A Chicago law firm recently came to a partial settlement with one of three defendants named in a lawsuit alleging that an autistic child suffered permanent brain damage as a result of her improper placement into a foster home. The attorneys representing the plaintiff alleged that a health care organization subcontracted out the placement and care of an autistic child. The child was then put in a home under the care of a convicted felon who beat her over the course of nine months.
According to the plaintiff’s attorneys, the subcontractors choose to pay their shareholders instead of funding the placement agency working for them, which left them underfunded and unable to perform the necessary background and licensing checks. That lack of money also meant that the supervisory agency also performed fewer home visits.
On the morning of August 14, 2009, the lack of oversight culminated in the child suffering a blow to the head so severe that it caused a blood clot. That ended in a stroke and resulted in the child permanently losing the function of the left side of her body.
The child’s attorney says that the least responsible of the three defendants has elected to settle the case, yet he believes that they did what was right. The case is still on track for trial in Cook County Court on October 6. It is estimated to last for about a month.
No amount of money can ever restore a person to whole again after they have suffered a catastrophic injury caused by medical malpractice. However, large settlements and other monetary compensation sometimes have the effect of forcing would-be offenders to bring their actions more in line with acceptable industry standards of care.
Chicago Tribune, “The Deratany Firm Partially Settles Case for $9 Million on Behalf of Autistic Foster Child” Alisa Bay, May. 09, 2014