Local hospital sued over woman's brain damage

By Robert Hadley | Jan 23, 2016

CHICAGO – The guardian of a Cook County woman is suing Ingalls Memorial Hospital and several doctors, claiming their delayed diagnosis of malnutrition has left her permanently disabled.

Johnnie Watkins, guardian of the estate of Johnnice Ford, filed a lawsuit Jan. 21 in Cook County Circuit Court against Ingalls Memorial Hospital, Ingalls Health System, Dr. Marvin Zelkowitz, South Suburban Neurology Ltd., Dr. Saif Nazir and Dr. Larry Foster, alleging medical malpractice.

According to the complaint, Ford was admitted to Ingalls Hospital on Sept. 10, 2008 at 35 weeks pregnant, suffering from nausea, vomiting, dizziness and visual hallucinations. After undergoing a C-section to deliver the infant, the suit says Ford was transferred to the intensive care unit, where nurses noted on Sept. 15 that she was disoriented.

Two days later, the claim states that Ford was transferred to Rush University Hospital, where she was ultimately diagnosed with Wernicke’s encephalopathy, a condition of brain lesions resulting from malnutrition. The lawsuit says Ford should have had a neurological evaluation upon her Sept. 10 admission and that the delayed diagnosis allowed her condition to worsen and become permanent.

Watkins seeks damages of more than $50,000. He is represented by attorney Patrick J. Condron of Susan E. Loggns & Associates P.C. in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court Case number 2016-L000687

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