$22 million award in wrongful death suit

January 16, 2008 4:10:33 PM PST
A Cook County jury has awarded $22 million to the family of a woman who died after childbirth.The jury found that a doctor and nurse at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston failed to properly treat 34-year-old Rachelle Bentivenga.

Bentivenga was nine months pregnant in 2003 when she went to the hospital for high blood pressure. Labor was induced, but she became unresponsive before delivery.

Bentivenga gave birth to a son, Richard, but died four days later. He is now 4-years old.

Bentivenga's husband, Mark, said if his wife had received the right treatment, she would be alive.

"I was privileged to know her. Like I said, she died with a smile on her face. And she was my best friend. And my son and I miss her very much" said Mark Bentivenga, husband.

Bentivenga's attorneys say this is the largest verdict for the wrongful death of a mother during delivery in Illinois history.