Settlement: $3.2 million – Product Liability
The decedent was killed when a detached cable from a landscaping truck with a hydraulic lift trapped his head between the body of the lift and the frame. The Defendants failed to secure written safety instructions on the vehicle and failed to put a guard over the operating lever to prevent unintentional release of the hydraulic mechanism.
Verdict: $2.7 million (Highest Dental Malpractice Verdict in Illinois History and Second Highest in the United States’ history) – Dental Malpractice
As a result of a five-and-a-half month delay in diagnosing and treating the Plaintiff’s jaw tumor, a larger portion of the Plaintiff’s jaw had to be removed. “This verdict is believed to be the highest dental malpractice verdict in the State of Illinois. This verdict is believed to be the second highest dental malpractice verdict in the history of the United States.” -Verdicts, Settlements & Tactics, August 2004 (discussing record-breaking verdict for a case prosecuted by Regina P. Etherton and David Wm. Horan)
Settlement: $2 million – Pedestrian Struck by Motor Vehicle
The Plaintiff was hit by a public transportation company’s bus while crossing the street. The Plaintiff sustained head trauma, a skull fracture, orbital bone fracture, and a zygomatic arch fracture. The Defendant argued it was not the proximate cause of the Plaintiff’s injury because the Plaintiff was blind in one eye and had partial hearing loss from a brain injury as a child.
Settlement: $2 million – Motor Vehicle Collision
The decedent, a homemaker, was killed in a head-on collision with the Defendant company’s truck. The decedent was survived by her husband, three adult children, and grandchild. The Defendant driver claimed that he lost control of the truck before swerving across four lanes of traffic.
Award: $1.6 million – Motor Vehicle Collision
The Plaintiff was involved in two separate auto collisions approximately two months apart. As a result of the collisions, the Plaintiff suffered neck pain and myofascial pain syndrome and needed surgery three years later for a herniated disc.
Settlement: $1.5 million – Medical Malpractice
After Defendants misinterpreted fetal monitor strips, made multiple prolonged vacuum extraction attempts, and otherwise mishandled a baby’s delivery, the baby suffered a post-delivery seizure and a pinhole-sized brain infarct. These injuries caused the child to have visual and special perception difficulties and left-side weakness with repetitive activities.
Settlement: $1.5 million – Motor Vehicle Collision
The Defendant rear-ended the Plaintiff on an interstate highway. The Plaintiff claimed that the collision caused cardiomyopathy, requiring him to have a heart transplant. The Defendant interstate truck driver was allegedly speeding and violating federal regulations against driving while fatigued.
Settlement: $1 million – Medical Malpractice
A 2-year-old boy was brought to the emergency room because he scratched his cornea after falling. The emergency room doctors instructed the mother to follow up with the Defendant ophthalmology office the next day. The ophthalmology office refused to make an appointment with the mother because she was on public aid. As a result of not being seen, the boy suffered vision loss in one eye that could have been prevented if he had been treated.
Settlement: $1 million – Motor Vehicle Collision
The 21-year-old Plaintiff sustained a fractured hip when the Defendant driver entered the Plaintiff’s lane by making a wide left turn. The Defendant argued that the Plaintiff caused the collision.
Verdict $1 million (This is reported to be the first million-dollar verdict awarded in DuPage County)
The Plaintiffs, a husband and wife, were driving on an interstate highway when the Defendant’s limousine began tailgating the Plaintiffs’ automobile. Fearful for their safety, the Plaintiffs exited the highway seeking a police station where they could report the incident. The limo driver followed the couple, causing the husband to leave the road. As a result of the collision and the stress caused by the prior incident, the husband suffered heart rhythmic disturbance and cardiac failure and died at the scene.
Settlement: $800,000 – Motor Vehicle Collision
An intoxicated driver, who was operating his employer’s vehicle for personal use, ran a red light and struck the Plaintiff’s vehicle. The 26-year-old Plaintiff suffered aggravation of a herniated disc.
Settlement: $750,000 – Premises Liability
The estate of a female who suffered smoke inhalation during a fire at her apartment building claimed the fire exacerbated her pre-existing sickle-cell anemia. The woman died five years after the fire. The apartment building had inoperable smoke detectors and exit signs, no fire extinguishers or fire escapes, and the exit door was locked. The fire was intentionally set by another tenant. The Defendant argued it was impossible to maintain the building because it was in a high-crime area, and that the arson was an intervening criminal act.
Settlement: $700,000 – Motor Vehicle Collision
The Plaintiff was hit head-on by the Defendant and suffered a fractured right ankle that required surgery. The Defendant claimed that she had an undiagnosed condition that caused her to have a seizure immediately preceding the accident, and therefore, she was not responsible for the collision.
