Ford County, Illinois is known as a very conservative jurisdiction for medical malpractice cases but on December 11, 2015, a Ford County medical malpractice jury took just four hours of deliberations to award $950,000 in compensatory damages to the family of a 73-year-old man who died as a result of a cardiac condition that had not been diagnosed despite symptoms consistent with a serious cardiac malady. The previous highest medical malpractice verdict or settlement in a medical malpractice case in Ford County Illinois was $370,000, in 2007.
The Alleged Facts
The man had gone to his primary care physician and a local hospital emergency room on two occasions with complaints of chest pain but neither the primary care physician nor the emergency room ordered cardiac tests or referred him for a cardiac workup. On a subsequent visit to the emergency room, the man was admitted to the hospital but he still did not receive proper cardiac testing or monitoring, according to the Illinois medical malpractice lawsuit. He remained hospitalized for three days during which he experienced a fluctuating pulse and heart rate. After he was discharged to home, he returned to the hospital emergency room a short time later, where he died the same day.
The medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the primary care physician committed medical negligence by failing to order diagnostic testing for cardiac enzymes and for not testing for atherosclerosis and cardiac ischemia. The medical negligence lawsuit also alleged that the defendant primary care physician failed to diagnose the man’s transmural myocardial infarction that led to the rupture of his left ventricular wall that caused his death on October 12, 2008.
The twelve-person Illinois medical malpractice jury determined that the local emergency room and its physician were not liable for the man’s death but did find that the man’s primary care physician and the medical clinic where he worked were liable for the man’s death due to medical negligence (the defendant primary care physician and his medical practice did not make a pre-trial settlement offer although the hospital emergency room and its physician did offer $50,000 each to settle the medical malpractice claims against them).
If you or a loved one were in a hospital emergency room and experienced a misdiagnosis, an unanticipated deterioration in your medical condition, a complication, an injury, or worse, the harm you suffered may be due to hospital medical negligence. It is important that you promptly contact a local medical malpractice lawyer in your U.S. state who may investigate whether you received proper emergency room care consistent with the required standard of care at the time of your hospital visit and in light of your symptoms and complaints – sometimes an emergency room patient is harmed by the negligence of the medical staff without the patient having any reason to believe that he or she may be the victim of medical negligence.
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