Thirty-six year old woman requires lifelong 24-hour care and ongoing therapeutic interventions due to Chicagoland hospital and doctors’ failure to timely diagnose and treat stroke.

A settlement of $11 million was obtained for a Dupage County single working mother of two boys, ages 17 and 15, due to the failure of Chicagoland hospital and doctors to diagnose and treat stroke. The 36 year old Plaintiff was transported by ambulance on April 20, 2016 to the Chicagoland hospital within 30 minutes of stroke onset.

Often, those who have sustained an injury can suffer more than just physical harm. Mental pain and suffering in connection with a harm, is a proper element of damages where it is the natural and proximate consequence of the injury. The applicable jury instruction for emotional distress in civil cases can be located in the Illinois Jury Pattern Instructions, Civil 30.05.01 (I.P.I. 30.05.01). It states “Measure of Damages – Emotional Distress – Past and Future. The emotional distress experienced [and reasonably certain to be experienced in the future.]” Illinois precedent indicates that emotional damages are distinct from pain and suffering and can be claimed in addition to those damages as a separate line-item jury instruction. The comment to I.P.I. 30.05.01 cites several cases that support this proposition including Babikian v. Mruz. In that case, the plaintiff endured multiple surgeries and hospitalizations as a result of complications from medical negligence, and subsequently suffered a decline in her mental health. 2011 IL App (1st) 102579. The plaintiff then sought treatment from psychologists and psychiatrists. The First District Appeals Court affirmed the verdict for the plaintiff in a medical malpractice action with separate line items for pain and suffering and emotional distress, explicitly finding that emotional distress damages are available to prevailing plaintiffs in cases involving personal torts such as medical negligence.

Julian Bailes, M.D., a local researcher and physician at Evanston’s NorthShore University HealthSystem, believes he has, alongside a team of researchers including Bennet Omalu, M.D. (portrayed by Will Smith in the 2015 biopic, Concussion), identified signs of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in medical imaging scans of living patients.  The recent findings center around a study of former NFL players that was conducted by the research team in 2013. 

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