Wrongful Death of 86 Year Old Widow Settles for $1.1 Million

Wrongful Death of 86 Year Old Widow Settles for $1.1 Million

On December 23, 2007, Sigismunda Rizzo, age 86, walked across the street to her neighbor’s house to deliver a tray of Christmas cookies.  On her way back from her neighbor’s house she was struck by a vehicle driven by a Salvadore Guzman.  Ms. Rizzo was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where she remained as an inpatient in the intensive care unit until she died on February 5, 2008.

Her family brought a claim against Salvadore Guzman and Northwestern Memorial Hospital for wrongful death.  As to plaintiff’s claim against Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Mrs. Rizzo’s family claims the nurses at Northwestern Memorial Hospital who cared for Sigismunda Rizzo did not appreciate that her tracheotomy tube had dislodged and failed to recognize the dislodgement in a timely manner.  Additionally, there is a substantial question as to whether the nurse or nurses who were bathing Sigismunda Rizzo at the time of the occurrence dislodged the tracheotomy tube by improperly moving the patient, Sigismunda Rizzo, in an abrupt manner. It was alleged the dislodgement of Sigismunda Rizzo’s tracheotomy tube resulted in a lack of oxygen and cardiac arrest, brain damage and eventually leading to the patient’s death on February 5, 2008.

Mrs. Rizzo is survived by 5 adult children.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital paid $1,000,000 and Salvadore Guzman paid $100,000 (his liability insurance policy limits), plus a $1,000 personal donation from Mr. Guzman personally to a local Catholic Church in Sigismunda Rizzo’s memory.

Robert J. Napleton represented the family.

The case number is 08 L 00435.