Bradley M. Cosgrove, partner at Clifford Law Offices, and Charles R. Haskins, associate at the firm, obtained on Thursday, June 24, 2021, a $3.35 million verdict on behalf of a woman who suffered permanent brain damage following an undiagnosed brain tumor.
The five-man-seven-woman jury deliberated eight hours following a two-week trial in Wheaton before returning the $3.35 million verdict against Dr. Li Zhang, a neurologist, who treated the 33-year-old woman for migraines for five years. The initial treatment and MRIs occurred at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital which also was a named defendant. The jury found Dr. Zhang to be an apparent agent of the hospital in 2009 during the initial missed diagnosis, finding that the hospital held itself out as a complete provider of medical care through the physician’s uniform and by other means. The jury found no apparent agency relationship for subsequent treatment with Dr. Zhang during visits at her personal office from the years 2010-2014.
Dijana Ris, now 45-years-old, of Darien suffers from severe cognitive deficits including short-term memory loss and the inability to drive or work following whole brain radiation after her once localized tumor was allowed to spread throughout her entire brain
“This terrible tragedy to such a young woman was so avoidable had the doctor merely referred the patient to a neurosurgeon when MRIs revealed abnormalities in her right frontal lobe,” Cosgrove said. “Instead, the doctor took it upon herself to just let something as serious as an abnormality in the brain to be left ignored until the patient hit her head on the job and other physicians immediately diagnosed the brain tumor five years down the road when it had invaded her entire brain.”
Ris initially was admitted to the hospital in August 2009 for bad headaches, blurred vision and numbness in left arm. She was discharged without the proper follow up and care that could have prevented permanent and severe brain damage had the proper diagnosis been made years before.
“This innocent patient deserved better medical care than she received,” Haskins said following the verdict. “No one expects that something as life-threatening as a brain tumor will be overlooked for years. Those responsible for this tragedy must be held accountable for their errors.”
The case was tried before DuPage Circuit Court Judge David E. Schwartz.
Ris v. Advocate Health & Hospitals Corp. d/b/a Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital,
Case No. 2016 L 613
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