Michael Zegarski, 33, was playing touch football when he collided with another player. Zegarski was taken to a hospital, where he was diagnosed as having a minor skull fracture. Additional testing, which was interpreted by neurosurgeon Kevin Jackson, allegedly showed a benign vascular malformation on the left side of Zegarski’s brain. Jackson allegedly told Zegarski’s family that there was nothing to worry about and requested a follow-up MRI in six months.
Four months later, Zegarski suffered a ruptured arteriovenous malformation (AVM), resulting in severe neurological damage that led to paraplegia. He had been a youth minister earning $57,000 annually.
Zegarski and his wife sued the hospital and Jackson and his group, alleging failure to timely diagnose and treat the AVM. The plaintiffs claimed that Zegarski should have undergone a cerebral angioplasty and been offered treatment options such as surgery.
The hospital settled for $10 million. The claims against the neurosurgeon and his practice are pending.
Citation: Zegarski v. Jackson, No. 2011 L 11347 (Ill., Cook Co. Cir. Sept. 18, 2013).
Plaintiff counsel: AAJ members Elizabeth A. Kaveny, Kevin C. Burke, and Jerry Esrig, all of Chicago.