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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A U.S. Army veteran from St. Louis who lost a leg and suffered severe brain damage when a routine surgical procedure at the John Cochran VA Medical Center went bad has been awarded $8.3 million in a medical negligence lawsuit
Forty-three-year-old postal worker Dirk Askew had a cardiac stent inserted at the veterans' hospital in February 2009 after complaining of chest pain. He returned one week later after developing an infection in his right leg, which was later amputated. His lawyers said surgeons improperly used infected tissue to repair the damage.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (bit.ly/1ffSniw ) reports that the settlement will pay $6.8 million to Askew and $1.5 million to his wife.
The case marks the latest negligence claim at Cochran after years of problems with staffing and sterilization.
CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois is about to join the ranks of states allowing same-sex marriage.
Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to sign a bill Wednesday making Illinois the 16th state to legalize gay marriage. The event will be held at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Illinois allowed civil unions in 2011. But it was a bumpy road to same-sex marriage in President Barack Obama's home state.
The Illinois Senate approved the measure in February, but the House sponsor said he didn't have the votes. It wasn't called until this month and passed by a close margin.
Those who opposed the measure included some of Illinois most well-recognized religious leaders.
Same-sex couples will be allowed to wed starting in June.
Illinois' top law enforcement official is warning residents impacted by the recent storms: Be on the lookout for scammers. Attorney General Lisa Madigan wants residents to be alert for home repair con artists who exploit homes and businesses following natural disasters. Madigan says the con men will often swoop in following disasters and pressure homeowners and businesses to pay for expensive services. Some quick tips to avoid being ripped off:
Be wary of contractors who go door to door to offer repair services. Ask for recommendations from people you know and trust and, whenever possible, use established local contractors.
Call the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline to check out a contractor and to learn if any complaints have been filed against a particular business.
Even if there is a need to act quickly, shop around for the best deal. Get written estimates from multiple contractors, and don’t be rushed into a deal.
Get all of the terms of a contract in writing, and obtain a copy of the signed contract.
Never make full payment until all the work has been completed to your satisfaction.
Never pay in cash.
Be aware that you have the right to cancel a contract within three business days if you signed it based on the contractor’s visit to your home.
In the case of disaster repair, you have an additional right to cancel. If your insurance carrier denies coverage, you have the right to cancel the contract within five days of when your insurance carrier denies your coverage.
Ask to see required state and local permits and licenses. Insurance adjusters and roofers must be licensed by state agencies. If the contractor does not have a required license, or if the name on the license doesn’t match the name on the contractor’s business card or truck, that should raise a red flag.