A Vermilion County jury has awarded more than $4.8 million for a medical malpractice lawsuit brought by the family of a woman who died more than six years after a surgical error.
Verdict for Surgical Error Reached After Eight-Day Trial
The jury reached its verdict on March 27, 2019, following an eight-day trial before 5th Judicial Circuit Associate Judge Mark S. Goodwin.
On Feb. 18, 2009, Linda Shelly underwent a surgical procedure performed by Dr. Muthiah Thungavelu to remove an abdominal cyst. At the time of the surgery, Dr. Thangavelu was employed by Danville Polyclinic Ltd.
During the surgery, Dr. Thangavelu cut and removed a portion of Ms. Shelly’s right ureter, a duct between the kidney and the bladder. Attorneys representing Ms. Shelly’s family alleged that this surgical error resulted in the eventual loss of her right kidney.
Ms. Shelly died in November 2016, more than six years after the surgical error, at the age of 62. She had filed a medical malpractice lawsuit over the incident in the 5th Judicial Circuit in 2010. Her family then continued her case, adding wrongful death and survival action claims to the medical malpractice lawsuit against Dr. Thangavelu and his employer.
At trial, an attorney for the family argued that Dr. Thangavelu should not have cut the ureter because he had not identified it during the procedure. Dr. Thangavelu’s attorneys argued that he exercised clinical judgment during the procedure, believed the ureter was not located where he was operating, and had identified its location prior to the procedure.
No settlement offer was made prior to trial. Following deliberations, the jury awarded Ms. Shelly’s family a verdict in excess of $4.8 million.
Surgical Errors and Medical Malpractice
Illinois law allows an injured person to recover financial compensation in cases of medical malpractice. One type of medical malpractice is the surgical error. Surgical errors can come in many forms, but common surgical errors may include the following:
- Injury to Organs, Nerves, and Tissue.
- Surgery on the Wrong Site.
- Excessive or Insufficient Anesthesia.
- Failure to Supervise Recovery Properly.
- Surgery on the Wrong Patient.
- Infection from Inadequate or Improper Antiseptic.
- Performing the Wrong Surgical Procedure.
- Items Left in the Body.
If you or a loved one has suffered severe bodily injury as a result of a surgical error, please contact GWC Injury Lawyers to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Illinois surgical error lawyers.
With over $2 billion recovered for our clients and offices throughout the state, GWC is one of the premier Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firms in Illinois.