Jury awards $24 million to Streator man
On Thursday in La Salle County Circuit Court, a jury decided Adam Porter should receive nearly $24 million from a doctor and nurse practitioner in a malpractice case.
The 34-year-old Streator man filed a lawsuit in May 2003 against Ephraim W. Batambuze, M.D., John E. Podzamsky, D.O., registered nurse anesthetist Linda Blair of A.T. Associates and nurse practitioner Patricia Duffield, as well as against Batambuze's practice, Prairie Cardiovascular Consultants.
Porter said he entered St. Mary's Hospital in Streator in November 2001 for surgery involving a kidneystone in his ureter. During surgery, he underwent cardiac arrest and the flow of oxygen to his brain was interrupted.
As a result of the oxygen interruption, Porter lost most of his fine motor skills and suffers from spastic movement, severe double vision and slow, slurred speech, making him difficult to understand, according to his attorney James Ginzkey, of Bloomington. However, Porter, who uses a wheelchair, can understand others. He is married and has two children. Before the surgery, Porter worked for a phone company.
The trial began Jan. 30 before Chief Judge James Lanuti. On Feb. 8, Batambuze and Blair settled with Porter for $1 million each. The trial continued and on Thursday, jurors ruled against Podzamsky and Duffield, saying Porter should be given $23,737,234.
Batambuze was represented by David Drake, of Springfield, and Blair by Gregory Cerullo, of Peoria. Podzamsky and Duffield were represented by Jeff Spears, of Rockford.
A video recording Ginzkey titled "A Day in the Life" was shown to jurors. The video had no sound, which was meant to make jurors concentrate on the images, Ginzkey noted. The video showed Porter's daily struggles, which Ginzkey believes was a major factor in winning over the jury.
"He tries hard to do things and has a sense of humor," Ginzkey observed. "I think the jury fell in love with him."