Amy L. Anderson and Joshua Bell win not guilty in medical negligence case

Tried 10/7/16 - 10/17/16

Plaintiff, a minor, was born on on September 14, 2008 at Westlake Hospital via C-section. She was noted to be a normal healthy baby by a neonatologist and family practice physician at the hospital. She was seen in the office of Dr. Tolentino on three occasions, Oct. 1, Oct. 15 and Nov. 12, 2008, for well baby visits. Her mother reported the baby was eating and stooling. The baby grew at the expected rate. No complaints were noted at any visit. The mother, grandmother and godmother changed the baby’s diapers many times and never noticed anything unusual. On Nov. 29, the mother took the baby to the emergency room at Good Samaritan Hospital for complaints of crying and constipation and stringy stools for up to three days. She was diagnosed with an imperforate anus, transferred to University of Chicago Hospital
for the repair surgery.

The defense contended that the baby’s condition of imperforate was so subtle
that without symptoms of constipation it could not be diagnosed. Children with this type of low imperforate anus are often electively delayed for repair for three to six months when they are appropriately stooling. Further, the repair surgery performed was the same as what would have been done had the condition been diagnosed earlier.

Plaintiff asked for $1.1 million. The jury returned in 20 minutes with a not guilty verdict.