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$17.5 Million Settlement in Illinois Kernicterus Case

by | Mar 13, 2024 | Medical Malpractice |

In a settlement approved by both a Law Division and Probate Division judge, a Chicago area hospital and pediatrician agreed to pay $17,500,000 to settle claims brought by the parents of a 6-year-old girl delivered at the institution. The settlement was reached shortly before a scheduled two-week trial at which the parties were expected to call 16 expert witnesses. The settlement funds will be administrated under the supervision of the Probate Court.

The young girl was born at 37 weeks to a healthy mother. At age 33.5 hours, serum bilirubin was drawn and reported 82 minutes later to be significantly elevated. No intervention for the elevated bilirubin or repeat serum bilirubin was ordered, and the girl was discharged home 12 hours later. Serum bilirubin drawn the next day at the pediatrician’s office was 3x that of the day prior. The pediatrician called mom to report the findings and asked that she return for a redraw of labs – thinking the result must be a lab error. The child seized shortly after the redraw and was taken to the hospital where she eventually received hydration, light therapy and exchange transfusion. The girl suffers permanent bilateral hearing loss as a result of defendants’ failure to timely provide hydration and light therapy.

The hospital and pediatrician denied they were negligent or a proximate cause of the young girl’s injury, disputed the extent of her injury, and defended the case for four years before settling within days of trial.

The young girl lives with her parents and siblings. The proceeds from the settlement will be used to provide for her current and future care needs.

The plaintiffs were represented by Michael Gill of Gill Ports, Ltd. of Chicago.

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