Cook County Jury Finds in Favor of Hospital in Death of Patient in Colon Surgery

Helen Manfredi, 85, underwent right colectomy surgery at Loyola University Hospital because of her colon cancer. She also had a large pre-existing hiatal hernia that was asymptomatic.

During the colectomy surgery, the surgeon decided to reduce the stomach organ, but the hernia was not repaired.

Four days after the colectomy surgery, April 29, 2011, Manfredi suddenly became unresponsive and required emergency surgery, which showed the stomach had become incarcerated with ischemia of portions of the stomach lining.

She subsequently developed sepsis and respiratory failure, which required insertion of a tracheostomy. Manfredi never fully regained her prior mental status, and she died from aspiration pneumonia related to the tracheotomy tube on March 8, 2012. She was survived by her husband and an adult son.

The Manfredi family sued the hospital, maintaining that the surgeon should not have touched the stomach. The claim was that the reduction of the stomach by the surgeon was the cause of the ischemia and that the ischemia led to sepsis and the ensuing fatal complications.

The defendant hospital argued that the surgeon reduced the stomach to ensure it was not incarcerated, the stomach ischemia was unrelated to the April 25, 2011 surgical procedure (the colectomy). The hospital also stated that Manfredi developed an acute stomach incarceration on April 29, 2011, which was caused by stomach distension due to a postoperative intestinal obstruction in her ileus.

Before the trial began, a demand to settle the case was made by counsel for the Manfredi family at $2,600,000. The jury was asked to return a verdict of $4,887,521. The offer made by the hospital was $500,000.

At trial, the Manfredi family presented an expert in thoracic surgery while the defendant hospital presented experts in colorectal surgery and general surgery.

The jury’s verdict was in favor of Loyola University Medical Center and found the hospital not guilty of any wrongdoing.

Estate of Helen Manfredi v. Loyola University Medical Center, No. 13 L 3969.

Kreisman Law Offices has been successfully handling hospital negligence cases, medical malpractice lawsuits, pharmaceutical defect cases, Physiomesh hernia defect lawsuits and wrongful death cases for individuals and families who have been injured or killed by the negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Maywood, Chicago (South Loop, South Shore, University of Chicago, Hyde Park, West Loop, Wrigleyville, McKinley Park, Loyola Park, Lithuanian Plaza, Little Italy, The Loop, Canaryville, Gold Coast, Grand Boulevard, Humboldt Park), Kenilworth, Hinsdale, Joliet, Edison Park, Deerfield, Vernon Hills and Western Springs, Ill.

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