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Case Law Update: Wrongful Death in Medical Malpractice

Walton v. Dirkes, No. 1-08-0461 (1-27-09) decided that the trial court erred when it entered judgment nov after jury returned verdict in wrongful death complaint for medical malpractice. Plaintiff presented sufficient evidence of proximate cause through experts’ testimony that defendant’s failure to order CBC resulted in missed opportunity to diagnose and treat plaintiff’s decedent’s leukemia. However, since trial court specifically refused to consider defendant’s motion for a new trial, waiver rule will not be applied to bar defendant from pursuing that motion on remand. This case will impact Illinois lawyers trying medical malpractice cases.