WM Secure $32 Million Settlement in Delayed Diagnosis Lawsuit Over Young Girl’s Quadruple Amputation
WM’s Kevin Burke Secure $32 Million Settlement in Delayed Diagnosis Lawsuit Over Young Girl’s Quadruple Amputation
Chicago (January 15, 2014):
Noted Chicago plaintiffs’ law firm Wise Morrissey, LLC (WM) has secured a $32 million settlement approved by Cook County Judge Randye A. Kogan after negotiation with a major Chicago-area hospital in the case of Erica Norals v. The University of Chicago Medical Center, et al. The case was filed in September 2012 by WM partner Kevin G. Burke representing the mother of a young Chicago girl. The lawsuit alleged that the hospital and five of its doctors were negligent in the girl’s diagnosis and care resulting in the amputation of both her arms and both her legs.
In 2011 the girl, then 8 years old, was taken to the hospital with a fever and pain in her right leg. During the first 24 hours after her admission, tests showed that her temperature was 100 degrees and rising, she was unable to bear any weight on her right leg, had an elevated white blood cell count with low blood pressure and had an abnormal C-reactive protein which indicated inflammation throughout her body. All of these were symptoms of septic arthritis, a dangerous joint infection found most often in children.
Sepsis begins as a simple infection that, if not properly and promptly treated with antibiotics, can cause bodily reactions that result in serious injury or death. Despite this the hospital did not order any antibiotics for the girl until the second day after her admission, by which time it was too late. Although the girl had come to the hospital early enough for treatment to be effective, the delay in administering antibiotics resulted in infection that led to amputation of both her arms below the elbows and both her legs below the knees.
By demonstrating strong expert evidence (including 11 separate depositions) that timely treatment would likely have prevented the horrific injuries, Burke secured through intense negotiations a $32 million settlement that will help fund handicap-accessible changes to the girl’s home, therapy and the ability to travel for the most advanced care and technology.
Burke said that his client “fit the risk profile for this disease as soon as she was admitted, and with proper medical care she would have walked away without injury. But there were huge fundamental errors in the medical care she received.”
Kevin Burke has achieved extraordinary results for his clients, particularly in the area of medical malpractice litigation. Chicago Magazine has described him as “one of the pre-eminent medical malpractice attorneys in Illinois,” while Crain’s Chicago Business designated him one of the city’s “power players” in legal practice. He has secured for his clients more than 70 verdicts and settlements of more than one million dollars each, for a total of more than $400 million and is recognized by both Illinois Super Lawyers and Illinois Leading Lawyers Network.
Wise Morrissey, LLC has for nearly 20 years represented victims of negligence and their families in a wide range of liability litigation. The firm’s broad knowledge, and extensive trial and mediation experience, have been instrumental in verdicts and settlements for clients valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars, including $75 million in 2014 and over $800 million in the past decade.
Media Contact: Denise M. Henderson; [email protected] 312-848-0067