Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

William Dukes was under the care of Prompt Ambulance Central Inc. when he suffered a fatal injury. He was survived by his minor son.

The Dukes family and estate sued Prompt Ambulance and Kindred Nursing Centers Limited Partnership, alleging that they chose not to provide adequate care and treatment when transporting him by ambulance.

Before trial, the parties settled for $187,000. The Dukes family then petitioned the court for additional damages to be paid from the Patient’s Compensation Fund of Indiana. The court then did authorize $440,000 in payment to the Dukes estate from that fund.
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Beekman Youngblood, M.D., is a board-certified anesthesiologist who appealed a circuit court judgment entered on a jury verdict in favor of Anthony Martin, as personal representative of the estate of Lanesha Martin.

On May 25, 2006, Lanesha Martin underwent outpatient sinus surgery at Vaughan Regional Medical Center. During that surgery, she was administered general anesthesia and was intubated (i.e., an endotracheal tube was inserted into her throat to help her breathe).

After the surgery, she developed pulmonary edema while in the post-anesthesia care unit and began experiencing problems with her oxygen saturation.
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When Lana Burton went in for a routine mammogram and later developed a lump in her breast, she went back for another mammogram and an ultrasound. The radiologist, Dr. Sanford Limpkin, interpreted the mammogram and ultrasound as being normal.

Fifteen months later, she was diagnosed as having triple negative cancer of the right breast. She underwent a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. Sadly, she died within three years. Burton was 56 when she passed away; she was survived by her husband and adult daughter.

The Burton estate sued Dr. Limpkin and his employer, Advanced Radiology, alleging that they chose not to timely diagnose and treat breast cancer. The Burton family asserted that Burton’s mass was observable on the second set of tests that were done and that Burton should have therefore undergone spot compression imaging.
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Alice Underwood, 82, underwent hip replacement surgery and rehabilitation. Six days after the surgery, she was admitted to Victor Valley Global Medical Center for treatment of a urinary tract infection and dehydration.

While she was hospitalized, she suffered a surgical site infection, which caused her incision to separate. She underwent surgery to remove necrotic tissue and then was sent to a rehabilitation facility.

Twenty-six days later, Underwood died of cardiopulmonary arrest and infection. She was survived by her three adult daughters and a son.
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Gail Ingram was 61 years old when she went to a hospital emergency room complaining of abdominal pain. She underwent a CT scan, which was interpreted by radiologist Dr. Barbara Blanco as showing possible pancreatitis, a gallstone and no acute bowel findings.

After a four-day hospital stay, Ingram was instructed to consult her primary care physician and was discharged. Less than two years later, she returned to the emergency room suffering from abdominal pain once again. The CT scan this time revealed a 4-cm lung mass, which led to a lung cancer diagnosis.

Ingram, whose cancer was diagnosed then at Stage IV, died just a month later. She was survived by her husband and two adult children.
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Lilia Torres, 34, began spotting during the eighth week of her pregnancy. She went to a hospital where she had an ultrasound. She later followed up with her treating obstetrician after receiving a diagnosis of placental previa and possible placental accrete, a condition in which the placenta attaches too deeply to the uterine wall. For the remaining period of her pregnancy, she saw several obstetricians and midwives at the same medical practice.

At 39 weeks of gestation, two of the obstetricians performed a cesarean section the day after the procedure was scheduled. After the delivery, Torres suffered massive blood loss.

Torres, who lost at least ten liters of blood, suffered cardiogenic and pulmonary shock. Shortly afterward, she died of complications of hemorrhagic shock and multi-organ failure. She was survived by her husband and her four minor children.
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A jury reached a not guilty verdict against defendant Dr. Glenn A. Woudenberg, Louis A. Weiss Memorial Hospital, Vanguard Health Systems and MN Anesthesia LLC in the death of a steelworker who underwent a right hip revision surgery and died two days later.

The case was reported in the Cook County Jury Verdict Reporter.

The steelworker, E.C., underwent surgery Oct. 9, 2007. He incurred $109,000 in medical bills. His estate contended that the death was caused by episodes of low blood pressure during the surgery, which led to an ischemic injury to the kidney, bowel and other vital organs.
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Angela L. McIntyre, as independent administrator of the estate of Donald R. McIntyre Jr., filed a medical malpractice case alleging that her late husband was negligently treated while he was a patient in the ICU at OSF St. Francis Medical Center.

The jury’s verdict was signed in favor of the McIntyre family and against some of the defendants for $1.1 million for loss of income, goods and services, and $500,000 for loss of companionship and society. The jury entered its verdict in favor of a third-year medical resident and her employer, the hospital, as to institutional negligence.

The appellate court found that the trial court had erred in excluding as hearsay the medical resident’s testimony as to what the on-call hematologist told her about McIntyre’s care, as it was not offered to prove the truth of any factual matter, but instead was to show why the resident and another physician acted as they did.
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The parents of a 22-year-old man were awarded $2.68 million by a jury after their son died when a hospitalist at Columbia Medical Center of Arlington, Texas, failed to order a CT scan and surgery to repair a hole in his liver.

The case was reported in the American Association of Justice Professional Negligence Law Reporter.

The patient, M.H., suffered flu symptoms over a two-week period. He was admitted to the Medical Center of Arlington, where he underwent an ultrasound-guided liver biopsy. Several hours later, a treating nurse noted that he was dizzy and sweating profusely.
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In a medical malpractice lawsuit, the Missouri Supreme Court affirmed the judgment against the plaintiffs following a jury verdict in favor of the defendants. The state’s high court held that the circuit court did not commit reversible error when it refused to allow the plaintiffs’ attorney additional voir dire time so he could ask “the insurance question.” The lawyer had forgotten to ask it during his initial voir dire. The court referred to another Missouri case for support of its decision, Ivy v. Hawk, 878 S.W. 2d 442 (Mo. Banc 1994).

The Missouri Supreme Court has held that a party has the right to ask the insurance question during voir dire if the proper procedure is followed to avoid unduly highlighting the question. The Missouri Supreme Court noted, however, that Ivy did not divest the circuit court of its discretion to control the proper form and timing of voir dire questioning, including discretion as to whether counsel’s proposed procedure would unduly highlight the question.

The court then affirmed, holding that because plaintiff’s counsel forgot to ask the insurance question during multiple hours of voir dire, the court acted within its discretion. The lower court’s finding is that it would unduly highlight the question to allow counsel to recommence his questioning to ask the insurance question after voir dire had otherwise concluded.
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