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Illinois Mother Files Lawsuit Alleging C-Section Errors

An Illinois mother has filed a lawsuit against the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) and attending physicians after her son suffered birth injuries allegedly as the result of a Caesarean section. The lawsuit claims that the child’s injuries are the result of medical malpractice.

The mother filed the lawsuit on December 20, 2012 in the Circuit Court of Cook County, acting as her son’s guardian. The plaintiff seeks damages for her son’s injuries.

The child was born by Caesarean section on December 25, 2004. According to the complaint, the C-section surgery resulted in a 1.5 centimeter facial laceration on the child’s left temple, which required several stitches. The lawsuit alleges that the attending physicians failed to exercise the proper level of care in performance of their responsibilities and caused significant harm to the infant.

Medical errors such as those alleged in this lawsuit are preventable. Most hospitals have safety protocols to prevent injury to the infant during a C-section. Medical errors during C-sections can result in conditions that can have lasting and tragic results for the affected child, such as cerebral palsy, brain damage and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.. Medical costs can be significant.

Patients who have been injured during treatment, or whose children have been injured by medical malpractice, should seek the advice of an attorney.

Paul Greenberg is a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer and Chicago medical malpractice attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit

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Former Illinois Restaurant Owner Awarded Two Million in Medical Malpractice Case

A former Illinois restaurant owner has been awarded $2.1 million by a jury in a medical malpractice case over injuries he suffered during medical treatment after a motorcycle accident.

The Milwaukee County, Wisconsin jury found that the doctor that treated Daniel Nelson was negligent in providing medical care. The hospital and other medical personnel were not found negligent.

Nelson was awarded medical and health care expenses of $994,716 and $1 million in damages for pain and suffering. Nelson’s wife was awarded $50,000 for loss of consortium and his son was awarded $65,000 for lack of companionship and society. At the time of the accident, Nelson’s son was just over a year old.

The doctor’s attorney said that her client had exercised the proper standard of care and strongly disagreed with the verdict.

According to Nelson’s attorney, Nelson and his wife were involved in a motorcycle accident in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in September of 2000, and both were severely injured. Nelson was at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee for 13 months. During rehabilitation, Nelson’s tracheotomy tube became obstructed. The lawsuit alleged that the doctor did not call for an emergency team in a timely manner. As a result, Nelson was in a persistent vegetative state for seven weeks and has problems with speech and memory.

Prior to the accident, Nelson owned an Illinois restaurant for 20 years.

Paul Greenberg is a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer and Chicago medical malpractice attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit

Illinois Birth Injury Lawsuit Filed Over Depakote

A federal lawsuit has been filed by a man who claims he suffered from birth defects as a result of his mother taking the medication Depakote while she was pregnant with him.

Depakote, or valproate, is a medication used to treat epileptic seizures, manic depressive disorder and migraine headaches. However, its use by pregnant women has been associated with side effects that include birth injuries such as spina bifida, cleft palate, genitourinary malformations and cognitive defects.

The plaintiff, Jasper James, claims that his mother took valproate during the early months of her pregnancy and he was subsequently born with spina bifida. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois, naming Abbott Laboratories, the manufacturer of Depakote, as the defendant. The plaintiff seeks a jury trial and damages in excess of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs.

The lawsuit accuses Abbott Laboratories of inadequate testing, defective design, failure to properly warn, and distribution of a medication that presented dangers to the health of the unborn. The complaint claims that the defendant sought to downplay the risks of the drug.

According to allegations in the lawsuit, medical research has determined that other anti-epileptic drugs are less risky than Depakote for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant. One study found the rate of birth defects to be ten times greater with Depakote than with other similar drugs. The complaint claims that the defendant was aware of birth defects associated with Depakote on or before the date it began selling the drug in the United States.

Bob Briskman is a Chicago birth injury lawyer and Chicago birth injury attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit

Deceased Plaintiff’s Executor Continues With Hip Lawsuit

The executor of the estate of a woman who passed away is continuing her personal injury lawsuit against Zimmer, Inc. for injuries she allegedly suffered as the result of a hip replacement.

Mary Jo Ott filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Ott died at the age of 66 of causes unrelated to the hip replacement. The executor of her estate, Jori A. Greybill, continued with the lawsuit pursuant to the Survival Act.

The lawsuit alleges that as a result of the hip replacement, Ott experienced pain and suffering, disfigurement, disability and loss of a normal life, as well as medical expenses and lost income.

According to the complaint, on June 1, 2004, Ott underwent a surgical placement of the Zimmer Trilogy Constrained Liner right hip prosthesis, which was designed, manufactured and sold by the defendant.

The lawsuit alleges that as Ott was walking into a store in 2008, the polyethylene prongs and reinforcing rings both fractured, causing her right hip to dislocate and her to fall to the ground. As a result, Ott experienced pain and suffering and required further medical procedures, including a revision of her hip prosthesis.

