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How Much are Illinois Medical Diagnosis Malpractice Cases Worth?

Patients focus on a lot of their attention on the actual services and goods that the medical communities deliver them including surgeries, recommendations, devices, and medications. However, before all of that, medical professionals must diagnose your underlying health condition. That requires them to examine you, consult your health history, and consider all the possible issues that could be affecting you. Often times, that diagnosis is incorrect. An error in diagnosis can have disastrous consequences. It can mean you do not get the help you need; the actual problem may fester; and your ability to get better may diminish or disappear.

Please review the pages below for specific information on different types of medical diagnosis malpractice cases:

  • How Much are Misdiagnosis Cases Worth?
  • How Much are Cancer Misdiagnosis Malpractice Cases Worth?
  • How Much are Radiology Malpractice Cases Worth?

Past Illinois Medical Diagnosis Malpractice Awards and Cases

Health care law has many different areas and rules. However, diagnosis malpractice touches upon all of them. That's the case because the medical diagnosis is the starting point in the United States healthcare system. To show you what you may recover if you bring a case in Illinois for a failed or delayed diagnosis, we have organized some cases below for you to read and consider. They describe common scenarios that patients are put in with diagnosis malpractice. Yet, your situation might be nuanced and those differences can have an impact on your claim. Contact us to find out more about what you can do if your doctor misdiagnosed you!

How Much are Misdiagnosis Cases Worth?

As the case summaries below demonstrate, misdiagnosis claims can return large award and settlement amounts. Injured patients obtain millions of dollars sometimes and the average is well into the high thousands.

Case: Roberts vs. AMG Of Illinois
Jurisdiction: Cook County
Recovery: $2,250,000 Settlement

Here the plaintiff went to the doctor because he was experiencing chest pain. He informed the doctor that his family had a history of heart attacks and heart disease. Despite this knowledge, and despite the fact that his symptoms signaled coronary heart disease, the doctor diagnosed him with a gastric condition and sent him home.

The very next day the plaintiff had a heart attack and died. His estate sued the doctor for medical malpractice and claimed that his negligent care fell below the practical standard of care for the circumstances. The defendant doctor did not refute that he was at fault but denied the amount of damages that the plaintiff claimed. They agreed on $2,250,000 as an appropriate figure before trial commenced.

Case: Christy vs. Cavanaugh
Jurisdiction: Cook County
Recovery: $2,500,000 Jury Award

This case involved a patient and a psychiatrist. In 1990 the former began to see the latter for various symptoms. The psychiatrist diagnosed him with depression and began a course of treatment to alleviate that condition. In 1997, the patient died of Huntington's chorea, a hereditary condition affecting the nerve cells of the body. Representatives for the decedent sued the doctor for malpractice.

Their complaint stated that he should have done a more thorough medical history and identified the extent of his true condition. Because he did not, they contended that it went untreated for seven years and led to his death. The defendant psychiatrist denied all responsibility. The matter proceeded to court where the jury found the doctor completely liable for the man's death and awarded the family $2,500,000 for their loss.

Case: King vs. Advocate Health Care
Jurisdiction: Cook County
Recovery: $950,000

After feeling pain in her breast, the plaintiff here was referred from her primary doctor to a surgeon and oncologist. Upon examination, they found a mass. They did a test to determine if it was malignant and they decided that it was. Without obtaining confirmation, consulting other experts, or listening to the plaintiff when she said the mass was reducing, they decided on a course of surgery to remove it.

Later it was independently verified that the mass was not cancerous. The woman sued the doctors and their employers for medical malpractice. Her suit claimed that by misdiagnosing the mass and unnecessarily removing her breast, they were negligent. All defendants denied liability and the case proceeded to trial where the jury awarded the woman $950,000 in damages. Here is the award breakdown:

  • Pain and suffering: $500,000
  • Loss of normal life: $400,000
  • Disfigurement: $50,000
  • Total: $950,000

Case: Doe vs. Okafor
Jurisdiction: Cook County
Recovery: $1,000,000 Settlement

In this unfortunate incident, a patient presented to a doctor for various symptoms including diarrhea, cramping, and general abdominal pain. Instead of recognizing that he had colon cancer, the physician diagnosed him as having an ulcer. This misdiagnosis allowed his cancer to metastasis.

The plaintiff sued for this development and complained through his lawsuit that he should have been referred to a gastroenterologist to avoid this. The patent nature of the doctor's mistake avoided the need for trial and he sought to settle instead of going to court. The plaintiff received $1,000,000 for his injuries.

Case: Strzalka vs. Para
Jurisdiction: Cook County
Recovery: $6,500,000 Settlement

The patient in this case went to the doctors when he was experiencing headaches, dizziness, and an inability to properly speak. Doctors attributed his symptoms solely to ischemia and prescribed treatment to abate the issue. Unfortunately, they missed the fact that he actually herpes simplex encephalitis.

