$3.75 Million Settlement for Fatal Prescribing of Pain Medication
R. v. Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
A 28-year-old wife and mother of two children was admitted to Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago to receive rehabilitation therapy for transverse myelitis. To relieve her complaints of pain, the physicians at RIC prescribed a Duragesic patch containing Fentanyl. This drug, especially when used with other analgesics, can result in adverse effects of respiratory depression. She subsequently experienced such an adverse effect of respiratory depression, but the physicians failed to heed the warning sufficiently. She was continued on the Duragesic patch, as well as on sleep medications and other pain medications. The following day she suffered a respiratory arrest resulting in significant brain damage. She died four days later. Our lawsuit for medication error resulted in a $1.85 million settlement on behalf of her husband and children.