Yesterday our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys Steven M. Levin and Jordan Powell announced that they had reached a settlement in an Illinois medical malpractice lawsuit that had been filed on behalf of a client who was the victim of a surgical error. The agreement was reached with a Chicago neurosurgeon and the involved medical facilities that, according to the claims in the lawsuit, failed to properly investigate the spine of an 84-year old woman before conducting a sensitive spinal operation. As a result of the surgical error the victim was left permanently paralyzed.
The surgery in question was performed in March of 2007 on a Palatine woman who was then 78 years old. The victim needed a pain pump fixed that had previously been inserted into her spine. The pump (known as an intrathecal catheter) was supposed to release appropriate doses of medication to control the woman’s back pain; however, it was not working as intended. Unfortunately, the surgery that was supposed to correct the problem would only make things much worse. Attorney Levin explained that the doctor “did not perform an adequate investigation of our client’s spine before surgery, and during the procedure, he caused irreparable damage to her spinal cord.” As a result of the surgical error the victim was left paralyzed from the waist down.
Of course, permanent paralysis is a frightening outcome for all medical patients, made even worse by the fact that the problem was caused by a preventable medical mistake. The victim in this case has struggled over the past five years to adapt her life after losing the ability use her lower limbs. She can no longer walk, and moving around on her own is a constant struggle that requires the help of others. This has obviously had a significant impact on all aspects of her life, including limiting her ability to interact with her children and grandchildren. Before the surgery the woman was completely independent, but that all changed after the error. She is now completely dependent on others, and requires constant home health support.
Following the medical error, our medical malpractice attorneys filed a lawsuit on the victim’s behalf in Cook County. After more information about the situation was uncovered, the involved parties reached a settlement late last week. Per the terms of the settlement the victim will receive $3 million. The award will ensure that the woman has access to the considerable support she will need to maximize her well-being following the paralysis.
Our attorneys remain proud to help victims throughout the state who have suffered harm because of medical errors that could and should have been prevented. We also hope that these cases continue to send the message to medical professionals that substandard care will never be tolerated. The civil justice system demands that all community members interact reasonably with one another. Any deviation from that standard of reasonableness requires those involved to compensate victims for the consequences of their actions. This principle holds no matter what the context. Drivers, doctors, lawyers, and everyone in between is held to the same standard.