Illinois Supreme Court Reverses Appellate Court in Extraordinary Causation Theory in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

This medical malpractice lawsuit alleged failure to diagnose and treat a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in a patient’s torn Achilles tendon before the DVT progressed to a fatal pulmonary embolism. The jury signed a verdict in favor of all of the defendants who were named in the case.

It was in this Illinois Supreme Court opinion that the trial court properly denied the plaintiff’s request for judgment notwithstanding the verdict against the defendant orthopedic clinic and the alternative motion for a new trial were likewise the correct ruling, denying that motion.

The jury was required to listen to the conflicting evidence tendered by both parties and to use that judgment to determine the truth. There was ample testimony that rebutted the plaintiff’s causation theory, and supported a reasonable conclusion that the pulmonary embolism resulting from DVT originating from an Achilles tendon tear was not the type of injury that a reasonable receptionist (the person who scheduled the follow-up visit) would see as a “likely result” of scheduling a follow-up appointment at three weeks, rather than two weeks.

The evidence at trial supported the conclusion that the patient’s death was so “highly extraordinary” that it was not a reasonably foreseeable result of the clinic’s failure to set a follow-up appointment within two weeks rather than three weeks.

For these reasons, the appellate court opinion was reversed and the verdict in favor of the defendants stands.

Steed v. Rezin Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, S.C., 2021 IL 125150 (Jan. 22, 2021).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical malpractice lawsuits, misdiagnosis of pulmonary embolism lawsuits and wrongful death cases 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 45 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Richton Park, Rosemont, Schaumburg, Schiller Park, Tinley Park, University Park, Arlington Heights, Morton Grove, Niles, Chicago (Ravenswood, Pilsen, East Garfield Park, North Lawndale, South Shore, Hegewisch, East Side, Andersonville, Beverly), Vernon Hills, Buffalo Grove, Glenview and Northfield, Ill.

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

Related blog posts:

$12 Million Jury Verdict for Wrongful Death and Medical Negligence in Failure to Diagnose and Treat Deep Vein Thrombosis

$1.91 Million Jury Verdict for Failure to Perform Pulmonary Embolism Risk Assessment

$1 Million Settlement Reached in Failure to Continue Anticoagulant