$8,000,000 • Wrongful Death. Negligent Surgical Management.
The plaintiff's decedent, age 23, had surgery to remove an abdominal abscess. After surgery, she developed swelling in both legs. The defendant hospital's surgeons ordered a PRG, a non-invasive vascular test, which is used to rule out blood clots in the legs as a cause of the swelling. The PRG results were interpreted as negative and the surgeons then assumed her swelling was caused by excess “third spacing” of fluid. The next day the plaintiff's decedent was found in cardiac arrest on the floor of her room. Despite resuscitation, she suffered brain damage and lived in a vegetative state for some time before she died.
The prior plaintiff's attorneys had voluntarily dismissed case because more than a dozen expert witnesses had determined the cause of arrest was unknown. The plaintiff's attorney Kurt Lloyd was asked to investigate the case. After investigation and re-filing the case, attorney Lloyd retained and disclosed the vascular surgeon who had invented the PRG test and who then testified that it had been misinterpreted as negative. Attorney Lloyd proved that vascular test had, in fact, demonstrated blood clot in the patient's pelvic veins, near the site of her original surgery, which had dislodged and embolized to her heart causing cardiac arrest before the clot was ejected into her lung.
Estate of Morris v. University of Chicago Hospitals