July 31, 2018, PNLR News | The American Association For Justice Archive

July 31, 2018, PNLR News

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Negligent preoperative assessment

photo of one hand holding a glass of water and the other hand holding a pill

The plaintiff, whose husband died after suffering a massive pulmonary embolism during knee surgery, alleged that the physician who conducted his preoperative assessment failed to follow up on an abnormal EKG and take a more complete medical history. The jury awarded $5.51 million. Johnson-Young v. Northshore Univ. Health Sys.


Before undergoing knee surgery, David Young, 44, had an EKG. The test showed an incomplete right bundle branch block and was interpreted as abnormal. He consulted with orthopedic surgeon Patrick Birmingham, who did not refer him to a cardiologist. During the subsequent surgery, Young suffered a massive pulmonary embolism. He died three days later and is survived by his wife and two minor children. His past lost income totaled approximately $438,900.

Young’s wife sued Northshore University Faculty Practice Associates, alleging liability for Birmingham’s negligent preoperative assessment. The plaintiff claimed that the physician should have taken a more complete medical history and assessed Young for a DVT or pulmonary embolism in light of his obesity and symptoms. Suit also alleged failure to follow up on the abnormal EKG or order a doppler examination.

The jury awarded $5.51 million.

Citation: Johnson-Young v. Northshore Univ. Health Sys., No. 2014L006816 (Ill. Cir. Ct. Cook Cnty. Jan. 23, 2018).

Plaintiff counsel: AAJ members Mark E. McNabola and Theodore C. Jennings, both of Chicago; and AAJ member Jeffrey E. Martin, Arlington Heights, Ill.

Plaintiff expert: Philip Comp, hematology, Oklahoma City.