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Medical Malpractice Results in Misdiagnosis of Brain Aneurysm

It was Christmas week in Cook County, Illinois. A celebrated schoolteacher hopped in her car to prepare for the holiday. Suddenly, she was hit with the pangs of a painful sudden-onset headache. Nauseous, in agony, and struggling to drive, she pulled over on the side of the road and vomited. Five days later, she sought help from a Chicagoland medical group. Instead of sending her to have a CT scan performed, doctors attributed her symptoms to a mere sinus infection and prescribed her antibiotics. Unfortunately, her symptoms returned, and she returned to the Chicagoland medical group for a follow-up. Again, she was told it was just a sinus infection. Another five days later, she suffered a ruptured aneurysm, prompting emergency brain surgery. Ultimately, she was left unresponsive and bedbound in a long-term care facility.

Medical imagery revealed a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Devastated over her grave condition, her family contacted Adria MossingJim Navarre, and Merna Abusamen of Mossing & Navarre to determine if malpractice had happened. They retained a team of medical experts, including a neuroradiologist, a physiatrist, and a world-renowned neurocritical care specialist. After examining her medical imagery, the neuroradiologist testified the woman experienced a sentinel bleed (a warning leak) the day she pulled over on the road. Consequently, the Defendants could have prevented her ruptured aneurysm. However, the Defense argued the bleed occurred after her initial examination.

The Defense offered to settle the matter during several pre-trial conferences. Adria, Jim, and Merna declined as the amount was insufficient to provide their client with a lifetime of adequate medical care. They anticipated difficulty during trial explaining the incident’s nuances and the timeline of symptoms to the jury. They contacted DK Global to create an animated timeline that would reinforce their experts’ testimony and help illuminate the Defendant’s negligence.

The animation began by explaining the woman’s aneurysm, her sentinel bleed, and the urgency of immediate medical intervention. Then, the timeline showed how her sentinel bleed struck five days before her initial medical visit and could have been detected. Simultaneously, a depiction of her brain detailed the location of her worsening aneurysm. Four days later, she met with the medical group who missed their chance to perform a CT scan or lumbar puncture to find evidence of her brain bleed. Finally, the timeline concluded with the woman being rushed to the emergency room and becoming unresponsive.

Adria, Jim, and Merna shared their arguments at trial and called on their neurocritical care expert to testify why the Defendants should have recognized the aneurysm sooner. Simultaneously, they played the animation and explained how their client’s injury was avoidable had the Defendants exercised reasonable prudent care. Ultimately, after eight days of trial, at the close of the Plaintiff's case, the Defense offered Adria, Jim, and Merna an $8,500,000 settlement. Following the settlement, the opposing counsel asked the jury, “Who believed the sentinel bleed occurred before the initial examination?” Every juror raised their hand.

Adria East Mossing of Mossing & Navarre began her legal career at a large insurance defense firm. She now uses her expertise to represent the survivors of medical malpractice and catastrophic injuries. As a Past President of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, Adria is rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell and listed among the “Top 25 Attorneys” by the National Women Trial Lawyers Association.

Jim Navarre of Mossing & Navarre started his career as a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney for eight years before becoming a partner at a Chicago defense firm. Today, Jim uses his experience to aid plaintiffs, securing multiple multimillion-dollar jury verdicts. Rated an Illinois “Super Lawyer,” Jim was recognized as a “Leading Lawyer” by his peers and Leading Lawyers.

Merna Abusamen of Mossing & Navarre earned her law degree in May 2020 and recovered $8,500,000 in her first jury trial in 2022. Representing those involved in complex medical malpractice and personal injury matters, Merna is a member of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, and the Arab American Bar Association of Illinois.

"Thanks to DK Global, certainly, this was another big success for our firm, and most importantly, for our clients."
Adria East Mossing, Esq. – Mossing & Navarre, LLC
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