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Hospital Agrees To Pay $8.25M In Baby’s Death From Overdose

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Genesis Burkett

Genesis Burkett was born premature and died at the age of 5 weeks after he was allegedly given more than 60 times the amount of sodium chloride as prescribed by a doctor. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (STMW) – A northwest suburban hospital has made a record settlement in a malpractice lawsuit in the death of a newborn.

One year to the day after the suit was filed, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge has agreed to pay $8.25 million in the wrongful death of Genesis Burkett.

The preemie died when he was only 40 days old, after getting dose of sodium chloride that was 60 times more than prescribed, because of a pharmacy error.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports

Attorney Pat Salvi calls the settlement fair and says it’s the largest in the state for a child’s death. The previous record was $4 million.

Salvi said, in a day when professional baseball players are paid millions of dollars a year to play a game, a multi-million dollar settlement in a newborn’s death is appropriate.

“Some players are paid 25, 30 million dollars a year. So the loss of someone as precious as Genesis for the rest of their lives, I don’t know, I think it’s fair,” Salvi said. “This was a very, very cherished pregnancy.”

He says Chicagoans Fritzie and Cameron Burkett suffered two miscarriages before getting pregnant and cherished the baby – whose name means “beginning.”

The hospital said in a statement: “This event has only heightened our focus on patient care. We have taken comprehensive steps across Advocate to ensure this type of tragedy does not happen again.”

Salvi said that includes having pharmacists double-check the labels on IV bags.

“Makin sure that what is on the IV bag reflects what is actually in the bag, not what the order was. That’s where the mistake was made,” Salvi said.

He said his clients may use the settlement money to honor their son by setting up a charity.

“I think there is discussion that they’re going to create, with some of the funds, a foundation,” Salvi said.

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