A record settlement in Illinois for a woman in her 60’s in a medical malpractice wrongful death case
Woman admitted to the hospital for a kidney stone dies 26 hours later
Chicago, Illinois October 17, 2022 — On the first day of trial as jury selection was set to begin in Cook County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Sheahan’s courtroom on October 11th, Levin & Perconti obtained an $8 million settlement on behalf of the family of a 61-year-old grandmother. She died after being admitted to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox in April of 2017 suffering from a kidney stone. Levin & Perconti filed a 28-count medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of her family against Silver Cross Hospital claiming if proper medical care had been given to her, she would not have died. This is the largest settlement in Illinois history involving a woman in her 60’s in a medical malpractice wrongful death case.
The plaintiffs allege that the team of 10 medical professionals at Silver Cross Hospital who treated the woman allowed her to slowly deteriorate from an undiagnosed infection that turned septic while the doctors and nurses waited for the stone to pass. They claim bad communication, bad conduct and negligence among the medical team led to her death which was needless and easily preventable.
“No one should ever have to die from having a kidney stone. We had a very strong case that we were prepared to present to the jury. The infection they allowed to kill her was completely treatable and the sepsis was completely preventable,” said Margaret Battersby Black, managing partner at Levin & Perconti. “This woman’s life was in the demonstrably negligent hands of the 10 defendant medical professionals who failed her at every turn. Reasonable patient protection rules were not enforced by any of them,” she added.
According to the complaint, within two hours of the woman’s admission to the hospital, the medical records made it clear that she had an infected kidney and a kidney stone that was blocking her from passing urine. They also showed the woman was born with just one kidney. It’s something she didn’t know because she had never had a CT scan. Since she didn’t have a spare, if her kidney was hurt, it was a medical emergency.
“This information was at the medical team’s fingertips but they either chose to ignore it, not bother to even read it or communicate it to each other,” said Michael F. Bonamarte, managing partner at Levin & Perconti. “This was an emergency medical situation but it was not a complicated one. The simple fix for the patient would have been antibiotics and placing a stent through the urinary tract system to allow the kidney to drain. If this had been done in a timely manner, she would have recovered and left the hospital within a few days.”
The 61-year-old woman left behind two adult daughters and five grandchildren.
“The sense of loss, grief and sorrow experienced by her daughters and grandchildren is amplified by the simple fact that her death at age 61 never should have happened. It was easily preventable,” said Steve Levin, founding partner of Levin & Perconti. “Our hope is that this substantial settlement sends a strong message not just to Silver Cross Hospital but to the entire medical community that this type of irresponsible, indifferent medical care will not go unpunished. They will be held accountable.”
Associate attorneys Michael Shanahan and Blake Gibney also represented the plaintiffs.
About Levin & Perconti
Levin & Perconti is a nationally renowned law firm committed to protecting and vindicating the rights of people who have been injured due to systemic flaws and corporations choosing profits over people. Levin & Perconti is a pioneer in nursing home litigation, advocating for seniors and other vulnerable populations for more than 30 years. The firm concentrates on all types of personal injury, medical malpractice, nursing home, and wrongful death litigation.