The family of a 6-year-old boy claims that a doctor used their son for experimental surgeries, and he has been left with brain damage. The family started a lawsuit against the doctor, who carried out 25 total surgeries, and the two sides recently settled for $30 million.
Statements show that the boy has cerebral palsy and an irreversible brain injury.
Choosing a Settlement
The doctor worked at Rush University Medical Center, which was also named in the suit, and taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He left the medical center in 2011, evidently, to pursue other professional opportunities. A statement from Rush said that the medical center strove to provide exceptional care to patients and the doctor was highly skilled.
Despite this support for the doctor, the medical center settled the case because they felt it was in the best interests of the family and the young boy. The center acknowledged that one procedure didn't go as desired, and they admitted that the boy would need care for the rest of his life.
The doctor is now employed at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He did not respond when asked for a comment.
The Medical Procedures
The initial procedure was to repair a non-life-threatening leak in the boy's esophagus, with which the child was born. A first operation took place the day after the child's birth, and a second was performed less than a month later. During this second operation, the family claims the doctor was negligent. They also say he used unproven methods to put a stent in the boy's esophagus during the total course of the medical care. Finally, in the last procedure, they say the doctor inappropriately used a suturing device and punched a hole in the child's pulmonary artery.
Compensation for Endless Care
This case illustrates how important it is to know your legal rights when a family member suffers irreversible damage and will need lifelong care. The cost of caring for someone indefinitely can be very high, especially with serious brain damage, and there are also costs to consider such as the loss of earning potential and quality of life.
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