PEKIN — A settlement Friday night replaced the trial set to begin Monday alleging fatal malpractice after surgery by a Pekin doctor who subsequently committed suicide.
The family of Troy Edwards “is very pleased with the outcome of the case,” Chicago attorney Bruce Pfaff, who represented Edwards’ wife, said Monday.
Terms of the settlement will remain confidential under an agreement between the two sides, said Pfaff and Tazewell County Circuit Judge Michael Risinger, who presided over the case.
Edwards’ wife filed the suit in June 2016 seeking damages under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act from the estate of Dr. Dwayne McQuitty, Pekin Hospital — now known under new ownership as UnityPoint Health-Pekin — and Pekin ProHealth Inc.
McQuitty, 57, was employed by the hospital and affiliated with Pekin ProHealth when he removed the right kidney of Edwards, 35, at the hospital on April 6 of that year.
Edwards, a former star quarterback at Pekin Community High School who also played for the former Peoria Pirates professional arena football team, died the next day of cardiac arrest caused by internal bleeding.
The suit alleged that McQuitty did not respond to Edwards’ dropping blood pressure following surgery, did not believe he was bleeding internally and didn’t take the advice of “two or more physicians” that he should re-operate.
Eleven days after Edwards’ death, McQuitty fatally shot himself in his hospital office. On his desk was a laboratory report pertaining to the death that cited blood levels “well below the range of normal” more than five hours before Edwards’ death, the suit stated.
Edwards “certainly would have” survived had his internal bleeding been stemmed at that time, Pfaff said when the suit was filed.
Pfaff did not comment Monday under terms of the confidentiality agreement that he said seeks to protect the reputation of the hospital under its new ownership and the privacy of Edwards’ wife.
Risinger said the settlement came from a full day of negotiations that stretched into the early night. Pfaff commended the judge for his efforts in closing the case.
Pfaff said when the suit was filed that, while he was legally required to name McQuitty’s wife and estate as defendants, “We don’t intend in any way to harm” his family financially through the suit.