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Cook County agrees to pay millions for boy’s med mal injuries

When medical malpractice causes Chicago patients to suffer irreparable harm, families are often left devastated by the consequences of such mistakes, especially when young children are the victims of medical negligence.

Brain injuries, for example, may prevent children from being able to have a normal childhood, and children harmed by brain injuries caused by medical negligence may never become independent adults who are capable of working and taking care of themselves. Their families may always have to care for them, and this care will most likely be very costly.

When a child does suffer permanent brain damage as a result of hospital negligence or a medical error, how much money will victims and their families be entitled to recover in Illinois for damages and medical expenses?

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to determine how much medical malpractice victims and their families will be entitled to recover after suffering a disabling and permanent brain injury. But a case that was recently settled this week in Cook County may give our blog’s readers an idea of how costly medical mistakes can be when the mistakes cause patients to suffer serious and disabling injuries.

The case that was recently settled was filed by a mother whose son suffered permanent brain damage after a surgery mishap in December 2011. The woman’s son had undergone surgery so that doctors could repair an undescended testicle. But the child began to experience health complications while he was recovering from the operation. The young child went into cardiac arrest, but hospital workers waited for five minutes before they began CPR. The child was revived after having no pulse for about 15 minutes; however, he lost so much oxygen during the traumatic event that he was left with severe brain damage. The woman’s son is now 3 years old.

This week, Cook County commissioners agreed that the child will need to be compensated for his injuries. Commissioners agreed to settle the victim’s medical malpractice case for $20 million. Damages are expected to cover the child’s life-long costs for adequate medical care and treatment. It is unclear whether the hospital that had improperly treated the boy has admitted any fault in the incident.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “$20 million settlement approved for Stroger Hospital surgery case,” John Byrne, Feb. 5, 2013

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