Plaintiff's decedent, William Nesper, a 73-year-old retiree, was admitted to a local hospital on July 5, 2001, for mitral valve repair surgery, an open heart procedure, performed by the firm's client.
He did well for the first week following surgery, then began developing a rare form of pneumonia called bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia. This is a rare inflammatory reaction which results in destruction of the bronchioles and respiratory failure. Once diagnosed, this was treated appropriately.
Unfortunately, after initial improvement, the patient again declined and died on August 9, 2001. Plaintiff alleged that the patient developed endocarditis, an infection of the heart, although there were no clinical signs or symptoms of any such infection and the blood cultures were negative for a blood stream infection. Plaintiff further alleged that the mitral valve repair surgery was improperly performed.
The firm's client, a well-known cardiothoracic surgeon, denied that he performed the surgery improperly and denied that the patient had endocarditis.
A Cook County jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant.