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$2.625 Million Settlement Reached in Medical Malpractice Case of Undiagnosed Killer Headache

September 10, 2004

Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. announced today that it has reached a $2.625 million settlement for the family of a 41-year-old woman who died as a result medical malpractice and an undiagnosed brain bleed. The woman initially presented to a local hospital emergency department with complaints of a severe headache, telling the triage nurse “she felt like she had been hit on the head with a hammer.” In the emergency department she was treated with non-narcotic pain medications and discharged home with instructions to see her family primary care physician, whom she saw two days later. He ordered a CT scan of her brain, which was correctly interpreted as normal. The woman died two weeks later from a massive brain bleed.

A medical malpractice lawsuit was filed against the hospital and the emergency department personnel. The case was successfully prosecuted under the theory that the woman had a “warning headache” or “sentinel bleed” of her brain which required, under the American College of Emergency Physician Rules, an emergent CT scan of the brain, and if negative, a lumbar puncture, to look for blood in the cerebral spinal fluid. The “hit on the head with a hammer” history taken by the triage nurse was a classic description of the “warning headache” that often occurs in days or weeks prior to a fatal larger brain bleed, and was overlooked by our client’s treating physician in the ER. Medical literature supported the argument that the CT scan of the brain done five days after the initial bleed would not demonstrate the bleeding. Only a CT scan done within 24-48 hours of the initial onset of the warning headache would demonstrate blood.

Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. is a personal injury law firm based in Chicago, Illinois. The personal injury attorneys at Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. have achieved multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements for individuals with lawsuits arising from medical malpractice, product liability, semitruck and motor vehicle accidents, workplace injuries and construction accidents in Illinois and Wisconsin. Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C.’s premier aviation negligence lawyers represent victims of commercial and general aviation disasters nationwide.

If you feel you may be in need of legal services, personally email an attorney from Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. for a free case evaluation or telephone our Chicago office toll free at 877-216-4213.