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Beloved Teacher Suffers Aneurysm Rupture After Doctors Misdiagnose Headaches

When doctors failed to thoroughly investigate the cause of an otherwise healthy woman’s recurring headaches, she suffered a brain aneurysm rupture. The patient, a 58-year-old well-respected teacher in her school and community, had instead been misdiagnosed by her doctors with sinusitis – not once, but twice.

For several weeks, the patient was experiencing debilitating headaches, nausea, and vomiting. She had no prior history of these symptoms. She visited a Chicago area medical group, where doctors diagnosed her with a sinus infection and sent her home without running additional tests. A few days later, the patient returned with the same headache symptoms. Doctors again diagnosed her with sinusitis and sent her home with antibiotics. Within five days of her second visit, she suffered a catastrophic brain aneurysm that required emergency surgery. Unfortunately for this patient, the aneurysm caused so much damage that the surgery could not restore her to her original health. She is now living in a long-term care facility.

Adria Mossing, Jim Navarre, and Merna Abusamen of Mossing Navarre Law Firm began investigating to see if the patient experienced a case of medical negligence. The attorneys obtained her medical records and put together an event timeline. They discovered that she had suffered a brain bleed ten days before the rupture – an event that overlapped with her visits to the medical group.

Adria, Jim, and Merna argued that if the Plaintiff’s doctors had done a proper examination, the medical team would have found the aneurysm. Case in point: the doctors didn’t even perform a CT scan. If they had, the scan would have spotted the bleeding.

Instead of debating whether the Plaintiff suffered a rupture, the Defense chose to focus on the standard of care she had received. They argued that it was reasonable for doctors to believe the patient’s headaches were from sinusitis. Nevertheless, they made a settlement offer. Adria, Jim, and Merna rejected it as insufficient, given the fact that the Plaintiff’s brain injuries were permanent, and she required lifelong care. After unproductive mediations, the case moved to a jury trial.

The attorneys knew they would need an effective visual to help jurors easily understand the gravity of this medical negligence case. They turned to 3D animation specialists DK Global for a presentation of the events. The visual demonstrated a timeline to show when the bleed occurred, leading up to the time of rupture. The video then displayed an animation of how the rupture leaked into the brain – causing pain for the patient.

Due to the compelling timeline, evidence, and presentation, the Defense proposed an offer to settle on the eighth day of trial. On behalf of their client, Adria, Jim, and Merna agreed to an $8,500,000 settlement offer.

Adria East Mossing, a partner and co-founder of Mossing Navarre Law Firm, has helped her clients receive many multi-million-dollar settlements and jury verdicts in medical malpractice and personal injury cases. She began her legal career working on behalf of a large insurance defense firm in Chicago, where she represented doctors, hospitals, and other medical professionals. She eventually opened her own firm in 2009.

Jim Navarre, a partner and co-founder of Mossing Navarre Law Firm, has also obtained numerous multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements for clients in several jurisdictions, including many high-profile cases. Before starting the firm with Adria, he worked for a Chicago defense firm and focused on professional liability and civil rights defense.

Merna Abusamen graduated with a law degree from UIC John Marshall Law School in 2020. Before joining Mossing and Navarre, she clerked for a firm that handled complex medical malpractice and personal injury cases. She has also served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Virginia Kendall at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

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