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Illinois man gets $15M for wife's childbirth death

An Illinois man whose wife died while giving birth to the couple's child in 2008 has been awarded more than $15.5 million in connection with the medical malpractice case. The wrongful death reportedly occurred in a Chicago-area hospital when the woman died from blood hemorrhage. Physicians had failed to diagnose the 33-year-old mother with a potentially fatal complication known as placenta accrete.

Jurors returned the civil verdict in less than six hours. The case named two local hospitals and physicians, according to news reports.

Official reports show that one of the doctors provided the woman with comprehensive prenatal care before her Cesarean section in February 2008 at MacNeal Hospital. That man had performed an ultrasound during the last two months of the woman's pregnancy, but he failed to identify the dangerous condition that ultimately claimed the woman's life. Relatives of the victim alleged that that physician and one other at the University of Chicago should have identified the pregnancy complication before surgery was started.

The woman's baby survived the delivery. The couple also had a 2-year-old child at the time of the woman's death. The woman's husband is now caring for those two children.

After the jury's verdict was announced, representatives for the physicians and hospitals said they disagreed with the decision. An appeal is possible in the matter, given the attitude of those officials in the immediate aftermath of the case. This victim, like many others, did not receive the high-quality medical care that serves as a standard for American physicians. The woman's children and husband deserve financial compensation to pay for her outstanding medical costs, along with burial expenses and other concrete costs. The financial compensation obtained from the physicians and hospitals in such cases can also provide restitution for pain and suffering, emotional distress and a variety of other civil claims.

Source:  www.suntimes.com, "Jury awards $15 million to man whose wife died giving birth to her child" Tina Sfondeles, Nov. 23, 2013

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