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. The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reported after the verdict that it established a record high verdict for a wrongful death in DeKalb County, Illinois, the previous high being $2.75 million in 2008. (For further details about the trial, click here.)
Following the jury’s verdict, Anesthesia Associates, LTD, the practice group for the anesthesiologist who was found negligent, filed an appeal with the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District. Anesthesia Associates argued a number of errors occurred during the trial and requested a new trial, or in the alternative, requested a reduction of the jury’s $4.3 million verdict claiming it was “excessive”. Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. attorneys David E. Rapoport and Joshua L. Weisberg filed a detailed brief and Mr. Rapoport presented oral argument to the Appellate Court explaining the problems with Anesthesia Associates’ arguments. On June 20, 2016, the 3 appellate court judges presiding over the case unanimously rejected the arguments of Anesthesia Associates and affirmed the jury’s verdict in favor or Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. client. A copy of the Appellate Court’s order explaining its decision can be found by clicking here.
The full amount of the verdict, plus 9% post-judgment interest, has now been collected. According to lead trial and appellate court attorney David E. Rapoport: “Our clients are relieved this case is finally over. It took a long time to get here, mainly because the hospital and anesthesiology group denied fault, even after the twelve jurors who heard the evidence unanimously blamed them for an innocent woman’s death. Verdicts like this one help make the community safer for everyone by reminding health care professionals and health care enterprises that there are legal consequences for providing substandard health care.”