of chest pain while he was sleeping. Cardiologist Dr. Sobhan Kodali interpreted the test as negative.

About nine months later, Kowher experienced repeated chest pain episodes accompanied by shortness of breath, nausea and perspiration. Additionally, these episodes were increasing in frequency and severity and continued for up to ten minutes. Kowher’s primary care physician arranged an appointment with Dr. Kodali for two days later.

Dr. Kodali ordered an EKG and diagnosed Kowher as having panic attacks before discharging him. The primary care physician subsequently referred Kowher to a gastroenterologist, whose notes stated that Kowher’s chest pain were ongoing and worsening.
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William Pratt, 75, a bilateral leg amputee, went to the Wills Eye Hospital emergency room at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. He complained of eye pain and tearing. During his medical workup, Pratt’s eyes were dilated. He was then treated with an antibiotic eye ointment.

The attending physician discharged Pratt with a diagnosis of corneal abrasion. Pratt’s vision was impaired. He steered his motorized wheelchair over cement steps while leaving the hospital. He fell over, and his wheelchair fell on top of him, causing him to suffer a spinal cord injury and a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Pratt underwent surgery but, unfortunately, he later died. He was survived by five adult children. One of the Pratt children, on behalf of the estate, sued Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Wills Eye Hospital, alleging that its staff chose not to advise Pratt of the need for assistance following his discharge.
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Kimberly Suchomel, 28, suffered from a seizure disorder. When she ran out of her seizure medicine, she called the office of her treating neurologist, Dr. Eduardo Gallegos.

She asked for a refill of the medicine but was told by a receptionist that the doctor’s office said she would have to be seen by the doctor in order to receive a refill. An appointment was scheduled for the next available time, which was two months later.

Before this appointment, the doctor’s office told Suchomel that Dr. Gallegos would not see her and that she would not receive her refill until she paid the outstanding balance due to his office.
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Gerald Sanford, 72, suffered from mitral valve disease. When he experienced heart palpitations, he consulted with an interventional radiologist, Dr. Amarnath Vedere. The doctor did an angiogram to examine the workings of his patient’s blood vessels; during the examination, he used an x-ray and dye.

The results of the angiogram showed a calcified lesion in the mid-segment of Sanford’s left anterior descending artery. This artery is known to be one of the most likely to be occluded. Dr. Vedere scheduled Sanford for percutaneous coronary intervention, a catheterization with a plaque-removing procedure and stent replacement.

During this procedure, Dr. Vedere attempted fourteen times to insert a guiding catheter with a stent. Sanford suffered respiratory arrest, which led to his death just a few weeks later. He was survived by his wife and teenage daughter.
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