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Scanlan Law Group recovers $3 million for victim of surgical malpractice

Edmund J. Scanlan obtained a settlement of $3 million for a 33-year-old woman who died shortly after giving birth to her second child as a result of her surgeon’s failure to remove a surgical sponge from her abdomen after performing a caesarian section.

Three weeks after the woman gave birth, she developed a massive infection. She then consulted a physician, who discovered that the surgeon who delivered her baby had failed to remove the surgical sponge from her abdomen after the procedure. By that time, however, the infection had become incurable, and the woman passed away shortly thereafter. Accordingly, Scanlan filed suit against the surgeon, the nurses who assisted in the delivery, and a radiologist who failed to detect the sponge in an x-ray despite the presence of a radiopaque marker. After a three-week jury trial, the defendants settled for $3 million.

According to Scanlan, the case turned on the testimony of the Cook County Medical Examiner who had performed the autopsy and rejected the claim of the defendants that because the sponge was sterile, it could not have caused the woman’s death. The Examiner testified that even though the sponge was sterile, its location in the woman’s body (next to her bowels) prevented her white blood cells from fighting infection, thus allowing the massive infection to develop. “Medical malpractice cases typically turn on the testimony of medical witnesses, and I made sure in this case that we had the best,” said Scanlan.

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