The lapse in judgment proved serious. He suffered significant brain damage, motor function loss, and other injuries. He sued his providers for malpractice because of this misdiagnosis. The hospital objected on the grounds that the doctors were independent agents and, as such, it should not be liable for their mistakes. This defense was not successful. The plaintiff was able to reach a settlement whereby the doctors paid $4,500,000 and the hospital paid $2,000,000.

Case: Vlahos vs. Bridgeport Family Medical Center
Jurisdiction: Cook County
Recovery: $1,065,371

A patient went to see a doctor when he experiencing throat pain and having a hard time swallowing. The doctor told him he merely had a sore throat and sent him home. Five years later the man died of laryngeal (throat) cancer. The decedent's estate sued the doctor for failure to diagnose and treat the cancer they argued existed at the time of his consultation.

The doctor denied that it was present during his examination so the case went to trial. The jury determined that in fact it was present and the doctor missed it. They awarded the man's next of kin $1,065,371.

Case: Jaecek vs. University Of Chicago Hospital
Jurisdiction: Cook County
Recovery: $3,000,000 Award

Here, a woman in her fifties went to the University of Chicago Hospital for a routine colonoscopy when the doctors informed her that she had cancer and needed surgery immediately. The procedure went forward and she sustained scarring, distress, and a bowel injury. As it turned out, she did not have cancer at all.

Therefore, all of her injuries were unnecessary. She sued the doctor and the hospital for medical malpractice. They both quickly denied these allegations but a jury gave them no sympathy. They awarded her $3,000,000 after trial.

How Much are Cancer Misdiagnosis Malpractice Cases Worth?

Cancer misdiagnosis claim recovery exceeds that of simple misdiagnosis claims because the error is normally just oversight and the patient is left with a progressing form of cancer that is often not treatable by the time it is caught. Take a look for yourself in the following case summaries.

2013; Illinois; Skin Cancer; $475,000 Settlement:

The doctors in this case completely blew it. A woman rushed into the hospital when she realized that a mass on her skin was not abating. Doctors instructed her that it was merely an infection or rash and prescribed her medication.

When it did not subside, she sought medical attention again and different doctors determined that it was in fact cancer. For this misdiagnosis, she sued the original physicians for medical malpractice. She claimed that this lost time reduced her chances at recovery. Both sides decided to settle for $475,000.

2008; Illinois; Uterine Cancer; $2,000,000:

The patient in this incident underwent a hysterectomy to alleviate various medical conditions. However, she contended that before the procedure doctors failed to realize she had uterine cancer and, therefore, failed to address the issue during surgery.

Because of this lapse in treatment, the cancer had metastasized throughout her body. She sued for the misdiagnosis and deficient treatment. The doctors alleged that the cancer was not present in her body when they treated her and developed and spread after the hysterectomy was performed. They could not find agreement so the matter went to trial. The jury awarded the woman $2,000,000 for the misdiagnosis and lost recovery time.

How Much are Radiology Malpractice Cases Worth?

Radiology malpractice recovery mirrors that of misdiagnosis malpractice and can vary depending upon the individual's harm from the errors. More often than not, patients complain that the misconduct reduced their chance of survival or caused them to receive the wrong or no treatment for their actual problems.

2014; Illinois; $1,136,111 Jury Award:

The radiologist in this incident prescribed and performed a surgery to correct a patient's vein malfunction. The technique is known as an embolization procedure. However, the doctor botched the operation and the man suffered nerve damage, muscle ischemia, and atrophy in his right elbow because of it. He sued the radiologist who performed it and stated a claim for negligence. The defendant doctor denied this. He said that he performed to the appropriate standard of care. Also, he denied that the plaintiff's injuries were to the extent claimed in the complaint. The jury awarded the victim $1,136,111:

  • Pain and suffering: $500,000
  • Medical Costs: $72,608
  • Lost Wages: $64,503
  • Punitive: $500,000
  • Total: $1,136,111

2014; Illinois; $2,700,000 Settlement:

This is a story of persistence. A woman became concerned when she felt a lump in her breast. She went to see an oncologist who referred her to a radiologist. Both doctors told her she had nothing to worry about and to come back in six months. Three months later, she thought the lump was growing so she contacted both doctors again and they assured she had nothing significant to worry about. When she came back for her scheduled appointment six months after the original consultation, doctors found malignant cancer in her breasts. She sued both doctors for malpractice. Her suit alleged that they were negligent in failing to recognize and deal with the cancer and that their negligence reduced her chances of recovery. The only defense that the defendants could seriously muster was that the cancer had already prior to their first meeting but, realizing this would not work, they agreed to settle for $2,700,000.

Contact Our Chicago Misdiagnosis Lawyers Today

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers works with victims of medical malpractice, including misdiagnosis and prescription errors. These problems affect patients long after the mistakes have been made. Often times, victims do not learn of the problem until many years after it was committed. This means they have to work overtime to address the issue. Our team can help with that. We work on contingency to make sure you get the help and recovery you need. That means you do not pay us unless we are successful for you! Call us today to find out what relief is possible for you! Our lawyers can schedule a free and no-obligation consultation anytime of the day.

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