Posted on: September 8, 2011 by Jeffrey R. Kooi
A Gurnee, Illinois family had its Medical Malpractice verdict upheld against the Erie Family Health Center. The Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Crossen Kooi recently learned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the $29.1 million verdict in the lawsuit, Arroyo v. United States. This case stems from an infection Christian Arroyo developed after he was born in 2003. He is now a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy.
Arroyo’s parents contend their son developed a common neonatal blood infection not long after his birth. They allege physicians and nurses at Erie Family Health Center, a clinic funded by the United States government, did not treat their newborn for more than 12 hours. The Arroyos claim this Medical Negligence led to irreversible brain damage in their son.
Last year, the Arroyos won their Medical Malpractice case. However, the United States government appealed the multi-million dollar verdict. The federal government claimed the lawsuit was not timely because Christian’s parents waited two years to file a Medical Malpractice claim. However, the Court of Appeals rejected that contention. The Arroyo’s attorney argued the doctors never told the parents antibiotics could have prevented Christian’s brain damage. The Arroyos didn’t find this out until their next son was born and immediately given antibiotics. Thus, the Arroyos attorney argued, the parents had no way of knowing medical negligence occurred until the situation with their next son and the antibiotics he was given.
The Arroyos say they are pleased with the Court’s decision and that the monetary award will help them care for their son, Christian. Illinois is one of several states that does not limit jury awards in most. Medical Malpractice cases. At one time, Illinois did have such a limit, known as a “cap.” This cap was implemented in 2005 and set a $500,000 limit on noneconomic damages in cases against doctors and a $1 million cap against hospitals. The Illinois Supreme Court struck down that law in February of last year claiming the law violated the separation of powers. The Court said the law took away some of the power of judges and juries to make decisions.
While Illinois’s Medical Negligence law does not limit damages, it does set a time limit for when when Medical Malpractice claims can be made. Of course, there are exceptions, but in general, a medical malpractice claim must be made within two years of when the medical error occurred.
Experienced Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawyers can help a victim gather the necessary evidence and information and file a medical malpractice claim in the appropriate time period. If you or someone you love is suffering from a medical error, contact the Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorneys at Crossen Kooi for a FREE consultation.