Mark W. Mathys and Mark T. Schneid recently obtained a $7,250,000 settlement for our client in a failure to diagnose medical malpractice case in Cook County, Illinois.
On August 28, 2013, our previously healthy 29-year-old client returned to Chicago from a 2-week trip to West Africa, where she was visiting friends and family. She had an uneventful trip, but within a few days of returning to Chicago, she started to get a fever and began taking over-the-counter Tylenol. The fever worsened over the next several days and our client decided to go to a Chicago-area hospital for emergency room treatment.
The emergency room physician suspected malaria as a potential cause of the illness and ordered a malaria blood test to be completed on a STAT basis, which meant within 3 hours at this particular hospital. The hospital had an in-house lab to do the tests and it actually started to do the tests, but instead of completing them, the lab technicians chose to send the blood samples to an outside lab for testing without first notifying the emergency room doctor. The emergency room doctor discharged our client within 3 hours, before the malaria tests were completed. The malaria blood tests weren’t completed by the outside lab until 3 days later. Had they been completed the same day as required, the blood tests would have shown that our client had simple malaria in the very early stages.
Meanwhile, our client was sent home from the ER and the next day her condition dramatically worsened. She was taken to a different Chicago-area hospital that eventually completed its own malaria blood test and diagnosed the malaria. Our client was provided medical treatment for malaria, but it was too late: the malaria had progressed to a very severe level and caused her to sustain brain damage and irreversible kidney damage.
Had the original malaria blood tests been completed STAT and reported to the emergency room physician STAT, as required by the first hospital’s own written policies and procedures, our client’s malaria could have been treated promptly and she would not have developed the brain or kidney damage. Due to the kidney damage from malaria, our client requires kidney dialysis, medications, and eventually a kidney transplant.
Mathys & Schneid sued the first hospital and emergency room doctor for their failure to diagnose the malaria before sending our client home without a plan. We retained the most highly qualified infectious disease doctor in the United States to help explain how the malaria should have been diagnosed at the first hospital and how the permanent damage to our client’s kidneys should have been avoided.
Mark W. Mathys and Mark T. Schneid spent more than 40 hours over 4 days repeatedly presenting the facts of the case to different focus group jurors to further understand the favorable (and unfavorable) issues in the case from jurors’ perspectives. The information we learned from the focus groups was invaluable and helped us perfect the case theory and overwhelm the defense very early in the litigation. The case settled at a mediation conference shortly after our client gave her deposition testimony.
We are honored for the opportunity to represent this wonderful woman, and we are grateful we were able to secure the financial security for her that she will definitely need for the rest of her life.
Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid continues to represent people and families who have sustained catastrophic injuries or wrongful death due to the medical negligence of hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will and Kendall Counties, and all throughout Illinois and the United States.