$20 Million Paid by Cook County to Family of Boy Who Suffered Brain Damage; Payment will Ensure Lifelong Care

Cook County commissioners voted Feb. 5, 2013, to pay $24 million in hospital malpractice settlements. Of that total, $20 million will be paid to the family of a boy who suffered brain damage after a heart attack following surgery at a Chicago hospital.

A lawsuit was filed against Stroger Hospital by the boy’s mother, Justine Francique. Her son, Keith, underwent surgery for an undescended testicle in 2011. Following the operation, the boy suffered a heart attack, according to hospital records.

Unfortunately, nurses and doctors in attendance did not notice his condition and failed to start cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Five minutes after his heart stopped, they began the necessary lifesaving procedures, according to court documents.

Because of oxygen deprivation, the boy experienced extensive brain injury. The large payout — $20 million — was required to make sure the victim will receive care for the rest of his life, according to court documents.

Also, in a vote taken Feb. 5, commissioners authorized a settlement of $2.4 million to Wendy Cash. Cash did not receive proper medical care during cancer treatment at Stroger Hospital in January 2008, according to a lawsuit. She was apparently suffering from an infection at the time. The infection grew due to a lack of proper care; Cash underwent several amputations and died two years after being admitted to the hospital, according to court documents.

The third case settled by commissioners will provide $1 million to the estate of Albert Allen. He suffered from an infection and did not receive proper care after an external fixator was attached to his arm. Allen had been at the county jail for nearly seven weeks in 2006, court documents said.

While in jail, he was treated by Cermak Health Services, which is a Cook County facility. Allen developed sepsis and was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he also failed to receive proper care, the lawsuit says.

A fourth case, which also involves Stroger Hospital, was settled for $625,000.
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical malpractice lawsuits for over 37 years, serving those areas in and around Cook County, including Schaumburg, Wilmette, Lisle, and Blue Island, Ill.
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