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Woman wins medical malpractice claim for wrongful death

Far too many Illinois parents know the pain of losing a child. When it appears that a child's death was due to mistakes made by the medical personnel that were supposed to help, a medical malpractice claim could follow. For one out-of-state woman, her wrongful death claim led to a jury verdict awarding her $2.5 million.

The woman suffered from disorders that prevented her blood from clotting correctly. She discovered this during her first pregnancy, and knew to take precautions in her subsequent ones. It was her last pregnancy that became the subject of the lawsuit.

During her pregnancy, the woman worked with her obstetrician to keep her disorders under control. At approximately 35 weeks, she developed pain in her side that was initially attributed to bronchitis. She was given an inhaler and antibiotics. However, the pain in her side only increased, so she went to an emergency room in her area to make sure there was nothing wrong with the baby.

The ER doctor diagnosed her as having a hematoma and gallstones. Instead of monitoring her and the baby, the doctor sent her home with pain medication. She was back in the hospital the next day because the hematoma had grown to the point that she lost around 50 percent of her blood. Due to the blood loss, her baby died of asphyxiation.

She filed a wrongful death claim against the doctor and the doctor's employer. As some Illinois residents are aware, many medical malpractice claims never make it to trial. Her claim did, however, and the jury awarded her for her efforts. The only closure some families can receive is by seeing the case through to a verdict.

Source: charlotteobserver.com, "After death of unborn son, a rare courtroom victory in medical malpractice case", Eric Adler, June 10, 2016

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Frequently Asked Questions about Medical Malpractice

Q: What is medical malpractice?

A: Medical malpractice is negligence committed by a professional health care provider, such as a doctor, nurse, dentist, technician, hospital worker or hospital, whose treatment of a patient departs from a standard of care met by those with similar training and experience, resulting in harm to a patient...

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