Advocate Christ Hospital and Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois, will pay $9,900,000 in voluntary settlement of a case brought on behalf of a boy, then 18 months old, who suffered brain injuries due to negligence post-operative care at that institution in April 2003. The child developed post-operative bleeding that went undetected and untreated by the physician overseeing the child’s care in the pediatric intensive care unit which led to his arrest and brain damage, according to Bruce Pfaff, Pfaff & Gill, Ltd., Chicago, one of his lawyers.
Investigation in the case revealed that the physician assigned to supervise the child’s post-operative care was not sufficiently qualified for the assignment under hospital protocols. The doctor had spent years in different residency programs without having completed them. He was not a specialist in cardiac care, and did not know how to treat the child when his lab values began to deteriorate. He did not treat the child’s deterioration or call for help in a timely fashion.
The hospital was put in an awkward litigation position when all of the other physicians involved in the care identified the resident as the one who was in charge of the child’s care overnight on April 24. In his videotaped deposition, the resident denied that he was in charge of the care, effectively leaving a fact finder to understand that no one was taking responsibility or providing care for the boy during the most important moments of his life.
The case was principally prosecuted by Gary Cohen and Stuart Grossman of Grossman Roth, PA, Miami, Florida. The firm has a well-deserved national reputation for excellence in medical malpractice cases, and they brought Bruce Pfaff in to assist in this case which would have been tried within the next year in Cook County. The hospital was represented by Brian Fetzer of Johnson & Bell. The settlement terms were approved July 30, 2009. S.D. v. Advocate Christ Hospital and Medical Center. For further information, please contact Bruce Pfaff, (312) 828-9666.