Joseph A. Power, Jr. and
Joseph W. Balesteri, partners at Power, Rogers & Smith, L.L.P., obtained a $7,250,000 verdict
for Plaintiff’s decedent. Plaintiff’s decedent was diagnosed
with breast cancer; during a biopsy of her breast she experienced a pulmonary
embolus according to plaintiff and an anaphylaxis attack according to
the defense. During the hospitalization she was placed on Heparin prophylaxis
which was later discontinued for a suspected adverse reaction (HIT). She
experienced a fatal pulmonary embolus two days later.
Following a two-week trial in front of the Honorable Thomas L. Hogan, Law
Division, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, the jury returned a
verdict in 2.5 hours in favor of the Plaintiff in the amount of $7,250,0000.
(Loss of future financial support $4,300,000, loss of past financial support
$700,000, loss of society $2,000,000, pain and suffering $250,000)
On October 11, 2006 Plaintiff, female age 33, underwent a right breast
biopsy for breast cancer at The University of Chicago Medical Center.
During the biopsy she experienced cardiovascular collapse, Plaintiff alleged
due to intra-operative pulmonary embolism. All University of Chicago physicians,
intra-operatively and post-operatively, believed anaphylaxis caused cardiovascular
collapse intra-operatively. Four days later, on October 16, 2006, Plaintiff
experienced a saddle pulmonary embolism shortly before midnight and passed away.
Plaintiff alleged that the anesthesia team negligently failed to record,
at regular intervals, the Plaintiff’s vital signs and end tidal
CO2s, resulting in misdiagnosis of intraoperative pulmonary embolism and
further that the intensive care unit physicians failed to provide therapeutic
anticoagulation and/or to rule out deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary
embolism in a timely fashion. Ultimately, on October 13, 2006, intensive
care unit physician, Dr. Brian Gehlbach stopped prophylactic Heparin due
to a concern that Plaintiff was experiencing heparin induced thrombocytopenia.
The assay for HIT returned after her death as negative. No alternative
anticoagulation was initiated. She was a school teacher who is survived
by her husband and their minor daughter.
Plaintiff had previously demanded $6,000,000 to settle this lawsuit. The
highest offer by Defendant, University of Chicago Medical Center, had