On appeal from a trial court decision, the Illinois Appellate Court answered that the circuit court abused its discretion and denied the plaintiff a fair trial by refusing to issue a non-pattern jury instruction. The instruction was about the loss of chance doctrine and a pattern jury instruction on informed consent in a wrongful death and medical malpractice case.

The appellate court answered that question in the affirmative and reversed the circuit court’s judgment in part and remanded the case for a new trial against certain defendants. However, on appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court, the appellate court was reversed in part and affirmed the circuit court’s judgment in its entirety.

This case involved the death of Joe M. Milton-Hampton; his case was brought by Joe M. Bailey, administrator of the estate. The medical malpractice case was filed in Cook County against the defendants, Mercy Hospital and Medical Center and several doctors and a nurse.
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Doe, 21, experienced right testicle pain. He went to his local hospital emergency room complaining of persistent pain. An ultrasound showed a hematoma or neoplasm. Doe was referred to a urologist who allegedly told him that he likely had a hematoma and that it would take a long time to heal.

The following month, Doe went to a family practice doctor complaining of swelling in his right breast. Doe told the doctor about his testicle injury weeks earlier and said that his condition had improved. Doe’s testicle pain and swelling persisted after the appointment with the family practice physician. Doe again consulted the same doctor; he ordered an ultrasound and performed a testicle exam. Doe was referred to a urologist.

Before Doe was able to meet with the urologist, he experienced severe pain and went to a hospital emergency room. The urologist who saw Doe that day scheduled him for surgery to treat testicle trauma.
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Ms. Doe underwent successful breast reconstruction surgery. She was recovering in the hospital when she began to experience weakness on one side of her body, which progressed to full-side weakness, facial drooping and loss of speech. Ms. Doe’s family members and pastor reported her symptoms to hospital nurses who allegedly documented the symptoms, but chose not to report them to Ms. Doe’s attending physician for 24 hours.

Ms. Doe was subsequently diagnosed as having suffered a stroke. She has lost complete use of one arm, has limited use of one of her legs, and has permanent loss of speech.

Ms. Doe sued the hospital, alleging liability for the nurses’ choosing not to properly respond to obvious stroke symptoms. Ms. Doe asserted that her stroke resulted from a clot that developed into a brain bleed and that doctors could have treated the clot before it caused the sustained bleeding.
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Gerald Culhane went to his primary care physician at Buffalo Veterans Administration Medical Center, complaining of a lump in his neck over a three-month period. A CT scan was reviewed by a radiologist as being unremarkable. Culhane was told that he did not require a follow-up.

About a year and a half later, he called the Veteran’s Administration and reported that his neck lump was continuing to grow. Another CT scan led to a diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma in the left tonsil, which required 40 rounds of radiation and 7 cycles of chemotherapy. The cancer recurred. Culhane later underwent a radical tonsillectomy and neck dissection.

Culhane and his wife sued the United States under the Federal Torts Claims Act (FTCA), alleging that the Veteran’s Administration Hospital chose not to timely diagnose squamous cell carcinoma. The Culhane family also alleged that a mass was obviously present when the first CT scan was done and that the scan was wrongly interpreted as negative.
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Melissa Avilez suffered from breast lumps and pain. She consulted a certified nurse midwife, Kerry-Ann Dacosta, who worked for Urban Health Plan, a federally funded clinic.

Although Avilez sought treatment from Nurse Dacosta nine times in 2015 and 2016, she was not referred to a breast surgeon.

In 2017, Avilez was diagnosed as having metastatic cancer. Before she died at age 26, Avilez sued Nurse Dacosta and the United States under the Federal Torts Claims Act (FTCA) alleging that the nurse midwife, Dacosta, chose not to follow up on her breast findings, perform a breast exam; refer Ms. Avilez to a breast surgeon; or order radiological testing, including an ultrasound.
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Mr. Doe, age 51, fell at home and injured his back. He went to an urgent care facility, complaining of back pain that did not improve with medication or application of cold or heat.

At the time, Mr. Doe did not complain of numbness and tingling. A doctor diagnosed thoracic back pain and prescribed Ibuprofen and physical therapy.

Two weeks later, Mr. Doe went to his first physical therapy appointment and reported that he had been unable to lie down because of severe pain. The treating physical therapist sent him back to the urgent care facility to be examined.
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Frances Mitchell, 43, underwent outpatient laparoscopic surgery performed by surgeon Dr. Andrew Green at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center. Approximately 12 hours after the surgery, she returned to the medical center complaining of severe abdominal pain. Dr. Green examined her, diagnosed bladder spasms and discharged her.

Mitchell died several days later. She was survived by her mother and two children.

Mitchell’s family and estate filed a lawsuit against Dr. Green, the medical center, a physician group, and the health system alleging that she had suffered a bowel perforation during the surgery but that Dr. Green had chosen not to recognize and repair it intraoperatively.
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Mr. Doe, in his mid-60s, was diagnosed as having severe aortic stenosis. He consulted with Dr. Roe, a cardiologist who recommended coronary angiography, ventriculography and an aortography.

While Mr. Doe was undergoing these procedures, a catheter became untangled and lodged in his heart muscle. Dr. Roe continued to inject dye through the entangled catheter, which then led to an “explosion” that ruptured Mr. Doe’s heart.

Mr. Doe suffered cardiac arrest, cardiac tamponade and shock. He died the next day. He was survived by his wife, children and grandchildren.
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Ms. Doe, 36, went to a hospital emergency department complaining of severe flank or side pain. She underwent testing and was diagnosed as having a kidney stone in her ureter.

Ms. Doe’s test results were allegedly equivocal and showed bacteria in her urine as well as an elevated white blood cell count, which is a sign of infection. However, Ms. Doe was discharged from the emergency room and sent home.

Ms. Doe’s condition worsened. She suffered septic shock, the last stage of infection. Ms. Doe returned to the hospital where she underwent surgery to remove the blockage in her ureter. Despite this treatment, Ms. Doe developed ischemia in her extremities and required surgery to remove necrotic dead or dying tissue.
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David Detweiler, 73, was suffering from chronic atrial fibrillation, a condition where a patient has an irregular heartbeat or a heartbeat that is faster than an acceptable rate. He also had other cardiac issues. He was a long-time patient of cardiologist Dr. Mitchell Greenspan.

Dr. Greenspan cleared Detweiler to undergo an aortobifemoral bypass to treat his aortoiliac occlusive disease. An aortobifemoral bypass is surgery to redirect blood around narrowed or blocked blood vessels in the abdomen or groin areas. The surgery is performed to increase blood flow to the legs.

A vascular surgeon did the procedure without complications. Detweiler was transferred to the hospital’s ICU in stable condition following the surgery.
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