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$8.25 Million Wrongful Death Settlement - Largest of its kind in Illinois History

Attorneys Patrick A. Salvi and SS&P attorney of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., won a record-breaking $8.25 million wrongful death settlement in Cook County on behalf of a Chicago couple who suffered the loss of their infant son at only 40-days of life due to pharmacy error that resulted in excessive sodium dose which caused his death. The Law Division of the Cook County Circuit Court approved the settlement this morning, April 5, 2012.

On September 6, 2010, baby boy Genesis Burkett was born at 24 3/7th weeks gestation weighing only 1 lb, 8 oz at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, to parents Fritzie and Cameron Burkett of Chicago. Although born severely premature, Genesis was doing well, and was gradually improving every day. His progress abruptly ended, however, when he was given an IV bag on October 15, 2010, that contained a fatal dose of sodium chloride – approximately 60 times the dose of sodium ordered by the physician. Genesis went into cardiac arrest and died due to the miscalculated IV solution.

“This unfortunate loss to a wonderful couple like the Burketts could have been avoided,” said attorney Patrick Salvi. “Thankfully, Genesis did not suffer at all before he died, but the Burketts will always feel the pain for his very avoidable death. It should be noted the Hospital promptly investigated Genesis’s death and learned of the error and advised the family. To the hospital’s credit, they changed their policy to avoid future such occurrences and finally agreed to pay an amount of compensation to the Burketts that recognized in some small way the value of his life.”

According to research of the Law Bulletin’s Verdict Reporter, this settlement is a record for an infant death in all counties of Illinois. A search was conducted of all settlements obtained in all counties of Illinois involving the death of an infant (defined as under 12 months of age) for the past 10 years. Of those 59 settlements, the average settlement amount obtained was $1,284,745.76. The previous record settlement was $4,000,000, less than half of the result obtained in the Burkett settlement.