Jury Enters $25.59 Million Verdict for Failure to Identify, Treat Intracranial Pressure Causing Permanent, Devastating Injuries

Carl Beauchamp, 44, fell and hit his head. He was taken to Rhode Island Hospital where he underwent testing and was released with instructions to return if he noticed changes in his state of mind. Beauchamp, who initially was able to walk, talk and respond to commands after the fall, later became confused. He returned to the hospital.

A neurosurgery resident examined him and diagnosed his condition as post-concussive syndrome. Beauchamp was admitted to a general medical floor. During a critical 40-hour period when neuro-checks were required frequently, hospital nurses performed just one check.

Beauchamp’s condition worsened to where he responded to only painful stimuli and was unable to blink, talk and follow instructions or commands.

A hospitalist examined Beauchamp and found him unresponsive and arousable to painful stimuli only. That hospitalist then called for a neurosurgical consult, which never occurred. By noon that day, Beauchamp was nonresponsive, incontinent and unable to eat or drink.

The next morning, having received no treatment for increasing intracranial pressure, swelling to the brain, Beauchamp suffered a brain herniation resulting in permanent brain damage. He was in a coma for seven weeks and required more than a year and a half of treatment in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities before he could return home.

He is now unable to walk, has limited vision and has difficulty talking, combined with other problems. Beauchamp’s wife, individually and on his behalf, sued the hospital alleging liability for its radiologist’s failure to properly identify brain swelling and increasing intracranial pressure on Beauchamp’s CT scans.

In addition, the claim was for negligence for the first hospitalist choosing not to respond to Beauchamp’s worsening condition and to ensure that a neurological consult took place. The second hospitalist was also claimed to have failed to treat the increasing intracranial pressure and to make sure that a neurosurgeon examined and treated Beauchamp. Further, there was a claim that the hospital’s neurosurgeons misdiagnosed post-concussive syndrome and chose not to timely examine Beauchamp before the brain herniation and for the hospital nurses’ failure to perform timely neuro-checks and notify Beauchamp’s doctors of his worsening condition.

Further, the hospital was alleged to have been liable for inadequate supervision and negligent hiring, training and retention of its employees. There was no claim for lost income.

The jury’s verdict of $25,590,000 included $15 million to Beauchamp for noneconomic damages and $5 million to Mrs. Beauchamp, his wife, for loss of consortium.

This case was handled expertly by Rhode Island attorneys Mark S. Mandell, Yvette Boisclair and Zachery Mandell.

Beauchamp v. Rhode Island Hospital, No. PC12-2874 (R.I. Super. Ct. Providence County, April 29, 2015).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical malpractice cases, physician malpractice cases and hospital malpractice cases for individuals and families who have been injured or killed by the negligence of a medical provider for more than 38 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas including, Worth, Brookfield, Berwyn, Lisle, Steger, Crete, South Barrington, Willow Springs, Riverside, Melrose Park, Hickory Hills, Evanston, Wilmette, Hillside, Elmhurst, Hanover Park, Bridgeview and Bedford Park, Ill.

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