Chicago Wrongful Death Case Involving Failure to Diagnose Meningitis of Thirteen Year-Old Girl Awarded 3.75 Million By Federal Judge

An Illinois medical malpractice lawsuit was decided by Chicago Federal District Court Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr., who awarded $3.75 million to the child’s surviving family. The case had been brought in federal court versus an Illinois state court because the defendant physician was employed by a government operated facility, which brought the case under federal jurisdiction.

The case involved a 13 year-old girl who had presented to her physician with sinusitis, which the physician failed to diagnose. Following the bench trial, Judge Dow concluded that had the sinusitis been diagnosed that it probably would not have developed into bacterial meningitis, which would have increased her chance of survival.

Prior to seeing her physician, the girl had been seen at a hospital emergency room. However, the defendant physician failed to review these records when treating the girl, which the judge found to be a breach of the required standard of care. Furthermore, the physician failed to question the decedent as to the degree of her headaches, which would have been a key piece of information in diagnosing the severity of her symptoms. No antibiotics were prescribed to the girl to aid her in fighting off her infections.

As a result of these circumstances this young girl died in November 2003. It is a tragedy when someone so young dies from preventable causes. And while nothing can reverse this family’s loss, there is some comfort in knowing that the legal system allowed them to find justice.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Illinois wrongful death cases for more than 30 years, practicing in and around Chicago’s Cook County, in areas such as Deerfield, Mount Prospect, Lisle, and Riverdale.