Articles Posted in Levin & Perconti Lawsuits

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medical malpractice wrongful death

Levin & Perconti Attorneys Assist Family In $12 Million Award for Failure to Diagnose and Treat Lung Cancer

A jury voted to award $12 million to the family of Doris Newberry after her death following a failure to diagnose and treat her lung cancer. Her family, with the help of Levin & Perconti attorneys John Perconti, Michael Bonamarte and Cari Silverman, were able to prove that the defendants — including family practice doctors Dr. Iza, and Dr. Jeffrey Lindahl of Alexian Brothers Medical Group, as well as radiologist Dr. Jeffrey E. Chung, of Radiological Consultants of Woodstock — failed numerous times to appropriately diagnose and care for Newberry’s cancer. As a result, she experienced pain and suffering and disfigurement, and an untimely death, which could have been prevented had her cancer been diagnosed following a 2010 X-ray which revealed a lung abnormality.

  • Iza saw Newberry several times between June 2008 and August 2010, including an August visit following a July 2010 chest X-ray that showed abnormal findings.
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In 2008, doctors diagnosed LaKevia Crawford with Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS). As described by the Mayo Clinic, APS as an autoimmune disorder that can cause severe pregnancy complications and the formation of blood clots in a patient’s organs and arteries. There is no cure for APS; however, the symptoms of the disorder can be managed through treatment and medication.

LaKevia and her husband, Nigel, learned that she was pregnant in 2010. The Crawfords informed her physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital that she suffered from APS. However, LaKevia’s physician failed to take her APS into consideration when providing treatment during her pregnancy that could have reduced the risk of harm to her son. In October of 2010, LaKevia and Nigel Crawford gave birth to Nigel Jr. Because of her physician’s mistake, the Crawford’s son was born prematurely and suffered from blood clots on his lungs. The doctors also failed to properly diagnose and treat Nigel Jr.’s APS.

As a result of these failures, Nigel Jr. died on April 13, 2013. Our firm is now seeking to hold the Crawford’s physician, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation responsible for their failures on behalf of LaKevia and Nigel Crawford.

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Earlier this month a founding partner at Levin & Perconti, Attorney Steve Levin, was the subject of an in-depth profile published by Leading Lawyers. The article goes into detail as it describes Steve’s background, early legal career, achievements, and future drive.

Family History

An Illinois native, Steve grew up with his family in Skokie, Illinois. He had two siblings; his mother raised the family at home while his father worked various jobs to support the family. While at a Skokie elementary school he met a classmate named Marsha. The two dated and eventually married after graduating college. The couple has been together nearly 50 years. They now have a large family with four adult children and eleven grandchildren.

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We recently discussed the report in the international medical journal, BMJ Quality & Safety which indicated how diagnostic errors were the most common type of medical mistake which led to legal liability. Failure to make a proper diagnosis in a timely manner or missing a diagnosis completely continues to cause untold suffering and even death throughout the country, including here in Illinois.

In fact, our team of Illinois medical malpractice lawyers recently filed a suit on behalf of a man following the death of his 39-year old wife. Her passing was caused by a failure to diagnose her heart condition.

The Case

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Even though most civil cases do not make it to trial, an attorney must be prepared to go all the way in every single case from the start. That is because it is impossible to know for sure how the legal process will unfold. A lot depends on the approach taken by the opposing side and the information that becomes available as the case is investigated. Being prepared for everything is essential in solid advocacy, and our team of lawyers at the law firm of Levin & Perconti are proud to take that to heart.

For example, just last week we won two jury verdicts, one of which invovled a case of medical malpractice. Please click here to read more about this important series of wins for our clients.

Verdict for Plaintiff in Chicago Medical Malpractice Case

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One common question asked by those hurt by medical malpractice is: what damages can I receive? Attorneys usually explain that your potential economic recovery will depend upon many factors. However, many victims are not aware of the different types of recovery available to them and, in some situations, even their family members.

Please find a basic primer below to help explain potential damages in these civil malpractice cases…

General damages

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This weekend we posted a story discussing the shocking medical mistakes made by many inexperienced resident doctors. One of the tragic examples profiled in that story involved the death of a young man at a Chicago teaching facility-Weiss Memorial Hospital. Our malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti are currently representing the victim’s family in its efforts to seek justice following the death of their son.

Devron Matthews was only 19 when he was rushed to the hospital with serious medical problems including pneumonia, sepsis, fever, and respiratory distress. A young resident doctor only two months out of school was sent to monitor the young man’s condition and provide the necessary care. On top of being an inexperienced new doctor, the young resident didn’t even have access to Devron’s medical chart nor could he contact the attending physician.

