January 31, 2017, PNLR E-Newsletter | The American Association For Justice

January 31, 2017, PNLR E-Newsletter

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Failure to diagnose subarachnoid hemorrhage

illustration of brain

Suit alleged that a hospital was liable for its physician and physician assistant’s failure to order a CT to rule out subarachnoid hemorrhage when the patient presented with a severe headache, dizziness, and other symptoms The parties settled during trial for $20 million. Zinski v. CDH-Delnor Health Sys.
 

Christopher Zinski, 50, went to Central DuPage Hospital’s emergency room, complaining of a severe headache, neck and eye pain, dizziness, disorientation, and nausea. Emergency physician Robin Mraz and physician assistant Martin Switalski attributed Zinski’s problems to jetlag, insomnia, and dehydration. After receiving fluids and pain medication, Zinski was discharged. Two days later, he collapsed at work and was rushed to a hospital, where he was diagnosed as having suffered a massive brain bleed resulting in brain damage.

Zinski, who underwent a lengthy rehabilitation, had been an attorney earning about $900,000 annually but is unable to work because of his health problems, which include double vision, balance problems, and short-term memory loss.

Zinski and his wife sued the hospital, alleging liability for its physician and physician assistant’s failure to order a CT scan to rule out subarachnoid hemorrhage. The defense argued that Zinski’s symptoms did not indicate a typical subarachnoid hemorrhage and that the diagnosis had been reasonable.

The parties settled during trial for $20 million.

Citation: Zinski v. CDH-Delnor Health Sys., No. 13 L 10043 (Ill. Cir. Ct. Cook Cnty. Nov. 21, 2016).

Plaintiff counsel: AAJ member Kevin G. Burke, Chicago.