Family Receives $7.5M after Hospital Administers Lethal Amounts of Radiation

An Illinois woman suffering from cancer was given an unfathomable 50% more radiation than prescribed on 17 different occasions which eventually led to her death. Her family sued the hospital for medical malpractice and wrongful death and received $7.5 million – the largest settlement of its kind in Cook County history.

Illinois Wrongful Death Lawsuits

This Illinois wrongful death lawsuit involves a 60 year old woman who was battling cancer. According to news reports, Patricia Quirk’s doctor recommended radiation therapy to combat endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterus lining). She received the radiation at the Little Company of Mary Hospital in Chicago in 2003. However, healthcare professionals at the hospital ended up administering 50% more radiation than was prescribed on 17 different occasions over a year’s time – which resulted in perforating Quirk’s bowel, infection and eventually her death in May of 2004.

Her family, a husband of nearly 40 years and their two children, hired a Cook County Illinois wrongful death lawyer and filed a lawsuit against the hospital, Quirk’s radiologist, Dr. Vera Petras and his radiology group for their medical negligence. The parties settled the matter for $7.5 million just as the case was about to go to trial. It is the largest settlement to date for an over-radiation wrongful death lawsuit in Cook County, Illinois.

Illinois Wrongful Death Damages

While the damages in a wrongful death lawsuit depend upon the facts and circumstances of the situation and the state in which the lawsuit is filed, it is possible to receive:

  • Damages for mental anguish or pain and suffering of the survivors
  • Loss of benefits such as pension plans and medical coverage
  • Loss of care, protection, nurturing and companionship of the survivors
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Loss of the victim’s expected earnings between the time of the death and the expected retirement or death
  • Medical and funeral expenses connected to the death
  • Punitive Damages

An experienced wrongful death attorney in your state will be able to evaluate your situation to determine the types of damages for which you may be entitled, explain the process and let you know the time period in which you must file a lawsuit (known as the statute of limitations) in order to be compensated for your loss.

The foregoing article has been prepared by an attorney who is a regular contributor to FreeAdvice, and is now undergoing review by the site's editorial staff.