Clifford Law Offices, which represented husband Carlos Lopez, said that the jury found the University of Chicago Hospital and two doctors named in the suit failed to diagnose and properly treat Karen Lopez for a high-risk complication called placenta accreta. Lopez, 33, died during a cesarean section delivery from excessive bleeding. The child is alive and well. She left behind her husband and another son, who was 2 at the time.
The verdict was against Dr. Mahmoud A. Ismail, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist of the University of Chicago Hospital, and Dr. Mukundini Mehta, an obstetrician-gynecologist at MacNeal Hospital. Dr. Mehta had also delivered Karen Lopez's first son. The late mother was a tenured teacher at Morton East High School at the time of her death in February of 2008.
The four-man, eight-woman jury deliberated for less than six hours before reaching the third-highest verdict for wrongful death in a medical malpractice case in Cook County history, according to the Jury Verdict Reporter. Judge James P. Flannery presided over the two-week trial at the Daley Center.
The University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences responded in a written statment: "We have great sympathy for this family, but we respectfully disagree with the jury's decision and are reviewing our options. "