Jury awards $2.4 million verdict for medical malpractice death

Published: Nov. 21, 2013 at 9:43 PM CST
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WILLIAMSON COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - More than six years after her death, a Williamson County jury deliberated for two hours on November 18 before awarding $2,439,544.36 to the estate of a woman who died at Carbondale Memorial Hospital on March 11, 2007.

Sue Yates, a 47 year old mother died due to a bowel obstruction.

Yates was a registered nurse at Choate Mental Health Center in Anna, Ill. and lived with her husband Tom in nearby Cobden. The Yates had been married for 24 years and have a son, Andy, and granddaughter, Mayla.

Sue Yates was represented by Paul Schoen of the Edwardsville, East St. Louis and St. Louis, MO law firm of Schoen, Walton, Telken and Foster and R. Courtney Hughes of The Hughes Law Firm in Carbondale.

"Nothing will bring Sue back, but I hope this verdict will bring some attention to medical malpractice deaths and what happened to Sue. Most people don't think of the risks when they go in for treatment. I know we didn't. You never think it will be your loved one who suffers or even dies from a medical error" said Sue's husband Tom. "I'm just glad it's all over with and the jury agreed with us".

"I feel so badly for Sue and her family. We felt all along this was a preventable death. She deserved someone fighting on her behalf and that's what we did. It took nearly 6 years but we had to keep fighting for Sue and her family, to try and make things right as best we could. But nothing will bring back Tom's wife, Andy's mother or Mayla's grandma. Hopefully this will at least shine a little light on medical errors and we can all commit to reducing them" said Yates' attorney Paul Schoen.

Schoen's co-counsel R. Courtney Hughes said, "most people who suffer a medical malpractice never file a suit and of those who do, having a med mal case go to trial is rare and difficult. We have heard this is the largest jury verdict in Williamson County besides the State Farm case. Either way, a $2.4 million dollar verdict is very rare in Southern Illinois. This jury looked past stereotypes and focused on the facts and they deserve credit for that."

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