Hanrahan v. Defendant Pediatrician and Practice Group

  • Kane County06/17/2014
    Counsel: Sherri M. Arrigo
    Client: Defendant Pediatrician and Practice Group
    Outcome: Verdict in Favor of Defendants

Synopsis:

On June 17, 2014 a Kane County, IL jury returned a verdict for the firm’s client, a pediatrician and his practice group represented by Sherri M. Arrigo. 

The plaintiffs, two minor children and their parents, claimed that the pediatrician, without reviewing pertinent records or determining any medical basis whatsoever, negligently ordered unnecessary monthly intravenous gammaglobulin infusions (IVIG) for four and a half years to treat a condition, common variable immune deficiency (CVID), which the young girls never had. 

The plaintiffs claimed damages for the girls’ pain and suffering, loss of normal life and disfigurement (scars from a central IV line port surgically placed to facilitate the infusions), as well as approximately $800,000 in medical bills.  The defense argued that the pediatrician reasonably relied on the mother’s history that the girls had been diagnosed with CVID by an immunologist and only agreed to the parents’ request that he continue the IVIG initiated by the immunologist until the family re-established with a new immunologist.  The pediatrician further argued that he appropriately referred the girls to specialists, who recommended he continue the infusions pending further testing but that the parents failed to follow up with specialists as recommended for more than four years.  

The parents claimed that they followed all reasonable medical advice and that the pediatrician had offered to take over ordering the IVIG and promised to find them a new immunologist in the Fox Valley area, which he never did.  Ultimately, an immunologist determined that the girls did not have CVID and did not need IVIG infusions. 

On cross-examination, plaintiffs’ pediatric expert admitted that once a board certified immunologist had recommended IVIG to treat an immunodeficiency, the pediatrician had to continue the IVIG unless and until a board certified immunologist recommended otherwise, because if the girls really did have CVID, they could die without the treatment. 

Plaintiffs’ expert ultimately admitted on cross-examination that the pediatrician would have been negligent to stop ordering the infusions any sooner than he did.  Plaintiffs’ counsel asked the jury to award approximately $1.8 million in total damages.  The jury found in favor of the defendants.