Ryan, Ryan, and Viglione Helps Victim Receive a $15M Medical Malpractice Settlement

Published on May 22nd, 2019

Attorneys Philip J. Ryan and Michael M. Viglione obtained a $15 million settlement for a plaintiff who suffered a double leg amputation. On February 15, 2015, a 41-year-old father of three went to Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital in Dixon, IL due to horrible pain in his lower legs. He underwent a blood test that proved there could be a possible blood clot.  A venous ultrasound ruled out a right leg deep vein thrombosis, but no arterial tests were performed.

What happened next?

The plaintiff was discharged home by emergency room physician Joann Zarnke, M.D. with a diagnosis of right leg pain etiology undetermined. Later that night, the plaintiff returned to KSB with worsening pain and numb, cold feet and ankles. An ER nurse noted that the plaintiff had a reduced pulse in his right foot.  ER physician Kristine Pultorak, D.O. overruled the nurse and deemed the plaintiff’s pulse to be normal.  The plaintiff was given a diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy and told to follow-up with a KSB Physician Assistant.  Discharging the plaintiff to the care of a physician assistant violated KSB policy requiring that the plaintiff be sent to a medical doctor for follow-up.

The treatment

From February 16 to February 23, 2015, Physician Assistant Kathryn Zeman treated the plaintiff for worsening pain, and cold, swollen, numb feet.  The Plaintiff eventually returned to Ms. Zeman’s office on February 24, 2015 in critical condition.  The Plaintiff was told that he was late, Ms. Zeman was going home for the night, and to find his way to the emergency room if he needed help.

Back at the ER

It took the plaintiff nearly an hour to travel three blocks to the emergency room.  When he finally arrived, arterial testing showed blood clots from the knees down in both legs. By this point the plaintiff’s legs had been deprived of blood flow for such an extended time that they were effectively dead from the knee down.

The result

The plaintiff sued KSB, the hospital’s medical group, and the medical providers who treated him over nine days. The plaintiff claimed that they failed to diagnose and treat his arterial blood clots, which he alleged would have saved his legs. The defendants paid $15 million to settle the case two months short of trial.

What is medical malpractice?

If a health care provider deviates from the accepted standard of care that is present in the medical community and the results are injury or death, this can be considered medical malpractice. There are many different types of medical malpractice. Some but not all examples are:

  • Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis (as shown above)
  • Professional malpractice
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Drug overdose

Medical malpractice around Gurnee is extremely serious. Attorneys Philip J. Ryan and Michael M. Viglione understand the emotional and physical toll this can take on someone—especially people who end up permanently disabled as a result. If you think you or someone you know may have been a victim of medical malpractice, contact us today. We are ready to discuss your case and help you get the justice you deserve.

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