A doctor has had his medical license suspended after the state of Illinois learned of a medical malpractice case against him over the death of a jail inmate. According to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, the doctor has agreed to place his medical license on permanent inactive status after a suspension of 60 days. He will also be fined $30,000, according to state officials.
The state took action against the doctor after learning of a $737,500 settlement agreement in a medical malpractice case over the 2007 death of Maurice Burris, a Springfield resident who was serving time in the Sangamon County Jail. The federal lawsuit was brought by Burris’ son, Jacob. It alleged that the company that contracted with the jail to provide the inmates with health care failed to give Burris proper treatment for a bleeding ulcer. Burris had been jailed after an alleged incident of stalking a former girlfriend.
The lawsuit claimed that after the doctor was informed of Burris’ condition, which included repeated vomiting and serious stomach pain, he failed to order aggressive treatment, instead prescribing Benadryl, Mylanta and Zantac. Burris had a heart attack at the jail and died shortly after being transported to St. John’s Hospital.
Although the doctor had retired from the practice of medicine last year, Burris’ family sought the state action to send a message to medical professionals about the importance of attending to patients’ needs.