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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 Police Officer Charged With Workers Comp Fraud

A former police officer for the village of Maryville has been indicted by a grand jury in Madison County, Illinois on charges related to an alleged fraudulent workers’ compensation claim.

Richard Turner is facing charges relating to a claim he made in 2009 while employed by the Maryville Police Department. Turner is alleged to have reported suffering an injury to his back while on the job. The Village of Maryville paid employment compensation to Turner, and its insurer paid his medical expenses.

Upon discovering questionable circumstances, internal investigators with the police department determined that Turner’s injury did not take place at work. The results of the investigation were presented to the grand jury. Turner has been charged with two counts of felony theft, Class 1 and Class 2, and is also facing two counts of violating the Workers’ Compensation Act, which is a Class 4 felony. He has since resigned from the police department.

Circuit Judge Rich Tognarelli set Turner’s bond at $10,000. He faces a maximum penalty of four to 15 years in prison for the Class 1 felony, three to seven years for the Class 2 felony, and one to three years for the Class 4 felony.

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

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

BLS Releases Data on Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has released final data from 2011 on nonfatal on-the-job illnesses and injuries that required days away from work.

The rate of such injuries was 117 cases for every 10,000 full-time workers, which was statistically the same rate as 2010. The total number of cases with days spent away from work was 1,181,290, also statistically unchanged from 2010. This included all work injuries in state and local government and private industry.

The median number of days away from work was 8, a figure that is used to measure the severity of the work injury or illness.

Twenty percent of work injuries or illnesses requiring days away from work occurred in just five occupations: nursing aides and orderlies, laborers, janitors, police officers and truck drivers. The incidence rate for police officers was five times higher than the average for all occupations, and the rate for laborers was three times higher than the average.

Thirty-three percent of all cases were musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). Truck drivers who suffered MSD injuries were out of work for a median 21 days, compared to the average of 11 days out of work for all workers suffering from an MSD injury.

The preliminary count of fatal work injuries for 2011, according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, was 4,609, a slight decrease from the count of 4,690 in 2010. Since 2006, fatal work injuries have decreased 21 percent.

Bob Briskman is a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney and Chicago workers compensation lawyer 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

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

Icy Roads Cause Multiple Fatal Car Accidents in Illinois

Several fatalities on Illinois roads have resulted from recent icy conditions.

Four high school friends died when their car skidded out of control on a bridge and plunged into an icy creek in rural Illinois. Patrick O’Neil, the coroner for Will County, said that the driver probably lost control of the vehicle after hitting water or ice on the bridge.

The four teenagers were all from Wilmington, southwest of Chicago. They had been missing overnight before their bodies were found, and 20 people had joined in a search. Early the next morning, a school bus driver spotted a tire protruding from Forked Creek.

Emergency crews found that the guard rail was missing from the Ballou Road bridge. A dive team discovered the bodies inside the vehicle, a Mitsubishi Eclipse, which was pulled from the creek by a tow truck.

According to records, the vehicle was registered to one of the teens, Cheyenne Fender, 17. The other victims were Micalah Sembach, 15, Cody Carter, 15, and Matt Bailey, 14. Authorities are still investigating who was behind the wheel of the car when it crashed.

Micalah Sembah’s mother said that her daughter was never late, so when she did not arrive home, she knew something was wrong and filed a missing persons report with police.

In Belleville, Illinois, there were two fatal crashes in one night, and multiple other accidents causing injuries, along icy stretches of Route 13 and Route 15.

A head-on collision near the intersection of Routes 13 and 15 resulted in the deaths of Thomas Hutchison and his 9-year-old son, Zachary. Three others were injured in the collision.

In another accident the same night on Route 15, Tyieosha Dewalt, 17, and Robin Scott, 27, were both killed.

In the Chicago area, black ice was blamed for numerous minor accidents throughout the metropolitan region. Melted snow and rain combined with freezing temperatures to make for slick roadways. Accidents shut down traffic on some highways for periods of time. However, transportation officials said that warnings about inclement weather kept many people off the roads. Traffic volume was lighter than normal in the city, and major accidents were avoided.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reported that there have been 182 traffic fatalities in the state in the first 74 days of 2013, up from 151 in the same time period last year.

Paul Greenberg 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

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

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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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