Illinois Appellate Court Affirms Defense Verdict For Cardiologist

Following a trial, the Illinois medical malpractice jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants…medicalmalpracticelawyers.com, Illinois Appellate Court Affirms Medical Malpractice Defense Verdict For Cardiologist, Apr 2024

 

The plaintiff argued on appeal that the trial court erred in (a) allowing the defendants’ medical expert to testify about “possible” causes of the decedent’s death, (b) refusing to admit into evidence and to publish the decedent’s complete death certificate, including the cause of death, and (c) denying the plaintiff’s motion for a directed verdict on the allegation that the defendants failed to properly instruct the decedent to restrict his physical activities while awaiting a heart catheterization procedure. The plaintiff also argued that the verdict was against the manifest weight of the evidence.

 

The Appellate Court of Illinois First Judicial District (“Illinois Appellate Court”) stated in its February 20, 2024 Opinion that it is permissible for a medical expert to testify about his opinion in terms of possibilities or probabilities, but the opinion must be based upon a reasonable degree of medical certainty. The record shows that plaintiff’s counsel thoroughly cross-examined Dr. Carell about his opinions regarding “other possible causes” of death and the basis for his opinions. And, while the plaintiff’s own expert opined that the most medically likely cause of death was obstructive coronary artery disease, he acknowledged that he could not rule out other possible causes. After thoroughly reviewing the testimony and medical evidence in this record, we cannot say that the trial court abused its discretion in allowing the testimony.”

 

The Illinois Appellate Court also held, “the trial court did not err in denying the plaintiff’s motion for a directed verdict on the allegation that the defendants were negligent in failing to properly instruct the decedent to restrict his physical activities while awaiting the cardiac catheterization and in refusing the plaintiff’s proffered jury instruction on that matter.”

 

Lastly, the Illinois Appellate Court stated: “A jury verdict is against the manifest weight of the evidence where the opposite conclusion is clearly evident or where the findings of the jury are unreasonable, arbitrary, and not based upon any of the evidence … In this case, the jury heard from expert witnesses and treating physicians who rendered opinions on the treatment provided to Les Wilson, and the medical testimony was conflicting. The jury could have reasonably concluded that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate within a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the defendants deviated from the applicable standard of care and/or that the deviation more likely than not was a proximate cause of Les Wilson’s death. After reviewing the record, we conclude that the jury’s verdict was not against the manifest weight of the evidence.”

 

Source Wilson v. Dande, 2024 IL App (5th) 220552.

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