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Cook County to pay $6.5 million to settle a surgical error case

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2018 | Firm News, medical malpractice

The Illinois State Attorney’s Office requested permission from Cook County administrators on July 24 to go ahead and settle a 2013 medical malpractice case for $6.5 million. The family of a 55-year-old Chicago woman had brought a lawsuit against the Stoger Hospital soon after she died from a botched pacemaker surgery.

While it is not common practice for the State Attorney’s Office to be asked to step on issues such as this, it was necessary due to unique circumstances in this case. The sitting State Attorney is listed as a partner at the firm representing the plaintiff. Cook County codes prohibit the payment of lawsuit awards to individuals with certain relationships with the county.

According to court records, the female victim was set to undergo surgery to have a pacemaker inserted at Stoger Hospital in 2013. Shortly after the procedure got underway, the woman’s surgeon severed her artery. At trial, he testified that he didn’t realize this had occurred.

The severing of the woman’s artery caused her to go into both pulmonary and cardiac arrest. The woman’s breathing and heartbeat came to a stop several times while atop the operating table. Ultimately, she was pronounced brain dead.

At trial, lawyers produced records from the physician’s personnel file that chronicled how he’d made several surgical errors in other cases. He’d been on probation for those before.

The plaintiff’s attorneys also provided evidence that the woman’s doctor had gone into her medical records to potentially make edits to the information contained there after her death.

Any time a patient goes under the knife, there are some inherent risks that he or she is exposed to. If you suspect that some type of error occurred, though, then you’ll want to have a lawyer who advocates for injured people to review your case. By having a Chicago medical malpractice attorney review your case, he or she can let you know whether any negligence indeed occurred.