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updated: 9/1/2011 9:19 PM

$29 million verdict upheld for Gurnee boy

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Daily Herald staff report

A federal appellate court Thursday upheld a $29 million medical malpractice verdict on behalf of a Gurnee boy who suffered brain damage due to doctors' negligence.

On April 2, 2010, attorneys David J. Pritchard and Patrick A. Salvi II of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard secured the $29.1 million verdict on behalf of Christian Arroyo.

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After a weeklong bench trial, Judge Amy St. Eve of the Northern District of Illinois rendered the verdict for Arroyo and against the United States. The government-employed doctors were found guilty of negligence having to do with their obstetric and neonatal care.

The Arroyos' attorneys argued that prophylactic measures to prevent infection should have been taken before Christian's birth in 2003 and that the signs and symptoms of a neonatal infection were missed at Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital, causing profound brain damage.

Attorneys Matthew J. Piers and Christopher Wilmes of Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd. handled the appeal on behalf of Christian Arroyo.

The government appealed the verdict based on the statue of limitations. The government said that the suit was untimely because it was brought more than two years after the baby was discharged from the hospital following birth.

The plaintiff's attorneys successfully argued that the lawsuit was filed in a timely manner because the Arroyos did not know and had no reason to know that the brain injury had any sort of doctor or government cause.

Today, Christian Arroyo is a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. He cannot walk, talk or eat through his mouth.

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