Verdict: $670,000 – Premises Liability
The Plaintiff fell in a parking garage when she slipped in a combination of grease, chewing gum, and cigarette butts. The fall caused a herniated disk and chronic neck pain. In the first trial, the jury awarded the Plaintiff $362,000. The Defendant successfully appealed this decision. At the second trial, the jury awarded nearly twice the original verdict.
Settlement: $600,000 – Underinsured Motorist Claim
The Plaintiff and his wife were traveling on an interstate highway, when they were rear-ended by another driver. As a result of the collision, the Plaintiff suffered a herniated disk.
Settlement: $540,000 – Motor Vehicle Collision
An 84-year-old male automobile passenger died shortly after fracturing his spine and suffering blunt head trauma after a collision. The driver was his wife, who suffered a concussion and knee contusion. The husband and wife were hit when two vehicles made left turns on a yellow light.
Verdict: $519,429 – Construction Injury
A 27-year-old construction worker fell from an extension ladder tied to scaffolding. The ladder had been unlocked. As a result of the fall, the Plaintiff suffered a spinal compression fracture. The Defendant general contractor claimed that it could not have known the ladder had been unlocked by the Plaintiff’s coworkers.
Settlement: $500,000 – Work Injuries/FELA
After falling on grating in an inspection pit, the Plaintiff railroad employee twisted both knees, causing knee pain that required surgery. The FELA action claimed inadequate lighting in the work area. The defense argued that the Plaintiff was at fault, had violated safety procedures, and returned to work without apparent disability.
Settlement: $500,000 – Wrongful Death Case
The deceased driver was killed when his truck was struck by a train and pushed for nearly a mile. The estate claimed the decedent became confused when he stopped his car in the middle of the railroad tracks, heard the train, and looked in the wrong direction.
Attorney’s Fees: $442,762 – Bad-Faith Actions by Insurer Lead to Appellate Victory and Award of Attorney’s Fees
After an insurance company refused to honor its obligation to provide coverage up to $2 million, the insured sought attorney’s fees from the insurer. On appeal, the appellate court found that the insurer acted with vexatious and unreasonable conduct. The appellate court awarded $442,762 in attorney’s fees. See Mobil Oil Corp. v. Maryland Casualty Co., No. 1-96-0351.
Verdict: $408,794 – Motor Vehicle Collision
The Plaintiff, an automobile’s passenger and a business executive, sustained a wrist injury during a morning rush hour motor vehicle accident. Despite not seeing a doctor regarding his wrist for a span of 5 and 1/2 years, the jury still awarded damages.
Settlement: $400,000 – Pedestrian Accident
The Defendant motorist struck the Plaintiff pedestrian while she was crossing an intersection in Chicago. The Plaintiff’s injuries included soft-tissue knee damage and chronic pain, both of which prevented her from pursuing her hobby as a jogger.
Settlement: $400,000 (This case set a record for the highest settlement in Illinois history for a rape claim without having filed a lawsuit) – Security Liability
The Plaintiff, a part-time cleaning woman, was raped in the Defendant’s mall after it had closed for the evening. The assailant hid in an alcove in the mall and raped the cleaning woman at knifepoint. The rapist was never apprehended. The mall failed to provide adequate security so as to prevent this attack. “The settlement appears to be the highest amount for which a rape claim has ever been settled in Illinois.” Verdicts, Settlements & Tactics, August 1990 (discussing a record-breaking settlement negotiated by Regina P. Etherton)
Settlement: $355,000 – Dental Malpractice
The Defendant dentist improperly inserted implants, crowns, and bridgework into the Plaintiff’s mouth. The Plaintiff, who was a 75-year-old woman, was missing most of her teeth. The improper insertion required that all the work be removed and caused severe pain.
Settlement: $350,000 – Pedestrian Struck by Motor Vehicle
The Plaintiff, a 35-year old woman, was crossing the street with the green light in downtown Chicago when the Defendant taxi driver struck her. The collision caused the Plaintiff to suffer torn knee cartilage, which required arthroscopic surgery.
At a New Year’s Eve party at a downtown Chicago bar, the Plaintiff slapped a bouncer. The Plaintiff was improperly detained by the bar, charged and arrested by the Chicago police, and spent several hours in jail.
Policy-Limit Settlement: $300,000 – Motor Vehicle Collision
The Plaintiff, an 11-year-old boy riding in his grandmother’s car, suffered a fractured femur with 1/4” shortening after his grandmother drove through a stop sign and collided with another motor vehicle. The injury required the boy to spend one month in the hospital.
Settlement: $300,000 – Motor Vehicle Collision
The Plaintiff’s motor vehicle collided with the Defendant’s van at an uncontrolled intersection. The Plaintiff suffered a herniated disk and could not return to her job as an x-ray technician. The defense claimed the Plaintiff could return to work and that the Defendant had the right of way through the intersection.