Jury Finds in Favor of Doctor and Hospital Where Patient Dies of Heart Attack One Day after Discharge

Janice Bishop presented to the emergency department at Graham Hospital in Canton, Ill., with complaints of chest pain on July 19, 2010. The emergency room physician ordered an EKG, which demonstrated non-specific T-wave changes compared to a prior 2007 EKG.

Multiple nitroglycerine injections and one Lovenox injection were administered to Bishop in the ER. She was then admitted to a post-coronary care unit under the attention of the defendant physician Dr. Patrick Renick. Serial EKGs were then done.

Dr. Renick discharged Bishop the next morning, July 20, 2010, with orders for a stress test to be done as an outpatient.  The outpatient stress test was scheduled for July 23, 2010, but she subsequently canceled it due to insurance coverage issues.

She died on July 20, 2010, the day after her release from the hospital. She was just 56 years old. She was survived by her husband and two adult children. Her family claimed a lifetime of lost time from her job as a nursing home office manager totaling $400,000.

The Fulton County Coroner listed myocardial infarction as the cause of her death, although no autopsy was performed.

Janice Bishop’s family presented experts who contended that she was suffering from acute coronary syndrome and that the stress test and cardiology consultation needed to be performed before discharge from the hospital. They maintained that her ischemic heart disease caused a myocardial infarction that led to her death.

The defendants argued that Bishop was stable at the time of her discharge, all of her cardiac enzymes were normal and thus discharge was the appropriate procedure with the understanding that she would undergo the outpatient stress test just three days later.

The defendants’ expert pathologist testified at trial that the cause of death was not myocardial infarction and gave opinion testimony that Bishop most likely died of hypertensive heart disease, an aortic dissection or arrhythmic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD).

The Bishop family attorney noted that there has never been a plaintiff’s verdict in a medical malpractice case in the history of Fulton County, Ill. The Bishop family counsel demanded settlement, which was the policy limit at $1 million. The jury was asked to return a verdict of $3.4 million. There was no offer made by the defendants before trial. The jury’s verdict in favor of the doctor alone was because Graham Hospital settled for $25,000 before trial. The attorneys representing the Estate of Janice Bishop were Bradley Z. Schulman and Robert J. Napleton.

At trial, the plaintiff presented the treating cardiologist and other experts in cardiology and family practice whereas the defendant presented as testifying experts the emergency department physician as well as the family practice physician and pathologist.

Estate of Janice Bishop v. Dr. Patrick Renick and Graham Hospital, No. 11 L 24 (Fulton County, Ill.).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical malpractice cases, hospital negligence cases and birth injury cases for individuals and families 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 Chicago (Edgewater, Chinatown, Belmont Craigin, Back of the Yards, Austin, Avondale, Archer Heights, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Little Italy, New Town, Pilsen, Portage Park, South Shore, Humboldt Park, University of Chicago, Roseland, Sauganash, Sheffield, South Loop), Kenilworth, Geneva, Fox River Grove, Evergreen Park, Des Plaines, Joliet, Waukegan, Gurnee, Round Lake Beach, Orland Park and Berwyn, Ill.

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