$10.85 Million Jury Verdict for Failure to Attend to Emergency Department Patient

Qiao Chen, 36, underwent an emergency cesarean section to deliver her twins. After the delivery, she experienced severe uterine bleeding and was transferred to the hospital’s post-anesthesia care unit.

Chen’s bleeding continued, her vital signs deteriorated, and she went into hemorrhagic shock. Hemorrhagic shock occurs when the body begins to shut down due to large amounts of blood loss. If the bleeding isn’t stopped immediately, the risk of death is great.

The emergency room staff administered packed red blood cells of fluid. The treating obstetrician, Dr. Thomas Tuan-Tong Lee, attempted to obtain additional blood products, but they were not readily available.

Dr. Lee then ordered a hysterectomy to stop Chen’s bleeding. On-call anesthesiologist, Dr. Philong Ta, had left the hospital, leaving the facility without an anesthesiologist.

Chen developed disseminated intravascular coagulation leading to her death just two days later. She was survived by her husband and three minor daughters.

Chen’s family sued Dr. Ta and the hospital under direct and vicarious liability theory alleging that Dr. Ta had negligently left the hospital in an emergency situation. The Chen family also claimed that the hospital had negligently allowed Dr. Ta to be on-call at two hospitals at the same time, and it had chosen not to order the appropriate lab tests to determine the extent of Chen’s bleeding.

At trial, the Chen family attorneys presented experts in maternal-fetal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, hematology and forensic economics.

The jury signed a verdict for $10.85 million. Before trial, Dr. Ta settled with the Chen family.

The attorneys successfully handling this case for the Chen family were Philip Michels and Elizabeth Hernandez.

Li v. Lee, No. CIVDS 1621591 (Cal. Super. Ct. San Bernardino County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling birth trauma injury lawsuits, maternity death cases, wrongful death cases, emergency medicine negligence cases, hospital negligence lawsuits, anesthesiology negligence cases and birth trauma injury lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Cicero, Joliet, Waukegan, Zion, Franklin Park, Wood Dale, Addison, Roselle, Bloomingdale, Inverness, Arlington Heights, Northbrook, Hawthorne Woods, North Barrington, Barrington Hills, Lincolnshire, Mundelein, Libertyville, North Chicago, Winthrop Harbor, Lake Bluff, Homewood, Olympia Fields, Oak park, Berkeley, Hillside, Elmwood Park, Chicago (Logan Square, Wicker Park, East Garfield Park, Sheffield Neighbors, Bucktown, Irving Park East, Wrigleyville, Buena Park, Sheridan Park, Uptown, Ravenswood Manor, Bowmanville, Andersonville, Magnolia Glen, Edgewater Glen, Rogers Park, Sauganash, Edgebrook, Norwood Park East, Edison Park, Union Ridge, Oreo Park, Belmont Terrace, Belmont Cragin, Galewood, South Austin, Marshall Square, McKinley Park, Lower West Side, Heart of Chicago, Bridgeport, Canaryville, Brighton Park), Stickney, North Riverside, Berwyn, Brookfield, Lyons and Summit, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

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