UIHC doctors settle in UI professor's death


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A group of University of Hospitals and Clinics doctors has paid $150,000 to settle a medical-malpractice lawsuit.

The settlement will be distributed to his wife and two daughters.

The payment to the estate of David Baldus closes a lawsuit in which a group of doctors allegedly failed to screen, diagnose, and treat his condition before he died of colon cancer in 2011. The lawsuit sought damages for pain, suffering, and lost income.

The settlement does not admit any wrongdoing and avoids a trial that was scheduled for later this month.

“We were just happy to get the case resolved,” said Jim Hayes, the estate lawyer. “The family was really please we solved the case with the UIHC.”

UIHC officials declined to comment.

Baldus entered the UIHC in January 2010, complaining of abdominal pain. Doctors diagnosed him with a bowel dysfunction. Baldus then canceled class for the first time in 40 years. Two days later, he returned and was diagnosed with colon cancer. The lawsuit alleged Baldus underwent a colonoscopy in 2004 to remove a polyp, and doctors told him to undergo another colonoscopy in five years. The lawsuit claimed Baldus’ follow-up was never pursued by doctors, despite Baldus’ wishes.

Baldus began the lawsuit in April 2011, claiming he was deprived of a chance to receive early treatment. He died on June 13, 2011. The lawsuit then grew to include the hospital and the employees in February 2012.

Baldus, a former faculty member at the UI College of Law, was known for his research on racial discrimination in the law.

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