After denying liability for over 4.5 years, the Heartland Regional Medical Center admitted fault for causing the death of Lowell Williamson in August 2013. On Wednesday, March 20, 2019, the family of Mr. Williamson was awarded $8.5 million in damages. This is believed to be the highest personal injury verdict in Williamson County, Illinois.
In 2013, Mr. Williamson underwent an elective surgery for his shoulder. Prior to the procedure, the doctors did not formulate a specific plan for his anesthesia. As a result, a certified registered nurse anesthetist and hospital employees administered a lethal dose. The gas, Sevoflurane, caused Mr. Williamson to become dangerously hypertensive. His condition was not treated, and his blood pressure became extremely low. He became hypoxic and was later declared brain dead.
At the time, another physician was supposed to be immediately available, according to the family’s lawyers, but the attending anesthesiologist didn’t respond to the situation for nearly an hour – even though she was contacted multiple times. She claimed to have been dealing with an emergency in another hospital, but records later showed that there was no emergency.
While the hospital denied liability for years, they admitted fault just a few minutes before opening statements were set to begin in court on March 18, 2019. Represented by Mark Prince of Prince Law Firm in Marion, Illinois, and Bradley Cosgrove and Charles Haskins, Jr., of Clifford Law Office in Chicago, Illinois, the family provided testimony during the proceedings.
Because the facility admitted guilty, the jury only had to decide how much to award the victim’s estate. The $8.5M was nearly $6M higher than the previous record for the county.
According to Williamson’s widow, Madeline Williamson, “He meant everything to our family. He was really the glue that held us together. Lowell was a wonderful husband and a great father. We were married over 38 years.” While she is grateful the legal battle is over, her husband is in her thoughts every day. “We just miss him terribly, and we’re so shocked that this ever happened. It will forever be a loss to us that we cannot ever describe.”
If your family is dealing with a complex wrongful death case, Prince Law Firm is prepared to represent you. We’ll work to get justice for your loved one and the compensation your family needs to comfortably move forward. Contact us for more information.