The complaint claims that parts of the hip prosthesis fail under normal use, or that it is otherwise dangerous and defective.

The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $75,000.

The defendant, Zimmer, Inc., recently filed a motion for summary judgment, claiming that the plaintiff had not provided expert testimony to support the allegations in the lawsuit. Judge William Hart denied the motion, as the plaintiff had provided the expert testimony of the orthopedic surgeon who performed the original hip replacement surgery and the surgeon who performed the revision procedure in 2008.

This is not the only lawsuit filed against Zimmer for the Trilogy prosthetic hip system. In January of 2012, a Texas man filed a lawsuit claiming that he experienced complications just 15 months after having a Trilogy prosthetic hip implanted, and that he too had to have revision surgery.

The Food and Drug Administration sent a letter to Zimmer in September, 2012, warning the company that its factory in Puerto Rico, where the Trilogy device is manufactured, lacked the proper mechanisms to perform tests on the device. Without a testing mechanism, the company would be unable to determine whether the hip replacement systems matched design specifications. Zimmer said that it has addressed the problem.

Robert Briskman is a Chicago personal injury lawyer and Chicago personal injury attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit

Medical Malpractice Can Cause Jaundice in Newborns

Medical malpractice can result in many types of birth injuries, with one of the most common being complications from hyperbilirubinemia, otherwise known as jaundice. Jaundice is usually treated easily, but if it is not properly diagnosed and treated, it can lead to other birth injuries, such as brain damage or loss of hearing.

Jaundice is caused by too much bilirubin in the blood. When old blood cells are broken down, bilirubin is a waste product. In a healthy adult, bilirubin is eliminated by the liver and digestive system, but a newborn’s undeveloped liver is not always able to remove all the bilirubin from the blood, resulting in jaundice.

Individuals with jaundice often have a yellow color in the eyes and skin, and newborns should be checked for jaundice in the hospital every 8 to 12 hours after birth. Jaundice is usually treated with a special light that converts the structure of bilirubin in a way that makes it easier for the body to eliminate. A doctor’s failure to properly detect and treat jaundice can result in serious birth injuries and can be considered medical malpractice.

In 2009, the family of a baby girl who suffered from jaundice was awarded a $1.5 million settlement in a medical malpractice case. The baby had high bilirubin levels and received light therapy, but medical personnel did not provide follow-up testing until two days later, at the insistence of the mother. By that time, the bilirubin levels were three times above the acceptable level. The girl has speech problems and permanent hearing loss.

Paul Greenberg is a Chicago birth injury lawyer and Chicago birth injury attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit

Lawsuit Blames Medical Malpractice for Illinois Girl’s Erb’s Palsy

A mother in Illinois has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the obstetrician who delivered her daughter, claiming that excessive force resulted in the child’s Erb’s palsy. The lawsuit against Chicago’s Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center was originally filed in Cook County Circuit Court, but was later transferred to federal court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The lawsuit claims that the mother was admitted to Mount Sinai on July 3, 2010. During the delivery of the woman’s daughter, shoulder dystocia occurred. This is a situation in which the baby’s shoulder is stuck behind the pelvic bone of the mother. According to the complaint, the doctor applied too much force in attempting to dislodge the baby, damaging the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus is a cluster of neck and shoulder nerves that control movement from the shoulder to the fingers. As a result of this nerve damage, the child now suffers from Erb’s palsy, which is a permanent weakness or paralysis of the hand or arm.

Erb’s palsy commonly results from the head and neck being pulled to the side simultaneously with the shoulders passing through the birth canal. The result is either partial or complete paralysis of the arm. There is also often a lack of sensation in the arm, and the circulatory system may fail to develop fully, leaving the body unable to properly regulate temperature in the arm during cold conditions.

According to the lawsuit, the doctor failed to follow established procedures and adhere to the proper protocol for delivery complications such as shoulder dystocia. The complaint alleges that this medical malpractice caused the girl’s injuries and disability.

Bob Briskman is a Chicago personal injury lawyer and Chicago personal injury attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit

Funding Cut for Licensing and Investigation of Doctors

The state agency in charge of licensing and discipline of doctors – including tracking those who have made medical malpractice payments – has had its funding cut.

Eighteen out of 26 medical investigators and staff have been laid off from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which provides licenses for the 46,000 doctors in the state, and investigates claims of wrongdoing. The agency said the cuts were necessary because of a $9.6 million shortfall in the budget.

The cut in personnel will likely lead to delays in issuing licenses to physicians, as well as fewer or less thorough investigations of doctors.

Currently, the agency takes six to eight weeks to process an application from a recent medical school graduate or a doctor moving from out of state. A further delay could result in hospitals being short-staffed.

