Cook County Settlement of $1.2 Million Reached in Misdiagnosed Stroke Lawsuit – Bowden v. NorthShore University Health System

A Cook County medical malpractice claim against Northshore University Health Systems for $1.2 million. The lawsuit, Deborah Bowden and Bryce Bowden v. NorthShore University Health Systems, et al., No. 09 L 8801, involved allegations that several physicians in the Evanston health clinic failed to recognize that the plaintiff was exhibiting symptoms of an impending stroke. As a result of this failure to diagnose Ms. Bowden’s stroke in a timely manner, the plaintiff ended up suffering a stroke which left her with permanent muscle and speech limitations.
The circumstances leading to the Illinois failure to diagnose lawsuit arose out of two office visits occurring over a period of five days in August 2007. The 53 year-old Bowden presented to NorthShore University Health System complaining of numbness and tingling in her hands and feet. She was sent home and the medical records indicated that the physicians she saw missed all the indications that she was at risk for a stroke.

Bowden returned to the same Evanston clinic five days later complaining of the same symptoms, which had now worsened. At the second visit she saw a different doctor, who prescribed her aspirin. In addition, the physician ordered an MRI and referred Ms. Bowden to a neurologist. However, neither of these measures indicated that the Northshore physicians were aware of the urgency of Ms. Bowden’s condition. Once again, she was discharged to her home without extensive testing being done.
The next day Ms. Bowden suffered a stroke, which left her with right-sided weakness in her hands and feet and speech difficulties. As in the case with heart attacks, the long-term effects of strokes can be diminished or even altogether avoided if the symptoms are caught early enough. This concept was the basis for Ms. Bowden’s medical malpractice claim, which alleges that had her physicians recognized her signs and symptoms of a pending stroke at her multiple office visits that she would not have been left with as severe side effects.
Prior to going to trial, the Illinois medical malpractice claim was referred to a mediator, retired Cook County Circuit Court Judge Michael J. Hogan. A mediation is a neutral arena where parties can attempt to settle their claims prior to going to trial. The $1.2 million settlement was reached both with the doctors’ practices and with NorthShore University Health System through the assistance of mediation.
Kreisman Law Offices has been representing individuals and families in Illinois medical malpractice cases for more than 35 years in and around Chicago and Cook County, including Aurora, LaGrange, Harwood Heights, Hillside, and Prospect Heights.
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