When a medical malpractice lawsuit has merit, it is not uncommon for the case to settle out of court. The litigation process can be time consuming and expensive, often times it is in the best interest of all parties to come to an agreeable monetary resolution as quickly as possible. This is what happened in Illinois when parents, on behalf of their son, settled a medical malpractice lawsuit against their doctor, Dr. Holterman, and his employer Rush University Medical Center.
The child was born with a non-life threatening leak in his esophagus. A day after being born, the child’s parents took him to see Dr. Holterman who performed corrective surgery. However, the esophagus surgery would not be the only operation Holterman would perform on the boy. In fact, in all, Dr. Holterman operated on the toddler 25 times over a two-year span. The final surgery, which took place in 2011, left the child with permanent brain damage. During that surgery, Dr. Holterman used a suturing device to attempt to repair the esophagus but ended up puncturing the child’s pulmonary artery instead. The decision to use the suturing device in the manner the doctor intended was deemed to be inappropriate according to a statement from the medical center.
It was discovered that Dr. Holterman may have been using the child as a testing tool in that he would perform unorthodox, or rarely tested procedures. For example, Dr. Holterman placed a stent in the child’s esophagus to fix the leak but such a method is unproven.
The involved parties agreed to the sum of $30 million to settle the case out of court. Of that sum, the University of Illinois will pay approximately $10 million while Dr. Holterman will be responsible for the balance. Dr. Holterman had been employed by the University of Illinois’ College of Medicine for over 18 years, and therefore, since he was a university employee, he was covered under the school’s self-insurance program for medical malpractice.
While the $30 million sum is extraordinarily large, reportedly the 4th-highest in Illinois history for a medical malpractice case involving a child, it does not make up for the repeated deviations from the standard of care that is expected of health care professionals.
Medical malpractice can have devastating effects that last a lifetime. If you have been injured by a physician’s neglect, attorneys Charles Gilman and Briggs Bedigian will work to get you the full compensation to which you are entitled. Call 800-529-6162 today or contact them online for a free case evaluation. They handle cases in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.
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