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County could pay $1.75 million to amputee for medical malpractice settlement

Cook County taxpayers would be on the hook for $1.75 million if elected leaders move ahead and settle a medical malpractice lawsuit filed by a man whose leg was amputated after he sought treatment at Stroger Hospital of Cook County five years ago.

The lawsuit, which records show dates back to 2010, states the health system “failed to meet a standard of care,” said Cook County Commissioner Peter N. Silverstri, a Northwest Side and suburban Republican and head of the litigation subcommittee that reviews such matters.

The settlement is scheduled for a vote in the County Board’s Finance Committee on Wednesday, and because it is a committee of the whole will likely get final approval at the full board meeting later in the day.

Because the case is being settled before trial, it means there’s no admission of wrongdoing on the part of the county health system.

Records show Jessie Peoples, who is in his 60s, sought medical care at Stroger Hospital’s emergency room in early 2007 because of numbness and an ulcer in his lower right leg. He was referred to the county hospital’s vascular clinic because of what was determined to be reduced blood flow to the right leg and foot, according to a source familiar with the case.

In July, he went to what was then St. Francis Hospital and Health Center in Blue Island where it was determined that an infection in the same leg had become so bad, it had to be amputated above the knee.

Neither Peoples nor his attorney could be reached for comment on Tuesday.

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