Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Appeals Court Upholds $29 Million Medical Negligence Verdict for Illinois Man

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Appeals Court Upholds $29 Million Medical Negligence Verdict for Illinois Man

Article excerpt

EAST ST. LOUIS -- A federal appeals court upheld a nearly $30 million verdict for an Illinois man who was forced to undergo a kidney transplant after being cared for by an East St. Louis health clinic.

The case details a series of failures in care for Kevin Clanton, now 39, but the decision means a judge will have to decide how much responsibility Clanton had for his condition, the appeals court said Thursday.

Clanton first saw nurse practitioner Denise Jordan at an East St. Louis clinic run by the Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation in 2008, after his high blood pressure caused him to fail a preemployment physical exam. Jordan diagnosed him with obesity and hypertension. At the next visit, a week later, she determined that the hypertension was severe, gave him some sample medication and told him to come back in a week, U.S. District Court Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel wrote in 2017.

But he didn't come back for more than two years, nor take his medicine, until another preemployment screening showed high blood pressure, Rosenstengel wrote. She gave him more medication and again told him to come back in a week. Three weeks later, he returned. His high blood pressure was worse and his vision was blurred. She sent him to the emergency room when medication did not lower his blood pressure enough, Rosenstengel wrote.

Nine days later, Clanton returned and Jordan prescribed three blood pressure medications but didn't order lab tests, Rosenstengel wrote. Over a series of subsequent appointments, Jordan frequently labeled Clanton "noncompliant" for his failure to take medication, but didn't follow up on lab results, consult a doctor or fully explain Clanton's condition, Rosenstengel wrote.

It wasn't until a trip by ambulance to Barnes-Jewish Hospital on Dec. 22, 2012, that Clanton learned of his kidney damage and that "high blood pressure" is the same as "hypertension," Rosenstengel wrote.

By February 2013, he'd been diagnosed with Stage V chronic kidney disease. …

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