William F. Cunningham and Heather A. Begley successfully defended a general surgeon in a medical malpractice lawsuit during a two-week trial in Kane County before Judge Mark A. Pheanis.
The general surgeon’s patient had a prior medical history involving both heart disease and Stage IV Renal disease. He underwent a laparoscopic cholecystectomy to remove his gallbladder in August of 2011. Several days following the surgery, it was determined that his common bile duct had been cut leading to peritonitis. The plaintiff was referred for care of his complications to UIC in Chicago. The patient then underwent numerous follow-up surgeries at UIC and in the process, he had a colostomy and several bouts of sepsis. The medical bills were nearly $2 million. He died approximately 18-months after the surgery. The plaintiff alleged that the original surgery and its complications caused the patient’s death and the associated medical expenses.
The plaintiff asked the jury to award over $13 million for the wrongful death and survival action claims. The patient was survived by his wife and 5 children. The plaintiff rejected a high/low offer during jury deliberations. The jury returned its verdict after about 4 ½ hours of deliberations.