CHICAGO — A Cook County jury has ordered a doctor and NorthShore medical practice to pay $5.5 million to the family of a man who died when he suffered a blood clot while in knee surgery at NorthShore Skokie Hospital.

The attorney representing the family of David Young, Brian T. Monico, thinks the jury’s verdict sends the message that accountability matters.

Brian T. Monico
Brian T. Monico | Burke Wise Morrissey Kaveny

“It sends the message that those who are injured through the negligence of medical professionals get to have their day in court and are able to present evidence to jurors showing wrongdoing can get justice,” Monico, an attorney at Burke Wise Morrissey Kaveny, told the Cook County Record. “It is important to hold physicians and hospitals accountable.”

The jury found NorthShore University Faculty Practice Associates and Dr. Patrick Birmingham culpable in the Young's 2012 death.

Carey Johnson-Young filed suit in 2014 on behalf of her husband’s estate, with jurors finding that the medical professionals “failed to perform and record a full, proper, complete and careful medical clearance exam.”

The court also held that medical professionals at NorthShore failed to examine Young’s legs for the risk of venous thrombosis or signs and symptoms of any other deep vein condition.  

“I think our medical experts made sense to the jury in speaking about what our client’s expectations for adequate, responsible medical care should have reasonably been,” Monico said. “We showed the areas where there were clear and irrefutable instances of negligence.”

Michael J. Cucco, an attorney at Cassiday Schade who represented the defendants, said his client has no plans of appealing the decision, though he disagreed with the verdict.

“There’s no appellate issue in terms of an appeal, but I think the jury was swayed by sympathy for the victim,” he told the Cook County Record. “I thought the verdict should have been in favor of the defendants. Beyond that, I don’t think the verdict sends any sort of message. It’s just what the jury decided to do here.”

Monico said that also speaks volumes.

“I think anytime you have a decision by 12 jurors, it has to be considered fair and one that could be setting a tone,” he said.

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