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$9 Million Verdict in Fatal Medical Malpractice Suit

In 2010, a mother of five children was experiencing a sixth pregnancy, but this pregnancy came with an elevated risk level because the mother was 40. Feeling ill and complaining of shortness of breath, she went to a Chicago hospital where her doctor diagnosed her with pneumonia. Expecting the hospital visit to improve her condition, the mother didn’t realize the missteps of her caregivers during and after her admission. Unfortunately, those missteps resulted in the mother’s death as well as the death of her unborn child, according to a federal jury.

The Chicago Tribune article detailing the outcome of the lawsuit and the events leading up to it indicate that the victim’s doctor failed to admit the victim to intensive care after the pneumonia diagnosis. The victim had instead been placed in a regular room, and reported to a nurse that her condition was deteriorating. According to the article’s representation of the suit, the nurse in question attempted to contact the victim’s doctor twice. When both attempts were unsuccessful, the nurse allowed the victim to remain in the regular hospital room instead of having the victim transferred to the emergency room. Shortly thereafter, the victim was found unresponsive in her hospital room. Doctors attempted to revive the victim, but were unsuccessful. Doctors then performed an emergency cesarean section to try and save the baby, but the attempts were unsuccessful and the baby was pronounced dead after roughly 20 minutes were spent trying to revive him.

The Lawsuit and Verdict

The suit had been filed against the victim’s doctor, the nurse in question, and the hospital where the victim had been admitted. The article points out that most lawsuits of this nature do not end up in federal court, nor do they often end up going to trial. However, the attorneys in this case did not allow the parties involved to shift blame between each other without taking responsibility for their actions.

The jury in this case submitted an advisory verdict awarding the victim’s husband 9 million dollars, and the judge overseeing this trial recently signed off on it. In this particular case, the federal government may actually be responsible for paying the award. In fact, the defendants were represented by the United States Attorney’s Office. This responsibility stems from the fact that the doctor’s employer, who is affiliated with the hospital, is actually a federally subsidized facility. Thus, the federal government could be liable for assuming the liability for the award.

Finding Legal Assistance

The loss of a loved one is never easy. It can be even more difficult when a loved one’s death comes at the hands of someone else, especially at the hands of someone entrusted with the health and care of the victim. However, medical professionals and hospitals can and do make mistakes. When they do, it is important that they are held responsible for their actions.

Securing an attorney with experience in handling medical malpractice and/or wrongful death claims is an important first step in ensuring that a victim’s rights are protected, as well as the rights of surviving family members if the victim of medical malpractice has died. The birth of a child is meant to be a joyous occasion, and the negligence of the caregivers and hospital in this particular incident created a deep void in a family as opposed to happiness. If you or a loved one have been the victim of medical malpractice, contact the attorneys at Levin & Perconti to schedule a consultation about your case. The attorneys at Levin & Perconti will help you understand the potential legal process, and will work with you throughout it.

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