October 24, 2017, PNLR E-Newsletter

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Failure to identify lung abnormality

human lungs and bronchi in x-ray view

The plaintiff alleged that the defendants failed to identify a lung abnormality on her CT angiogram, which, she claimed, would have led to a timely cancer diagnosis. The parties reached a postverdict settlement for $14 million. Skorek v. Edward Hosp.
 

Judith Skorek, 56, required a CT angiogram to assess a mild aneurysm. The test—which was read by cardiologist Stanley Clark, an employee of Midwest Heart Specialists Ltd. and an apparent agent of Edward Hospital—was interpreted as normal. Approximately three years later, Skorek developed slurred speech, gait issues, and headaches. She went to a hospital emergency room, where she was diagnosed as having Stage IV metastatic lung cancer.

Skorek’s life expectancy is between two and four years.

She sued Clark, Midwest Heart Specialists, and Edward Hospital, alleging liability for the cardiologist’s failure to report and investigate a lung abnormality present on the CT angiogram. The plaintiff claimed that the test showed a one-centimeter lesion, which, if identified, would have led to a timely cancer diagnosis.

During trial, the plaintiff and the hospital reached a high-low agreement of up to $1 million. The jury awarded more than $15.18 million against Clark and his employer. Those defendants later settled for $14 million.

Citation: Skorek v. Edward Hosp., No. 2015-L-009072 (Ill. Cir. Ct. Cook Cnty. Sept. 20, 2017).

Plaintiff counsel: AAJ members Thomas K. Prindable, Michael P. Cogan, and Hadas M. Corey, all of Chicago.

Plaintiff experts: Gregory Sarna, oncology, Los Angeles; and Stan Smith, economics, Chicago.

Defense expert: Mark Ratain, oncology, Chicago.