Family Of Woman Who Died In Childbirth Awarded $15.5 Million

(CBS) — Two doctors have been hit with a $15.5 million malpractice award because they missed a high-risk complication that led to the Westchester woman’s death as she gave birth.

The pregnancy was the second for 33-year-old Karen Lopez, a teacher at Morton East High School, and she was deemed high-risk.

A series of ultrasounds had been performed, and all appeared fine.  But attorney Keith Hebeisen says the ultrasounds missed a condition in which the placenta eats through the wall of the uterus.

He says that proved fatal when Lopez gave birth at MacNeal Hospital.

While Lopez bled to death, her newborn son lived. He is now five years old. His father, Carlos Lopez, has not remarried.

One of the doctors was affiliated with University of Chicago Hospitals, which was also named in the suit. Representatives say they respectfully disagree with the jury’s decision and are reviewing their options.

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