Family sues doctor, ER after 56-year-old woman overdoses on painkillers

CHICAGO -- The family of a woman who died after overdosing on painkillers is now suing the doctor and the emergency room who, they claim, blindly fed her addiction.

Linda Svanstrom, 56, of St. Charles, died earlier this year.

Her family said she suffered from chronic knee pain, had a history of anxiety and depression, and was addicted to opioids.

The case started when Svanstrom's severely disabled son had to be put into a group home and she became depressed, according to her family.

They say she would often go to the emergency room at Northwestern's Delnor Hospital to get more pills.

Family members told the hospital not to feed her addiction but nobody listened, according to family members. They say she called her doctor more than 100 times within a 6-and-a-half-month period looking for a fix. They also claim she'd go to the emergency room three days in a row and nobody raised any red flags.

“They just kept fueling her addiction and it wasn’t like she was getting these drugs off the street. She would just walk in and they would hook her right up,” said daughter Nina Koehler.

The family filed a wrongful death lawsuit Wednesday.

A spokesperson for Northwestern says it does not comment on pending litigation.