As always, we’ve been busy helping our clients seek compensation for the harms they’ve suffered. In an exciting recent case, Lane & Lane, LLC partner Mark A. Brown and associate Olivia A. Sarmas secured a medical malpractice trial victory in Lake County.
This case was tried in late February and early March and ended with a total recovery of $1,625,000 for our client. Read on for more details.
In April of 2010, our client was admitted to Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital for numbness, weakness, pain, and blueness in her right hand. Her symptoms had worsened over a period of four days before she was admitted. She was subsequently diagnosed with blood clots in her radial, brachial, and ulnar arteries.
Dr. Susanne Woloson was her vascular surgeon and decided to treat her condition with thrombolytics rather than perform surgery due to the risk of microclots forming in the hands. These microclots would not have been treatable with a thromboembolectomy.
A Turn for the Worse
Despite being treated with thrombolytics, the plaintiff eventually developed compartment syndrome in her right forearm. A nurse called Dr. Woloson to advise her of the situation. Dr. Woloson ordered a consult with an orthopedic surgeon, who requested that Dr. Woloson complete an assessment of the plaintiff to rule out vascular issues before they decided to treat her with surgery.
Dr. Woloson did not come in to assess the plaintiff, leaving her without treatment for approximately eight hours. By that time, the plaintiff’s compartment syndrome needed to be treated with a thromboembolectomy and a fasciotomy. She now suffers permanent neurological deficits in her right hand due to the prolonged lack of treatment.
On behalf of our client and after a review of the evidence, we brought claims against Dr. Woloson and Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital. Our pretrial demand was for $1,300,000 between all defendants.
Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital Settlement
Three days prior to the start of the trial, our client settled with Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital for $250,000. Prior to this date, there had been no attempts by the defense to settle the case on the hospital’s behalf.
The Defense of Woloson
The defense attorneys for Dr. Woloson argued that the doctor made the right choice when choosing to treat our client with thrombolytics because of the duration of the symptoms and because surgery wouldn’t have helped any microclots that might have formed. Microclots could have led to gangrene and required amputation, they said.
They also argued that Dr. Woloson was not obligated to go in and examine the plaintiff that evening because she had ordered a consult with the orthopedic surgeon.
Additionally, the defense argued that our client might have developed nerve deficits even if surgery had occurred immediately and compartment syndrome hadn’t developed.
Because no offer was made to settle, we proceeded to court, where the Hon. Mitchell Hoffman presided over the case.
After all evidence had been presented, both parties entered into a high/low agreement of $500,000 to $1,850,000, meaning the defense agreed to pay a minimum of $500,000 to the plaintiff and the plaintiff agreed to accept a maximum of $1,850,000, regardless of the verdict.
The settlement we reached with Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital was not taken into account upon entering the high/low agreement.
After deliberating for six and a half hours over a span of two days, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff for $1,375,000. This brought our client’s total recovery to $1,625,000.
Our Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Help You, Too
Had Dr. Woloson checked on our client after ordering the surgical consult, and if the hospital staff had notified Dr. Woloson that the surgeon wouldn’t be coming in, our client could have been spared permanent damage. We believe medical negligence should never go unpunished, and all victims deserve justice.
If you or someone you love has been a victim of medical negligence and you need representation to recover your losses, reach out to us today by completing the contact form below or giving our office a call at 312-332-1400.