Not guilty for Hospital – Alleged negligence in performing epidural steroid injection on a patient taking blood thinners resulting in fatal epidural hematoma

Circuit Court of Cook County
Counsel: Steve Steinback & Jason Gluskin
Demand: $3.8 million
Asked: $3.3 million
Outcome: Not Guilty

Plaintiff alleged negligence against Hospital and co-defendant pain management physician for performing an epidural steroid injection on a patient taking Plavix which resulted in an epidural hematoma, quadriparesis, and the patient’s eventual demise.  Barker Castro represented the Hospital.  Plaintiff alleged that the Hospital failed to confirm that the patient had stopped taking blood thinners on the date of the injection.  Plaintiff further alleged agency for co-defendant’s alleged negligence, and institutional negligence for failing to have policies and procedures in place to ensure that patients stopped taking blood thinners prior to an injection.  Plaintiff also sought recovery under the theory of res ipsa loquitor.  In addition, Plaintiff requested and received a 5.01 jury instruction based on the Hospital’s alleged failure to maintain the medication reconciliation form completed on the date of the procedure.  We were successful in barring Plaintiff’s agency claim and institutional negligence claim during hearings on motions in limine.  We maintained that the nursing staff, based on custom & practice, complied with the standard of care.  The jury deliberated for two days, and returned a verdict in favor of the Hospital and against co-defendant pain management physician.