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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 county's 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 wife's 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 jury's $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 state's 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 state's attorney's
    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 jury's decision.




           Copyright © 2010 Law Bulletin Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from Law Bulletin Publishing Company.

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Mitchell Hoffman: Jury award following improper prenatal care

  • 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 county's 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 wife's 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 jury's $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 state's 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 state's attorney's 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 jury's decision. Copyright © 2010 Law Bulletin Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from Law Bulletin Publishing Company.