Peter Higgins Law team of medical malpractice and wrongful death attorneys represented the family of a man who had surgery to remove his gallbladder. The surgeon became confused when he opened the man’s abdomen and saw his anatomy was stuck together and rock hard from scar tissue and swelling. Instead of taking steps to properly identify the anatomy, the surgeon continued dissecting and cut the wrong vessel, allowing bile to leak into the patient's abdominal cavity. This resulted in a serious infection that, despite two months of treatment in the hospital, could not be brought under control, culminating in his death.
After two years of taking dozens of depositions of doctors, family members and medical experts, and when the surgeon refused to reach a medical malpractice settlement, steadfastly maintaining he did nothing wrong, the case went to trial. The surgeon brought in a team of other surgeons and experts to testify on his behalf. The defense first claimed that cutting the wrong gallbladder vessel was an unfortunate occurrence, but was a recognized risk of doing this surgery. They also claimed that the surgeon could not have taken the steps outlined by our expert in order to help him properly identify the patient's gallbladder anatomy because doing so may have done more harm than good. Finally, the defendant claimed that the patient came into surgery with preexisting heart and lung health problems and it was those problems that led to his death, not the botched surgery.
After a two week trial for our client's wrongful death case, the jury returned a verdict in favor of our client and against the surgeon for almost $1 million. In talking with the jurors after the case, some thanked us for taking a complicated medical case and presenting it in a way they could understand.
None of the jurors had medical training and one of our tasks as medical malpractice lawyers was to convey the case in a common sense, non-technical manner. It stands to reason that we can only gain a jury's verdict if we talk in terms they can understand.
When healthcare negligence results in a patient's death it can be daunting to pursue a medical malpractice claim, but with over 70 combined years of experience, the Chicago wrongful death attorneys of Peter Higgins Law will put your mind at ease. Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you during a free consultation.