U of C Agrees to $10 Million Settlement in James Tyree Death

U of C signed the settlement without admitting fault, even though the suit claimed negligence

The family of former Sun-Times publisher and Chicago Businessman James Tyree has reportedly agreed to a $10 million settlement with the University of Chicago medical center over a wrongful death suit, according to reports

The 53-year-old died accidentally last year after a dialysis procedure created a fatal air-embolism created when a catheter was removed. Pneumonia and metastatic stomach cancer were listed as secondary causes of death, according to the Medical Examiner.

Half of the settlement, about $5 million, will be paid to Tyree's widow, Eve Tyree, and Tyree's three children immediately. The remaining $5 million will be paid over the course of fiver years in installments to Eve and the children, according to the Chicago Tribune.

U of C signed the settlement without admitting fault, even though the suit claimed negligence.

"In my opinion, based on my experience, for a patient to have a sentinel event -- a terminal, a fatal event -- resulting from an air embolism, secondary to the placement or removal of a catheter for dialysis, is what attorneys call 'res ipsa loquitur.'  That means that the event speaks for itself.  It does not happen in the absence of malpractice," said Chicago attorney Gil Ross at the time of the death.

In a statement at the time of the incident, the University of Chicago Medical Center said, in part:

"Everyone here is deeply saddened.  We are grateful for Tyree's many contributions to the city of Chicago and to the Medical Center and are honored and privileged to have known and worked with him."

Tyree was chief executive and chairman of Mesirow Financial, an investment bank.  His friend and successor at the company, which brought the Sun-Times out of bankruptcy, said the company and family is "devastated at the news."

Tyree announced in October that he had stomach cancer and would undergo chemotherapy. He also suffered from diabetes and had kidney and pancreas transplants in 2006.

Proceeds from the settlement will be donated to the James C. Tyree Charitable Foundation, according to court documents.

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