CHICAGO — Cavanagh Law Group partners Tim Cavanagh and Michael Sorich obtained a $3.6 million settlement for the family of a woman who died after hospital staff failed to perform a necessary MRI.
Theresa Szmurlo, 65, died on Nov. 25, 2015, after suffering a ruptured aneurysm and massive intracranial hemorrhage.
Cavanagh Law Group filed a wrongful death and medical malpractice lawsuit in 2016, arguing that Szmurlo would not have died if she had received proper medical care from the physicians and nurse practitioner she consulted in the three days leading up to her death.
On Nov. 22, 2015, Szmurlo went to the emergency room at Centegra Hospital in Woodstock, Ill., after experiencing a headache that had lasted two days. A CT scan revealed an intracranial abnormality. A radiologist recommended an MRI, but Szmurlo was sent home without additional testing.
The following day, Szmurlo saw a Centegra nurse practitioner who reviewed the previous reports and indicated Szmurlo needed an MRI. She was again sent home without the test.
On Nov. 24, 2015, Szmurlo went to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, where she reported a five-day headache, nausea and vomiting. Szmurlo suffered a ruptured aneurysm and massive intracranial hemorrhage that caused her death on Nov. 25, 2015.
“Minutes, seconds, mattered in this case,” Cavanagh said. “The doctors at each hospital should’ve known our client needed immediate care, but instead created an unnecessary delay that cost our client her life.”
Cavanagh and partner Michael Sorich obtained a $3.6 million settlement on behalf of Szmurlo’s estate on Oct. 4, 2019. A trial was slated to begin the following month. The settlement was reached with Centegra Hospital, Centegra Physician Care and Dr. Hemant Patel.
Cavanagh Law Group argued the defendants in this case were careless and negligent for failing to rule out an active bleed or brain abnormality and failing to implement an immediate or decisive plan to rule out an aneurysm.
“Our client sought a second opinion with her nurse practitioner after her first emergency room visit, but was still released without an MRI,” Sorich said. “They had a second chance to correct this serious situation, and they let that pass.”
The Hon. Judge Edward S. Harmening of the Circuit Court of Cook County presided in Jason Szmurlo vs. Cynthia Schuman, M.D.; Advocate Health and Hospitals Corporation d/b/a Advocate Medical Group; Advocate North Side Health Network d/b/a Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center; Hemant Patel, M.D.; Carol Radovich, C.N.P.; Memorial Medical Center – Woodstock d/b/a Centegra Hospital – Woodstock; Centegra Health and Wellness Network, LLC; and Centegra Primary Care, LLC, d/b/a Centegra Physician Care, Case No. 2016 L 004560.