On September 19, 2014, following a two-week trial, a DeKalb County jury returned a $4.3 million verdict in favor of the two adult children of a 57-year-old woman who died of internal bleeding in the recovery room following a hiatal hernia surgery at Kishwaukee Community Hospital. According to the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, this is a record high verdict for a wrongful death in DeKalb County, Illinois, the previous high being $2.75 million in 2008. The trial attorneys in the case were David E. Rapoport and Joshua L. Weisberg of Rapoport Law Offices, P.C.
The case involved a woman who underwent an elective surgery to relieve acid reflux symptoms on October 18, 2010. The surgery appeared to go well, but shortly after arriving in the recovery room the woman's blood pressure began declining, after which she developed other signs and symptoms of internal bleeding. By the time she was taken back to surgery nearly three hours after arriving in the recovery room, she had accumulated a massive amount of blood in her abdomen and her life could no longer be saved.
After a two-week trial, the jury found the anesthesiologist and nurse caring for the patient in the recovery room negligent.
"We believe that no one should ever bleed to death while in the recovery room following a surgery," said Mr. Rapoport, lead trial attorney for the decedent's estate. "If proper skill and care had been used by either the anesthesiologist or nurse, our client's mother would be alive today."
This case was featured in the September 26, 2014 issue of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. Click here to read the full version of the Law Bulletin article.