Arnstein & Lehr Team Obtain Defense Verdict in Weeks-Long Malpractice Trial
Arnstein & Lehr LLP partner David Waxman obtained a defense verdict on behalf of his client, a west suburban neurologist and director of a stroke care center, after a three-week malpractice trial in Will County. Plaintiff sought up to $10 million in damages. The jury was out for 90 minutes, including lunch.
The trial was featured in a June 21 Chicago Daily Law Bulletin article called, "Defense wins med-mal verdict in Will County." Plaintiff suffered a stroke in late 2008 and was seen by the neurologist, who ordered that the plaintiff continue taking aspirin and go for further imaging studies. The neurologist made no reference in his note to a clotting disorder discovered in plaintiff’s blood tests or to a heart wall defect discovered in the imaging and cardiac studies. Plaintiff alleged that he suffered a second and massive stroke six months later because the clotting disorder predisposed him to developing deep venous clots, and the heart wall defect allowed the venous clots to cross over into the arterial blood flow, reach the brain, and cause the stroke. Plaintiff argued that anticoagulation, such as use of Coumadin, was required. Plaintiff now requires 24/7 observation, is unable to speak or manage activities of daily living, is limited in use of his right extremities, and is cared for and diapered by his 84-year-old mother. The defense successfully contended that the second stroke was unrelated to the clotting disorder and more likely attributable to plaintiff’s cardiovascular risks, including a 20-year smoking history and untreated hypertension. The defense argued that Coumadin is not indicated for preventing a second stroke when the risk factors are located in the arteries and not the veins.