Single mother wins $50 million in medical malpractice case

Boy born with serious brain damage after hospital did not perform emergency c-section

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Print

By Stacey Sheridan

Staff Reporter

A Cook County jury awarded $101 million to 29-year-old single mother Tequila Snow Nov. 5 in a medical malpractice lawsuit against West Suburban Medical Center. However, Snow will receive just under half that, because the involved parties had reached an agreement to cap the amount prior to the verdict. The Associated Press reports Snow will receive $50 million.

Snow's son Gerald Sallis Jr. was born in 2014 with profound brain damage after a lawyer for the family said the hospital staff at West Suburban Medical Center did not perform an immediate cesarean section on Snow, despite test results indicating that the unborn child was not moving.  Keith Hebeisen of Clifford Law was one of four attorneys representing Snow.

"After five very long years, I am relieved that the lawsuit on behalf of my son is finally over," Snow said in a statement.

Gerald Sallis cannot walk, speak or feed himself and requires round the clock care, which his mother can now provide.

Tenet Healthcare, which owned West Suburban at the time Gerald was born, said in a statement, "While we believe the care provided under the circumstances was appropriate, all parties agreed to a settlement prior to the verdict that will support this patient and her family."

West Suburban Hospital is now owned by Pipeline Health.

According to Hebeisen, Gerald was living temporarily at Misericordia, a care community for people with developmental disabilities, where he has been receiving excellent care.

"It's a great place, but it's no substitute for mom," said Hebeisen.

Snow, a former certified nursing assistant, couldn't provide constant care for her son and still be able to support the family financially.

"It broke her heart to have to put him there, but it's such a great place, so she can live with it as a temporary thing," Hebeisen said.

With the money awarded to her, Snow can now fully provide the care her son needs.

"She was very overwhelmed when the verdict came back," Hebeisen said. "She is going to be able to fulfill her wish of having Gerald back home. She fought very hard to be able to bring Gerald home."

Gerald, a sweet and good-natured boy, is Snow's first and only child. 

"He's the happiest when his mom is around," said Hebeisen. "He lights up like crazy when his mom is around."

Love the Journal?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Wednesday Journal and OakPark.com. We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

2 Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Alan Peres  

Posted: November 15th, 2019 2:27 AM

David Read the article. Tenet is responsible, not Pipeline. And it is not a fine but a court verdict modified by a settlement.

David Rechs  

Posted: November 14th, 2019 6:32 PM

As a former employee of WSMC, I'm curious as to whether the fine is payable by the current owners, or by the owners at the time? Someone will mention insurance, and it may apply, but it still could be a different insurer now than it was then. I'm guessing that the hospital is self-insured, through the "holding company".

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.


            
SubscribeClassified
MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad