Documentation: Jury Properly Considered Medical Record Discrepancies: Court Upholds Multi-Million Dollar Award for Failure to Timely Intervene

March 14, 2018 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​​The Illinois court of appeals upheld a jury verdict and compensatory damage award for past pain and suffering and economic loss to the plaintiff, but vacated a jury's award for future damages, in a malpractice case in which the patient died during jury deliberations but before it reached a verdict. The plaintiff, acting on behalf of her daughter, sued a hospital that treated her daughter, alleging that its nurses and physicians failed to timely treat bleeding from the patient's tracheostomy site, leading to a blood clot that occluded the tracheostomy tube, causing the patient to suffer respiratory arrest resulting in paralysis and permanent brain damage.

At trial, the defendants denied negligence and also took the position that earlier intervention by nurses or physicians would not have changed the patient's outcome. Several expert witnesses retained by the defendants attempted to explain numerous discrepancies and "inaccuracies" in the hospital record with regard to the existence of a blood clot in the patient's tracheostomy tube. An expert witness for the hospital testified that oftentimes medical...

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