In an unprecedented verdict, which has caught not only the attention of Illinois residents, but people across the country, a 47-year-old woman was awarded $2.4 million by the jury in her medical malpractice case. Unfortunately, she never got to see her case win in court.
In 2007, the woman died due to severe abdominal and back pain. Two years prior, she underwent a gastric bypass procedure. Her condition was complicated by a bowel obstruction. She was survived by her husband and son.
The medical malpractice lawsuit, filed in 2009, named an emergency room doctor and the medical group that employed him. The hospital was not included in the lawsuit. The jury pondered the decision for two hours before reaching a verdict. The jury decided on an award of $2,439,544, which was based on actual damages and is believed to be the largest award in the history of Williamson County. Punitive damages were not included as they are not allowed in medical negligence cases in Illinois.
The woman’s husband stated that while the verdict will not bring back his wife, it does draw attention to the deaths caused by medical malpractice. He added that he and his wife did not think of the risks at the time. Nor did he think that his loved one would suffer and die because of a medical error. Ultimately, the husband said that he was glad the jury agreed with them and that the case is over.
Often, just as it is in this case, Illinois patients do not think that medication error, misdiagnosis and other instances of medical negligence can happen to them. However, a Chicago medical malpractice case is not uncommon. In such an instance, it would be best for injured patients to consult a legal professional for advice on how to proceed legally.
Source: Belleville News-Democrat, “Jury Awards Multi-million Dollar Verdict in Medical Malpractice Case,” Beth Hundsdorfer, Nov. 21, 2013