The staffing cutback comes at a bad time for an agency that had struggled to properly discipline doctors even when thoroughly funded. A 2010 investigation by the Chicago Tribune found poor performance in the agency’s efforts to protect patients from incompetent doctors.

Changes have been made since then, including a new law requiring the permanent revocation of health care workers’ licenses if they are convicted of certain crimes and a chaperon system for doctors charged with crimes. There is also a doctor profile website that maintains physician information including criminal convictions, hospital firings, and medical malpractice payments in the previous five years.

Due in part to the more aggressive efforts, the disciplinary program has an annual deficit of $1.8 million.

Paul Greenberg is a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer and Chicago medical malpractice attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit

Birth Injury Lawsuit Filed Over Child’s Cerebral Palsy

A lawsuit has been filed by a woman who alleges that her child’s cerebral palsy was caused by birth injuries the child sustained during delivery.

The woman claims that her daughter’s birth was prolonged because of the decision by medical personnel to not perform a Caesarean section and that this caused neurological injuries, including, but not, limited to cerebral palsy. According to court filings, the child is suffering from cerebral palsy, cognitive impairment, delays in development and seizures.

On May 3, 1999, the mother was admitted to the hospital in the early stages of labor. She was consulted about a possible C-section. The woman had slow progress and irregular contractions during delivery. An epidural and Pitocin were administered. The labor lasted for several hours and the baby was delivered vaginally. Medical staff noted that the baby was pale and limp. The infant was intubated and placed on a respirator in the nursery.

According to the lawsuit, the baby was later transferred to intensive care, with diagnoses of diminished movement in the left hand, possible Erb’s palsy, acidosis and respiratory depression. The lawsuit claims that medical personnel failed to properly monitor the fetus, did not respond to signs of fetal distress in a timely fashion and failed to perform a C-section. These errors are alleged to have caused the child’s cerebral palsy.

Robert Briskman is a Chicago car accident lawyer and Chicago car accident attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit

Lawsuit Claims Birth Injury Led to Infant’s Death

A birth injury lawsuit has been filed against medical professionals at Vanguard West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, Illinois, alleging that they committed medical malpractice in performing a Caesarean section, which led to an infant’s death.

The Illinois mother who filed the lawsuit claims that the C-section was not performed in a timely manner, that medical personnel did not provide proper monitoring of the fetal heart rate, and that these mistakes led to the death of the child.

The mother was admitted to West Suburban on December 6, 2011 with ruptured membranes. She was admitted to Labor and Delivery one day later, where medical personnel performed an emergency C-section. The mother was found to have a uterine rupture which resulted in the loss of a substantial amount of blood. No pulse was detected in the baby. The child was transferred to Children’s Memorial Hospital where he died nine days after he was born.

According to the lawsuit, the staff’s failure to recognize the mother’s vaginal birth after Caesarean (VBAC) status and failure to perform a timely C-section were the cause of the baby’s death.

Caesarean sections are performed in about a third of U.S. births. Complications during Caesarean sections and delays in performing them are common causes of birth injuries.

Robert Briskman is a Chicago car accident lawyer and Chicago car accident attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit

DOI Announces Increase in Fines, Including AIG Workers Compensation Settlement

The Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) has announced that it collected over $10.3 million in fines for improper market conduct in 2012. The Department said that the amount of fines collected has increased due to its greater enforcement efforts and participation in multi-state examinations. DOI collected $322,000 in fines in 2011, $217,000 in 2010 and $363,630 in 2009.

The enforcement includes settlements announced in 2012 with Prudential Company of America and MetLife Inc., as well as a multi-state investigation of American International Group Inc. (AIG) and its workers’ compensation affiliates for under-reporting of premiums. The state of Illinois received a settlement of $3.7 million from AIG.

The AIG settlement was part of a multi-state effort that resulted in payments to state regulators across the country totaling $146.4 million. The amount included fines of $100 million and premium taxes and assessments of another $46.4 million. The 2008 investigation discovered that AIG had allegedly attributed at least $2.12 billion in workers’ compensation premiums to other types of insurance, thus lowering its taxes. The misreporting took place from 1985 to 1996.

Fines collected by DOI are placed in the Insurance Administration Producers Fund and go toward DOI appropriations.

The companies above have agreed to introduce reforms to aid in the identification of and payment to beneficiaries of life insurance policies.

Robert Briskman is a Chicago car accident lawyer and Chicago car accident attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit

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The Chicago Illinois personal injury law firm of Briskman Briskman & Greenberg represents injured people throughout Illinois, including Chicago, the Chicagoland area, Joliet, Waukegan, Cicero, Evanston, Arlington Heights, Wheaton, Bolingbrook, and Naperville, as well as other cities within Cook County, Will County, DuPage County, Lake County and McHenry County.
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