Illinois Jury Awards $4.5 Million in Wrongful Death/Medical Negligence Case

A recent Will County jury verdict found Provena St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Ill., and an internal medical doctor responsible for the death of a 43-year-old man. The children of J.E., the deceased, will receive $3.35 million after a jury returned a verdict of $4.5 million to the 43-year-old man’s four children.

J.E.’s children will receive $3.35 million because the family’s attorneys and defense counsel entered into a high/low agreement before the jury’s verdict. The high/low agreement is a way lawyers and clients protect a very high verdict or a very low verdict by agreeing in advance that the ceiling will be one amount and the floor another.

The attorney for J.E.’s children was William Cirignani, a partner of Cirignani Heller and Harman, who represented the estate.

In this case, the defendant, Provena St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet and the doctor, were held responsible for choosing not to identify J.E.’s tear in his aorta, which required immediate surgery.
The jury found the hospital and an internist responsible for J.E.’s death. Other defendants in the case who were found not responsible were cardiologists, an emergency room physician and an emergency service company.

J.E. lacked a medical history of heart problems, but he was a smoker. J.E. came to St. Joseph Medical Center where he was given a CT scan. The scan showed a possible tear in the aorta. Although the emergency room physician ordered another CT with contrast, which would better show the tear in the aorta, the scan was never completed. Apparently, the ER doctor had assumed that the CT was being completed by the cardiologist.

According to the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin report of the jury verdict, the attorneys for the hospital reached a high/low agreement with J.E.’s attorneys wherein they would pay $2 million of the verdict. The high/low agreement was reached with other defendants who were found not responsible, but were still required to contribute to the verdict.

Brenda Gramelspacher, etc. v. Provena Hospitals, et al., 08 L 827 (Will County).
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical negligence cases, wrongful death matters for individuals and families for more than 36 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including River Forest, Chicago (Portage Park), Park Ridge, Oakbrook Terrace, Hinsdale, Chicago Ridge, Cicero, Evergreen Park and Chicago (Lake Calumet), Ill.

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Cook County Jury Verdict for Doctor in Death from Undiagnosed Pulmonary Embolism; Estate of K.R., deceased v. Suburban Heights Medical Center, S.C.
Illinois Jury Finds for Doctor in Medical Malpractice Case in Death of a Pregnant Woman; Estate of Ariss v. Dr. Serry
Death of 22-Year-old Woman Prompts Question: Could She Have Been Saved with Better Emergency Room Care?