August 13, 2019

The University of Chicago has agreed to pay $2.6 million to resolve a $3 million medical malpractice judgment entered in May 2019 against it and a cardiologist in a Chicago medical malpractice wrongful death case. The settlement includes the agreement that the University of Chicago will drop its appeal and the defendant cardiologist will be removed as a defendant.

The 61-year-old decedent’s daughter had filed the Chicago medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit after her mother died following a cardiac catheterization procedure in 2014 during which the defendant cardiologist “nicked” her iliac artery.

The decedent had a history of preexisting pulmonary hypertension, lupus, and other medical conditions when she went to her cardiologist appointment, complaining of shortness of breath. The decedent was unable to complete a six-minute walking stress test, which led to the cardiologist admitting her to the hospital to have a cardiac catheterization the following day. The decedent spent three days in the hospital before being discharged home. The following morning, she was found unconscious on her bedroom floor and was transported by ambulance to the hospital, where she was found to have internal bleeding.

A stent was implanted to address the internal bleeding but it was too late – she died the next day without regaining consciousness.

The daughter’s Illinois medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit alleged that the catheterization procedure was unnecessary, that the damage to the iliac artery should have been immediately surgically repaired or a stent implanted (the doctors attempted to close the hole in the iliac artery followed by injecting a clotting agent), and that it was a breach of the standard of care to release her from the hospital in light of her medical condition.

The defendants argued that the cardiac catheterization procedure was necessary and appropriate in light of her serious medical conditions, and that her condition had improved to the point that it was appropriate to discharge her from the hospital at that time.

The decedent had retired after a 33-year career with the U.S. Postal Service, most recently as a customer service manager, and was enjoying her retirement by traveling, playing cards with friends, and working online on her doctorate in organizational development, despite her underlying serious medical conditions. Her daughter stated, “She went in for a routine doctor’s appointment, and she ends up in the hospital. Literally, she bled to death. If you read the chart, you could tell she was not doing well. They released her anyway.”


If you or a loved one suffered serious harm as a result of a cardiac catheterization procedure in Chicago, elsewhere in Illinois, or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer, an Illinois medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your cardiac catheterization medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a cardiac catheterization medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

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