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Jacobs v. OSF Healthcare -$10M Verdict – Second Highest Verdict in Tazewell County History

by | Mar 4, 2024 | Firm News, Hospital Negligence, Medical Malpractice |

Tazewell County Circuit Court (IL) 2021 L 77
February 29, 2024

A 7 man, 5 woman jury delivered verdicts February 28, 2024 totaling $10,004,537.98 to a 66 year old man and his wife in a case tried for one week before Judge Stephen Kouri of the 10th Judicial Circuit, sitting in Tazewell County. Ronald Jacobs suffers from T11 paraplegia due to the admitted negligence of doctors and nurses at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, IL. The admission of fault came three weeks before trial. His wife, Brenda, claimed damages for loss of consortium. $1,000,000 of the award was allocated to Brenda, and the remainder to Ronald.

Mr. Jacobs was admitted to OSF St. Francis in November 2020 with sudden onset back pain. A CT scan revealed a significant lytic lesion at T11, and the neurosurgeon wanted an MRI before he operated. Mr. Jacobs had intractable muscle spasms and could not lie still for an MRI and the hospital was unable to schedule an anesthetized MRI until six days after admission. The plan was to observe until then. If there was any neurological deterioration, the neurosurgeon was to be advised immediately. There was significant neurological deterioration, and the neurosurgery staff was not advised until a day later when Ron was found in his bed paraplegic. His injury was caused by cord compression that would have been avoided by timely notice to the neurosurgeon.

 

The spine lesion was proven to be myeloma in March 2021. The jury heard conflicting evidence on the life expectancy of people with myeloma including data that the five-year survival from diagnosis for those in Stage III is 40%.

 

The jury’s award for future medical expenses, $585,424, indicates it found three future years of life for Mr. Jacobs. The jury also awarded $8,000,000 for past and future loss of a normal life, pain and suffering, and disfigurement. The rest of his award was for past medical expenses and earnings loss.

 

Plaintiffs have filed a motion to tax prejudgment interest that, if granted, will yield of judgment of $11,605,261. The prejudgment interest statute has been upheld by all three appellate cases to address the issue in Illinois.

Bruce Pfaff and Alex Marsh of Gill Ports, Ltd., Chicago, represented the plaintiffs. Brant Poling, POLING, Columbus, Ohio, and Rhonda Ferrero-Patten, Peoria, represented OSF Healthcare.  

This is the second highest verdict in Tazewell County history. Mr. Pfaff obtained the highest verdict there, $13.5 million in Stone v. MiTek Industries, 08 L 155, for a man who suffered a leg amputation.


Submitted by Bruce Pfaff, 312 972 9666, [email protected]

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