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Johnson vs. Saltzman and Northwestern Medical Group


This medical malpractice action was recently filed in Cook County, Illinois after the plaintiff needlessly was forced to undergo successive operations. He brought suit against the doctor and medical facility for the mess up and all of the damages that the unsuccessful procedures caused.

Filed: August 10, 2016

Jurisdiction: Circuit Court of Cook County

Category: Medical Malpractice

Plaintiff: Gary Johnson

Defendant(s): Matt Saltzman and Northwestern Medical Group


The defendant doctor, Matt Saltzman, operated on the plaintiff, Gary Johnson, in December of 2013. The specific procedure was a revision to a prior surgery where Johnson had had an implant put in his shoulder. After the second course of surgery, Johnson still suffered from pain, inflammation, and leakage. He went back to visit Dr. Saltzman on different occasion related to these complications but the doctor did not find an infection and merely told the patient to keep watch of the situation. Saltzman also cancelled two instructions to have the affected area drained of puss. In August of 2014, Johnson again sought medical attention for this complication but this time different doctors recommended a course of debridement and actually taking out the implant.

Claims and Damages:

Johnson sued both his treating doctor and the hospital (Northwestern Medical Group) for medical malpractice related to this series of events. His claims against the doctor consisted of the following: the defendant doctor did not monitor the plaintiff sufficiently; the defendant doctor did not order enough tests or properly diagnose the plaintiff; the defendant doctor did not wash the affected area properly; and the defendant doctor did not allow the affected area to heal properly. As against the hospital, the plaintiff claimed very similar charges including a failure to monitor him, test him, diagnose him, clean him, and generally care for him. His claims against the hospital consisted of the following:

Out of these claims, Johnson claimed to incur the following damages:

  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Loss of normal life
  • Disfigurement
  • Physical/emotional trauma

Related Laws:

  • 735 ILCS 5/2-622
  • 740 ILCS 180
  • 750 ILCS 65/15
  • 735 ILCS 5/13-212
  • 735 ILCS 5/2-1116
  • 735 ILCS 5/2-1115
  • 735 ILCS 5/2-1114
  • 735 ILCS 5/2-1205

Expert Insights:

  • One important fact of this case is that the treatment in controversy was actually to correct another doctor’s work. Therefore, the defendant doctor might point the finger at the first provider and say it was all his or her fault. The plaintiff will have to show clearly that it was the fault of the defendant and not his first doctor. A common defense defendant that doctors use is that plaintiffs had preexisting injuries and that nothing they did injured them-this is what he will have to rebuke.
  • The plaintiff complains that the defendant doctor did not drain the affected shoulder area or take out the implant. The evidentiary burden this imposes on the plaintiff is demonstrating that this is the applicable standard under these circumstances. Proving this might require significant financial resources in obtaining expert witnesses.
  • The value of awards/settlements tends to increase as successive surgeries are needed to cure negligent service. This is what happened in this case so it might bode well for his chances of recovery.

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