Heyl Royster

Firm Obtains Two Med Mal Defense Verdicts

august 29, 2016

We are pleased to report that earlier this month, and during the same week, attorneys from our Rockford and Peoria offices obtained defense verdicts in contested medical malpractice claims.

Doug Pomatto and Mike Denning of the firm’s Rockford office tried a case in which the firm defended a family practice physician in a wrongful death lawsuit that was brought by the widow and four children of a 45 year-old non-smoker. The lawsuit claimed that the family practice physician failed to diagnose the patient/decedent’s lung cancer. Based on the patient’s clinical presentation, pulmonary function test, and response to asthma medications, the defendant physician diagnosed the patient/decedent with asthma in January of 2009. In January of 2010, the patient went to the Mayo Clinic on self-referral and was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer with metastasis to the brain. He underwent chemotherapy and radiation but ultimately passed away in 2015 as a result of lung cancer. Plaintiff sought recovery for survival damages, loss of consortium and wrongful death, and at the end of a more than two-week trial, plaintiffs asked for an itemized verdict of approximately $10.2 million. The jury deliberated for less than two hours before returning a verdict for the defense.

Dave Sinn and Tyler Pratt of the firm’s Peoria office defended a gastroenterologist at jury trial in a case in which a 58 year-old female suffered a perforation of the esophagus 20 minutes after being dilated by the defendant gastroenterologist. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant gastroenterologist chose too big of a dilator to dilate her peptic stricture. The plaintiff subsequently underwent a thoracotomy to repair her esophagus and then slipped into a coma for two months. The total of plaintiff’s paid medical bills was $350,000. The plaintiff’s last demand prior to trial was $650,000. At the end of the five-day trial, the plaintiff’s attorney asked the jury for “whatever is reasonable,” and the jury returned a defense verdict after 45 minutes of deliberation.

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