Unfortunately, by the time our Chicago wrongful death attorneys get involved, the tragedies have already occurred. Although Illinois wrongful death lawsuits can never undo the harm caused, they do serve an important purpose in making sure that justice is served, wrongdoers are punished for their careless and negligent actions, and hopefully as a result of the deterrent force of potential litigation, both the tortfeasor and others in similar positions are urged to act more carefully in the future.
In light of these considerations, our Chicago personal injury lawyers were pleased to read that an $8.25 million settlement was reached on behalf of the parents a 40-day-old premature infant who died when a nurse administered a fatal dose of sodium chloride, against the hospital responsible for the infant’s care.
According to reports by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, the infant was born three months premature, weighing less than 2 pounds. Nevertheless, during his stay at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois, he made “terrific progress through the 40 days of his life…and there was every reason to believe he was going to survive.”
A pharmacy technician working for the hospital prepared a prescription of sodium chloride to be given to the baby boy. Because of the technician’s negligence, the dose was more than 60 times the amount of sodium chloride that the physician ordered, and the child died of an overdose. The boy died in the arms of his mother who had suffered two prior miscarriages, reported the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
Following an immediate investigation into the infant’s death, the hospital changed its policy to ensure that each staff member double-checks intravenous bags so the label matches what’s in the bag. Nevertheless, because of the pharmacy technician’s carelessness, Lutheran General Hospital was liable for the child’s death.
Under Illinois law, doctors, nurses, and other medical care professionals owe a duty of care to their patients. Part of that duty includes providing the best care, and ensuring that their actions don’t unreasonably put their patients at risk. If negligence in performing procedures causes harm to a patient, the healthcare professional may be liable for damages stemming from that injury, and an Illinois personal injury lawsuit may arise. Additionally, the hospitals for which the responsible doctor or nurse works may also be legally liable; in general, healthcare institutions have the responsibility to supervise their staff to ensure that mistakes aren’t made, and to hire professionals who have enough knowledge to competently treat patients.
Furthermore, wrongful death is the legal concept that arises when a person’s death has been caused by the fault or negligence of another person or business. In cases of wrongful death such as this one, family members and loved ones of the decedent can file a claim to potentially make the wrongdoer pay damages for things such as the loss of companionship, monetary damages to cover the earnings the deceased person would have provided, and expenses associated with the death such as funeral and burial costs.
Our Chicago wrongful death lawyers have successfully handled hundreds of wrongful death cases and recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for the families of victims wrongfully killed because of someone else’s negligence. Our attorneys understand how devastating these cases can be for families who have lost loved ones, and have the experience to fight for your rights. In fact, our attorneys won a $5 million verdict against a doctor and resident for mishandling a breathing tube, losing our 14-year-old quadriplegic client’s airway, which led to her death.
If you or a loved one have been harmed by the negligence of a healthcare provider, contact an attorney to better understand your rights under the law.