6/19/2009A Louisville area woman was awarded a $3.8 million verdict, including a sizable punitive damage award in a bad faith medical malpractice suit against her physicians insurer. The woman's gynecologist performed a tummy tuck procedure on her at the same time he did a hysterectomy on her. He did not tell her that he was not trained to do the procedure or that he had been kicked off the staff of other hospitals for doing the procedure. There was a horrific result from the surgery, and she filed a medical malpractice lawsuit.
After the suit was filed, the insurance company had the case reviewed by other physicians who were appalled by the care which was provided and could not support the defense of the case. Despite this, the insurance company refused to make a reasonable settlement offer to the victim for two years. After she accepted the settlement offer, she filed a suit for unreasonable delay, an type of case which is not permitted here in Illinois. The second lawsuit was the one which resulted in the verdict.
As an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer, I am well aware that medical malpractice insurers are very slow to make reasonable settlement offers and are almost always able to find doctors who are willing to testify on behalf of a fellow physician even when the care was substandard. This is the reason that I always counsel potential clients who believe that they can reach a settlement with the insurer on their own that this is an unlikely outcome and that they are better off seeking qualified legal counsel sooner rather than later.
Category: Medical Malpractice
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