ROCKFORD, IL (December 18, 2019) – A jury awarded $1.5 million Wednesday to a woman on behalf of her disabled son who suffered for years from a birth defect that was not diagnosed until he was a teenager.
Nathan Clements was born with Down syndrome in 1997 and received medical care from Dr. Raymond Davis, a pediatrician at Rockford Health Physicians. Since birth, Nathan suffered from chronic and severe constipation, said attorney Ted Jennings of the law firm Coplan + Crane, which represented Deanna Williams, Nathan’s mother, along with Stephen Blecha.
In 2013, Dr. Davis referred Nathan, then 16 years old, to a pediatric gastroenterologist who diagnosed Hirschsprung’s disease, which is a birth defect that causes problems with constipation as the result of missing nerve cells in the muscles in part of the colon. Down syndrome is a significant risk factor for the disease.
Jennings said Nathan underwent several surgeries to correct the condition. He said as a result of repeated failure to diagnose Hirschsprung’s disease, Nathan was unable to be potty-trained and ultimately required a colostomy and colostomy bag. Williams filed suit against Davis and Rockford Health Physicians in 2016.
“Our medical experts testified that Dr. Davis should have referred Nathan to a pediatric gastroenterologist as an infant when he didn’t respond to treatment for constipation,” Jennings said. “Had this been done, Nathan would have had a much better chance of becoming continent and avoiding a colostomy.”
“The jury understood that Nathan suffered needlessly,” said Attorney Stephen Blecha Crane of Coplan + Crane. “They made the right decision.”
About Coplan + Crane
Coplan + Crane handles a variety of cases involving negligence that has resulted in personal injury. The firm’s practice areas include medical malpractice as well as car and truck crashes, train accidents, workers’ compensation and other personal injury cases.