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Family gets settlement after wrongful death in Chicago hospital

There's a good reason it's hard to become a doctor. Entry into the medical profession requires full mastery of anatomy, diagnostics and other elements of the health sciences. Only the best of the best get the white coat after years of study and countless examinations.

We trust doctors and other health care professionals implicitly when we head to the hospital with a serious ailment. So, it feels like a betrayal when negligence, carelessness or other negative factor means that the system did not do its job to keep us safe and healthy.

A hospital in Chicago is paying a price for a surgeon's error, but the victim of a botched procedure paid the ultimate price. A 49-year-old hospital employee suffered an embolism, or gas bubble trapped in the liquid bloodstream, during a routine surgery on her gallbladder. The coroner's investigation determined a heart arrhythmia was the natural cause of death, but it was later determined the surgeon made a mistake.

A Cook County court approved a settlement totaling $2.3 million for the victim's family, considering she financially supported her parents. "This woman was the center of her family," said the plaintiff's attorney. "Her parents and sisters are devastated by her death and they deserved compensation for this awful and preventable loss."

Money can never make up for the loss of a treasured life, but financial damages can help survivors recover as well as take away the incentive for careless medical work. An attorney can help victims and their families work out the best approach to legal action after something has gone wrong under a doctor's care.

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