Undiagnosed Kidney Infection Results in Win for Doctor

Virginia Gettys was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland, Ill., with abdominal pain, abdominal distension and a report of bloody stools. This followed a recent colonoscopy. Gettys was admitted to the hospital on Jan. 14, 2004. 

The defendant, Dr. Jose Diaz, a general surgeon, performed an exploratory laparotomy to see the cause of Gettys’ symptoms. Dr. Diaz found nothing wrong. 

Gettys, 43, was transferred to another hospital where she died just four days later. She was survived by her husband and children.

An autopsy showed that her death was due to sepsis caused by kidney infection. The family filed a lawsuit against Dr. Diaz for his negligence in performing an unnecessary surgery, the laparotomy, and for choosing not to diagnose the kidney infection. 

At the trial, Dr. Diaz asserted that he met the medical standard of care in that the surgery was appropriate and necessary for this patient. This case had been previously tried in 2009, when a jury verdict for the defendant was also entered. The case was retried in March 2013. 

The jury returned the same verdict in favor of Dr. Diaz, finding that he was not negligent. 

Estate of Virginia Gettys v. Jose A. Diaz, Jr., M.D., No. 04 L 1427 (Madison County, Illinois). 

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical negligence trials, birth injury cases and nursing home abuse 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 37 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Glendale Heights, Park Ridge, Wilmette, Evergreen Park, Dolton, Calumet City, Oak Forest, Melrose Park, Chicago (Belmont Heights), Chicago (Austin), Cicero, Berwyn, Chicago (Marquette Park), Bedford Park, Hickory Hills and Countryside, Ill.

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