The ABA Journal recently reported on a girl who was awarded a $32 million settlement in a medical malpractice case over quadruple limb amputations. The lawsuit was brought against the University of Chicago Medical Center. As a result of this verdict and settlement, this 11-year-old girl will finally be able to live in a fully handicapped accessible home, and she will now be provided with special wheelchairs and prosthetics. The settlement will also help pay a personal assistant for the rest of the girl’s life.
The lawsuit arose after what seemed to be a minor school knee injury led to sepsis, gangrene, and quadruple amputations of her limbs. The suit alleged that the hospital delayed in over 24 hours to treat the girl with antibiotics after she was admitted to the hospital. This failure led to septic shock, cardiac arrest and organ failure.
After these injuries, the girl had to enroll in special gym and swim classes for amputees. Her mother also had to quit her job as an assistant pharmacy manager in order to take care of her daughter and help her heal.
Medical malpractice is a type of medical negligence in which patients are injured by the careless or intentional actions (or, as Tort law would phrase as “acts or fails to acts”) of healthcare providers. The defendants of the lawsuit can include doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, or an entire hospital entity. Where such medical errors cause a patient to suffer (actual injury), and the medical error was the cause of the suffering (the cause-in-fact), a patient may have a medical malpractice lawsuit.
A medical malpractice settlement like this one aims to compensate victims and their families for their hardships and burdens they would not have experienced but for a healthcare provider’s harmful actions or failure to treat a patient where they should have. But for the hospital’s negligence, this girl would not need a fully accessible home, prosthetics, special classes, or a lifelong personal assistant. Had the hospital’s actions or inactions not greatly worsened the girl’s state and caused additional permanent injuries, the mother would not have needed to quit her job and means of living to take care of her daughter. These costs were not of her own choosing, but out of need due to someone else’s fault. That is how our justice system works to compensate victims of medical malpractice for their suffering and burdens. These monetary damages compensate plaintiffs and their families for injury, suffering, and financial hardships they should never have endured in the first place but for the hospital’s medical negligence.
Our firm has fought for the rights of Illinois medical malpractice victims for over 20 years and continues to use this vast experience help patients and their families receive fair compensation for their injuries and losses. In these 20 years, the firm has recovered over $520 million in verdicts and settlements. If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical negligence, contact our firm for a free consultation. It is important not to hesitate in commencing legal action because Illinois law consists of a time limit (known as the statute of limitations) for medical malpractice and other personal injuries.