A now 64-year-old Illinois man has settled his Illinois medical malpractice case that alleged that he became paralyzed because the defendants failed to timely diagnose and treat his ruptured aneurysm. As a result of the misdiagnosis, the man unnecessarily became paralyzed, he had to have several toes amputated, he required bilateral fasciotomies of both lower extremities, and he has chronic and unrelenting pain, which prevents him from working. The man requires around-the-clock care due to his severe and permanent injuries.
The Underlying Facts
According to the man’s Illinois medical malpractice lawsuit, he was 58-years-old when he went to the emergency department of a local hospital on October 7, 2013 because he had abdominal pain, nausea, and was vomiting. He was admitted to the hospital and a CT scan of his abdomen showed several aneurysms. The plaintiff claimed that two radiologists who read the CT scan failed to recognize that one of the aneurysms was bleeding at that time.
According to the plaintiff, a vascular surgeon reviewed the CT scan the next morning and also failed to diagnose that one of the aneurysms was bleeding. The man subsequent began experiencing weakness in both legs, falling blood pressure, decreasing hemoglobin and hematocrit, and increasing abdominal pain and distension.
The following morning, a hospitalist was advised that the man had new onset lower extremity weakness. Suspecting a spinal epidural abscess, the hospitalist ordered an MRI to be performed on a routine basis, and not performed stat. The MRI was never performed. Due to worsening abdominal distension, an x-ray was ordered that evening that revealed a dilated large bowel. The man was transported to another hospital where a stat CT scan revealed a free rupture from the man’s right common iliac artery aneurysm. The man was then taken to surgery on an emergent basis.
The plaintiff’s Illinois medical complaint alleged that the MRI ordered at the first hospital should have been performed on a stat basis, and if it had, then his dire condition would have been diagnosed much earlier, appropriate consultations with medical specialists would have occurred, and he would have had surgery much earlier, thereby avoiding the catastrophic harm he ultimately suffered.
The defense argued that the plaintiff’s pre-existing end-stage kidney disease severely limited his life expectancy and that all of the injuries he suffered were known complications of surgery performed to repair a ruptured common iliac aneurysm. The defendants denied that they were negligent.
The Illinois medical malpractice case was captioned Kelvin Baldridge and Darlene Baldridge v. Franciscan Alliance, Inc., d/b/a Franciscan St. James Health, Case No.: 2015 L 010132. Trial was scheduled to begin on February 19, 2019 but the parties agreed to settle the Illinois medical malpractice case on February 13, 2019, with Franciscan Alliance, Inc. agreeing to pay $13.5 million on behalf of St. James Hospital and the defendant doctors collectively agreeing to pay $7.1 million, for a total settlement in the amount of $20.6 million.
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