A brief interaction with Devron made clear the need for emergency medical care. The young patient was short of oxygen and was in need of a new blood gas test. The resident went to contact an experienced doctor but repeated pages and phone calls went unanswered. A voicemail could not even be left, because the doctor’s inbox was full.

As soon as the resident doctor returned to the Devron’s room following his failed attempt to contact a supervisor, the young victim “coded blue”-a medical term indicating cardiac arrest and need of immediate resuscitation. The resident doctor began resuscitation, even though he had never before participated in a “code blue.”

The lack of oxygen to Devron’s brain ultimately lead to a devastating brain injury, and he died a few months after the incident.

Without question there were severe breakdowns in the care at Weiss Memorial Hospital that caused an inexperienced resident to perform emergency actions without access to a medical chart while the attending physician was nowhere to be found. Supervision and training problems led to the error which ultimately claimed the life of a 19-year old young man.

In a pre-trial deposition with the resident doctor involved, one of our firm founders, Steve Levin, asked the doctor about the training he received regarding the situation that developed with Devron. He asked, “Did anybody that you were working with at Weiss or in your residency program, in any way, shape, or form, try to teach you something about what should or should not have happened?

The resident admitted, “No.”
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Yesterday the Chicago Sun-Times profiled the latest settlement reached by Levin & Perconti on behalf of a victim of medical malpractice at the University of Illinois Chicago Medical Center. We discussed the $17.7 million settlement last week which is now awaiting approval by the judge.

The victim, a police officer, was brought to the University of Illinois Chicago Medical Center after suffering a stroke sustained while attempting to make an arrest. The malpractice occurred a little over a week later when nursing staff members were testing an EVD device connected to the patient’s brain to determine if it should be removed-known as an EVD challenge. Unfortunately, nursing staff failed to properly monitor the victim’s intracranial pressure during the test. The monitoring process is vital because if the pressure levels get too high the patient could suffer permanent brain problems. In this case, the pressure reached dangerous levels, but the nursing staff failed to notify anyone of the problem. The victim’s condition worsened overnight but the staff again failed to take any notice.

As a result of the failure to monitor the pressure and ignorance of the change in condition the officer suffered a catastrophic brain injury-a brain stem herniation. He now suffers from quadriplegia, cannot eat or speak, and communicates only through eye movements and head shaking.

The victim sued the hospital and nursing staff for their malpractice. Last week the UIC Board finally approved settlement in the case-agreeing to pay $16.2 million. The nursing agency involved will pay an additional $1.5 million for its role in the tragic event.
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Two of our Chicago malpractice attorneys, Steven Levin and Margaret Battersby, recently helped one victim of medical malpractice reach a $17.7 million settlement agreement with the Chicago medical providers that caused his injuries.

In mid-February of 2005 the victim was brought to the Neurosurgical Intensive Care unit at the University of Illinois Chicago Medical Center after suffering a stroke. The patient was a police officer whose stroke was believed to be caused by an injury inflicted while attempting to make an arrest. When the officer arrived at the hospital doctors inserted an EVD device into his body to drain excess fluid from his brain.

The malpractice occurred a little over a week later when nursing staff members were testing the drain to determine if it should be removed-a task known as an EVD challenge. During the testing process the staff failed to properly monitor the victim’s intracranial pressure. This is a well-known and vital monitoring process, because if the pressure levels get too high the patient could suffer permanent brain problems. In this case, the pressure reached dangerous levels, but the nursing staff failed to notify anyone of the problem. Over that night the problem caused the patient to suffer worsening neurological conditions, but the staff again failed to take any notice.

As a result of the failure to monitor the pressure and the change in condition the victim suffered a catastrophic brain injury. Specifically, the medical negligence led to a brain stem herniation. He now suffers from quadriplegia, cannot eat or speak, and communicates only through eye movements and head shaking.

The victim sued the hospital and nursing staff for their malpractice. This week on the eve of that trial the UIC Board finally approved settlement in the case-agreeing to pay $16.2 million. The nursing agency involved will pay an additional $1.5 million for its role in the tragic event. Now the family must only wait for the Court to officially approve the settlement order in the coming weeks.
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On Friday, December 18, a 44-year-old woman from Cerro Gordo, IL died after falling from a seventh floor window at Provena Covenant Medical Center in Urbana. An autopsy revealed that her death was a result of multiple injuries sustained in the fall. The article reports that the victim jumped from the window and landed on a roof five stories below. However, the article does not indicate if the victim was a patient, what led her to fall from the window, or if this was an incident of medical negligence. Read more about this Urbana hospital death.

In a case similar in nature, the medical malpractice attorneys of Levin & Perconti recently won a $1 million jury for the family of a nursing home resident who exited from a window at a Chicago area nursing home and fell to his death. The Cook County jury found the nursing home negligent in failing to prevent the resident from exiting through the window. To read about this jury verdict, follow the link.