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HM&M Wins $4.7 Million Verdict Against St. James Hospital and ER Doctor

Posted on in Medical Malpractice

HM&M St. JamesHurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. has won a $4.7 million verdict against St. James Hospital of Olympia Fields and one of its emergency department physicians on behalf of a 49 year-old woman, Georgia Tagalos, who suffered brain death in the hospital’s emergency department in 2006.

At trial, Christopher T. Hurley and Mark R. McKenna established that it took at least seven minutes for Mrs. Tagalos to be seen by an emergency department physician at St. James after she arrived grasping her throat and unable to speak due to a severe asthma attack.  Once Mrs. Tagalos was finally seen, the defendant attending physician allowed the resident physician to make multiple intubation attempts without following the hospital’s written policy, which required physicians to administer fast-acting sedatives and paralyzing medications to the patient before intubation to prevent vomiting.  As a result, Mrs. Tagalos began vomiting profusely when the resident physician attempted intubation, making any further intubation attempts more difficult.

Because Mrs. Tagalos was not receiving any oxygen for an extended period of time, she suffered brain death.  She was removed from life support three days later.  Mrs. Tagalos was survived by her son and her husband.

The Cook County Circuit Court jury reached its verdict after a week-long trial.  The lawyers at Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. are proud to have attained justice for Mrs. Tagalos and her loving family.  Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. and the Tagalos family hope that this verdict spurs changes at St. James Hospital that will prevent future deaths as a result of negligence.

The case was reported in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.  To view the article, please click here.

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