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Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Wrongful death suit is settled for $7.3 million

Posted By Legal Team | September 13 2022 | Firm News, Wrongful Death

Chicago, July 10, 2022 – Smith LaCien LLP announces the $7.3 million settlement in wrongful death lawsuit against a Joliet hospital brought by the family of a woman who died from sepsis after an endoscopy went wrong.

In June 2016, Michelle Swallow, 30, was diagnosed with acute gallbladder inflammation and had surgery at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox. Two months later she contacted her physician to report abdominal pain. He referred her to a gastroenterologist who in turn recommended a procedure to evaluate her for bile duct stones. She underwent the procedure which included the insertion of air into the duodenum and ducts at Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet.

The procedure was ended after a second failed attempt to introduce a tube to the bile duct. Later, Swallow noticed significant air under the skin of her face, chest and neck. The doctor consulted with surgeons at Surgical Consultants of Joliet to assess Swallow because of a hole in her bowel and other complications. The doctors delayed correcting the leak in her bowel which the plaintiff affirms contributed to her death. She developed sepsis and died following a transfer to Advocate Christ Medical Center.

A Cook County judge approved the final settlement on May 12, 2022. The family was represented by Chicago injury lawyer Todd A. Smith, a founding partner of Smith LaCien LLP, along with lawyers Brian LaCien and Jason Williams.

Smith told the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin that Swallow “deserved to have imaging studies done that would not have been invasive at all…It’s a terrible loss, but we did our best for that family.”

The case is Swallow v. Presence Central and Suburban Hospital Network, et al., No. 2017 L 11235.

Smith LaCien is located at 70 W. Madison, Suite 2250, Chicago, IL 60602; website, phone (312) 509-8900, email: For more information, contact Chris Ruys,, 312-337-7746 (office), or 312-259-3495 (mobile).

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