Medical error contributed to ex-Chicago Sun-Times owner’s death

When patients die from injuries caused by medical errors, families often question what other steps could have been taken to prevent these fatal medical mistakes from happening.

If a nurse had received better training, would he or she have been able to recognize that something was terribly wrong with a patient? If a hospital would have had better policies and procedures in place, would surgeons have been able to avoid making a mistake during an operation? If a doctor would have asked his or her patient one more question about the patient’s condition, would the doctor have been able to properly diagnose the patient?

Oftentimes, families consider taking legal action after a patient’s suspicious death in order to find answers to these types of questions and to receive some justice after their tragic loss. After losing their father and husband last year, the family of James Tyree, who was the former owner of the Chicago Sun-Times, finally reached a medical malpractice settlement with the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Tyree died in March 2011 at the University of Chicago Medical Center. At the time of his death, he suffered from stomach cancer. However, after an autopsy was performed, it was discovered that a medical error contributed to Tyree’s death. The Cook County medical examiner reported that a catheter had not been properly removed during a routine procedure, which led to the patient’s death.

The multimillion-dollar settlement over Tyree’s wrongful death was reached in late March but was not reported until last month. According to the Chicago Tribune, Tyree’s wife and his three children will donate the proceeds of the settlement to the James C. Tyree Charitable Foundation.

Although families may be compensated if medical negligence did contribute to a loved one’s death, taking legal action after a patient’s wrongful death also gives families an opportunity to make sure important changes are made amongst medical professionals and facilities so that no other wife, husband, mother, father, son or daughter has to experience what they experienced.

Source: The Chicago Tribune, “U. of C. reaches $10M settlement in James Tyree’s death,” Becky Yerak, April 23, 2012

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