Illinois Appellate Court Affirms $1.6 Million Jury Verdict in Wrongful Death, Medical Malpractice Case

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.

The error was considered harmless. Defendants could and did present evidence suggesting that an on-call hematologist was the sole proximate cause of McIntyre’s death.

The appeals panel agreed that the jury’s finding of apparent agency was not contrary to law nor was it against the manifest weight of the evidence.

The jury’s error in allocating fault did not create an irreconcilable conflict with its liability verdict against the hospital because the liability verdict did not depend upon any finding that was contradicted by the erroneous allocation of fault.

The jury’s erroneous allocation of damages was affirmed in part, reversed in part and the case was remanded for a new trial to determine the proper allocation of fault and liability between the pulmonologist defendant and the hospital hematologist defendant.

McIntyre v. Balagani, 2019 IL App (3d) 140543 (Aug. 27, 2019).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical malpractice lawsuits, wrongful death cases, traumatic brain injury cases, premises liability lawsuits, nursing home abuse and negligence lawsuits, birth trauma injury lawsuits and cerebral palsy injury lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Aurora, St. Charles, Naperville, Hillside, Elmhurst, Elmwood Park, Melrose Park, Lake Zurich, Hoffman Estates, Chicago (Wicker Park, Logan Square, West Town, Lakeview, West Rogers Park, Jefferson Park, Bronzeville, South Shore, South Side), Waukegan, Joliet, Romeoville, Mundelein and Mount Prospect, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

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