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Mitchell Hoffman: Jury award following improper prenatal care


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Jury awards nearly $10 million to children after
mother dies following improper prenatal care

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Mitchell Hoffman: Jury award following improper prenatal care

  1. 1. ®Volume 148, No. 117 Friday, June 14, 2002 Jury awards nearly $10 million to children after mother dies following improper prenatal care By John Flynn Rooney It shocked me that [county officials] condition led Lopez to sustain kidney Law Bulletin staff writer would not offer more than $200,000, damage and she suffered a stroke about A jury awarded $9.995 million to the Hoffman said, a principal of Mitchell, 36 hours after delivery, Hoffman said. survivors of a 23-year-old mother who Hoffman and Wolf L.L.C. in Chicago. Two days after the birth of her son, died from complications resulting from Lopez visited the countys Lincoln Lopez, suffered a cerebral hemorrhage the delivery of her third child after receiv- Memorial Health Center in southwest and died at age 23, Hoffman said. Lopez ing prenatal treatment at a Cook County suburban Robbins during her pregnancy husband, David Lopez Sr., committed health clinic. The award is the highest in 1998. Lopez received prenatal care at suicide following his wifes death, verdict stemming from pre-eclampsia the clinic from Annie Martin, a nurse- Hoffman said. resulting in death reported in Illinois practitioner. The lawsuit alleged that The couple also was survived by two within at the least the past decade by the Martin failed to forward her findings that daughters, now ages 5 and 6. The chil- Cook County Jury Verdict Reporter. there were abnormal signs related to dren now live in a southwest suburb with The jurys $9.995 million verdict in Lopez pregnancy to an obstetrician at Patricia Lopez mother, Emilia Arellano, favor of Patricia Lopez three minor chil- the clinic, Dr. Hansa Kothari, Hoffman according to Hoffman. The verdict pro- dren was returned Thursday afternoon said. State law and Cook County policy ceeds will be placed in a trust adminis- following a 10-day trial before Cook require that nurse-practitioners must be tered by a Probate Division judge for the County Circuit Judge James M. Varga. supervised by, and report their exam benefit of the Lopez children, Hoffman The jury, comprising six men and six findings to a physician, Hoffman added. added. women, deliberated for about 90 minutes Kothari testified that she never saw Virginia Cooper and Paul Tsunko, both before returning the verdict, said Lopez and was not familiar with her assistant Cook County states attorneys, Kenneth A. Hoffman, a lawyer for the name, according to Hoffman. represented the county at trial. The case plaintiffs. Lopez, a resident of Dixmoor, deliv- is Emilia Arellano, as Special Adminis- County officials had offered to settle ered her third child, son David Jr. on Nov. trator of the Estate of Patricia Lopez v. the case for $200,000 shortly before trial, 27, 1998, at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Cook County, et al., No. 99 L 7279. A Hoffman added. Hoffman said he and his Harvey. During the last four weeks of spokesman for the states attorneys partner, J.W. Mitchell, demanded $9.75 pregnancy, Lopez had signs of pre- office said Friday that county officials million before trial and asked the jury to eclampsia, which is a complication were disappointed by the verdict but award the plaintiffs $10.6 million. unique to pregnancy, Hoffman said. The accepted the jurys decision. Copyright © 2010 Law Bulletin Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from Law Bulletin Publishing Company.