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Illinois appeals panel upholds an $8 million wrongful death suit

A three-judge Illinois appeals court panel issued an opinion on Friday, Dec. 1, denying a suburban Chicago anesthesiologist's request to have an $8 million wrongful death settlement against him overturned.

During the earlier, lower court trial in the matter, the physician had been accused of performing a botched nerve block operation on a patient back in 2012. The woman had reportedly developed paralysis and then had a stroke prior to her 2015 death from complications of the nerve block procedure.

In discussing their split decision, each of the judges appeared to express their concurrence that the Illinois Anesthesia and Pain Associates, S.C., physician had indeed made some omissions or had been negligent.

As one example of this, they pointed out how the doctor had placed spinal needles ahead of her L-1 vertebrae instead of behind them. They also highlighted how his injection of pure alcohol into the woman's arteries went against what any other doctor familiar with the procedure would've done.

One of the judges on the panel expressed his dissent, though. In doing so, he cited concerns over the decedent's history of smoking and later her resistance to opioid pain medications as contributing to her death. The one judge who held out expressed concern over whether the woman's vasospasm, or the constriction of her arteries, may have predisposed the woman to a stroke as opposed to the nerve blocking procedure itself.

If your loved one has died after his or her doctor is believed to have made a surgical error, then a Chicago medical malpractice attorney can advise you of your rights to file a wrongful death claim in your case.

Source: Cook County Record, "Split IL appeals court upholds $7.8M verdict; majority brushes aside trial judge's alleged errors," Scott Holland, Dec. 06, 2017

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