January 27, 2009
LEAH WALTON, Administrator of the ) Appeal from the
Estate of TREVOR P. WALTON, Deceased, ) Circuit Court of
) Cook County.
RICHARD V. DIRKES, M.D., ) Honorable
) Deborah M. Dooling,
Defendant-Appellee. ) Judge Presiding.
JUSTICE WOLFSON delivered the opinion of the court:
The question in this medical malpractice case is whether the
plaintiff presented enough evidence to establish a causal
connection between the defendant doctor’s negligent failure to
order a certain blood test and the death of Trevor Walton. The
jury thought so, but the trial judge entered a judgment
notwithstanding the jury’s verdict. We reverse the trial judge’s
decision and remand this cause for a hearing on any remaining
On April 5, 1999, Trevor Walton went to defendant Dr.
Richard Dirkes, his primary care physician, complaining of
congestion and a sore throat for the past three weeks. Walton
had puffy nasal membranes, no swollen lymph nodes, and his lungs
were clear. Defendant told Walton he probably either had