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.
Settlement: $475,000 – Medical Malpractice
The Plaintiff, a 65-year-old female, was misdiagnosed with multiple myeloma and underwent 11 unnecessary radiation therapy treatments which caused micro-fractures of her spine.
Settlement: $450,000 – Medical Malpractice
Plaintiff, a young mother, was diagnosed with polyhydramnios during her third trimester of pregnancy. Plaintiff alleged that her polyhydramnios levels required fetal monitoring and early induction of labor. Plaintiff alleged that defendant, a Chicago-area clinic, failed to conduct further testing and failed to induce her on time due to an understaffing issue at the Chicago area hospital and as a result, plaintiff’s baby was stillborn. Defendants claimed that the cause of the baby’s death was undetermined and that they complied with the applicable ACOG standards.
Settlement: $450,000 – Medical Malpractice
The Plaintiff went for annual testing to monitor his PSA values for a five-year period. During this time, the PSA value drastically rose past warning levels. The Defendants failed to advise the Plaintiff that his PSA results indicated clinical signs of prostate cancer and failed to refer him to a urologist for follow-up care. When the Plaintiff was finally told of his abnormal PSA values, he was already in the most severe stage of prostate cancer. The late diagnosis resulted in the Plaintiff undergoing radiation therapy after a radical prostatectomy, which resulted in radiation cystitis.
Settlement: $450,000 – Boating Accident – No Complaint was Filed by Plaintiff
The Plaintiff was invited onto the Defendant’s boat for a trip to Michigan. About half way through the trip, the waters became choppy. The Defendant decided to continue on to Michigan, instead of turning back to the Illinois shore. In the process, a large wave hit the boat and threw the Plaintiff against the boat, causing a fractured ankle. The Plaintiff claimed the Defendant negligently operated his boat by traveling at excessive speeds and by navigating directly into waves. This cash settlement was secured within six months.
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 – Medical Malpractice
Plaintiff underwent an annual screening mammogram and physical examination in the Chicago area. During her physical examination, plaintiff’s Chicago area physician confirmed fibrocystic changes in plaintiff’s breast. A year later, plaintiff was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer. Plaintiffs claimed that had the Chicago area physician ordered further radiological studies, leading to a timely diagnosis, the breast cancer would have been discovered in Stage I, allowing plaintiff the choice to undergo a lumpectomy as opposed to a mastectomy with chemotherapy.
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)
Verdict: $380,000 – exceeded policy limits – Plaintiff Assaulted by High School Student
The Plaintiff, a 17-year-old senior at Lemont High School, was assaulted on January 2, 2003 by another student of Lemont High School. The Plaintiff claimed the Defendant hit the Plaintiff over the head with a beer bottle as she entered a high school party and aggravated her prior jaw pain. The Defendant’s offer on this case throughout trial remained zero. The jury found the student and her mother liable.
Settlement: $360,000 – Pedestrian Accident
The Plaintiff, a Ph.D., was exiting her parked motor vehicle in Chicago when Defendant’s motor vehicle struck it, and then failed to stop or report the accident. The Defendant driver was later identified and located through the Plaintiff who memorized the Defendant’s license plate. The Plaintiff sustained a back injury that immobilized her and prevented her from continuing her ongoing cancer treatment, thereby accelerating her death.
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 policy limits – Pedestrian Accident
The Plaintiff, a 66-year-old woman who was formerly a bank executive, was struck by a taxicab on the corner of a downtown intersection in the Gold Coast of Chicago after she had crossed the street when the taxicab had lost control after colliding with a utility truck. The Plaintiff suffered a brain injury, broken leg, rib fractures, and a separated shoulder. The collision was reported on local television stations and in local papers. This settlement was with the taxicab company: the case remains pending against the utility truck company.
Settlement: $350,000 – Federal Employer’s Liability Act Case
Plaintiff, a 52 year old Railroad employee, was getting off of a locomotive after inspecting it at the Wheelhouse, when he twisted his ankle on an uneven gravel and rock ground surface. The plaintiff did not report the injury and continued to work. Three months thereafter, the plaintiff was diagnosed with an ankle fracture that he attributed to the twisting of his ankle on the uneven ground surface. After treatment, he returned to his job. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant Railroad failed to provide a safe work place. The defendant railroad claimed that the plaintiff’s ankle fracture resulted from a fall he took at home or his advanced diabetic condition.
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.
Settlement: $335,000 – Retreat Center Slip and Fall
Plaintiff, a 58-year-old executive, was walking through a screened-in porch at a Wisconsin retreat center on a snowy weekend in February when snow had been filtering through the screens and accumulating on the floor creating an unreasonably slippery condition. As Plaintiff walked off a narrow carpet runner and onto the smooth concrete floor to throw a piece of a paper in a garbage receptacle, he slipped and fell, suffering a broken leg.
Settlement: $325,000 – Pedestrian Accident
The Plaintiff, a 59-year-old male, who was formerly a professional skater, was crossing a downtown Chicago intersection when he was struck by a cab, which injured his shoulder. He walked away and went to breakfast. Later that day, he went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with a fractured humerus. The Defendant contended that the Plaintiff slipped and fell on ice and snow and that his cab never touched the Plaintiff’s body. The police were never contacted and no police report was ever made. There was no witness to the occurrence and no property damage to the Defendant’s vehicle.
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.
Policy-Limit Settlement: $261,000 – Apartment Building Explosion
This case emanated from an apartment building explosion. The apartment building was not properly equipped with carbon monoxide detectors and/or smoke detectors. Plaintiff, a young man, had just moved into the building when the explosion occurred and suffered from 2nd and 3rd degree burns and loss of function to both hands. Numerous other tenants and guests were injured, also. Our law firm obtained a policy limit settlement against the apartment building owner within 7 months after it was filed. The matter remains pending against the gas company.
Policy-Limit Settlement: $250,000 – Underinsured Motorist Claim
A married couple returning to their vehicle located in a parking garage, were stuck by an elderly disoriented driver with impaired vision. The wife suffered a fractured leg. This case was settled for the policy limits of the plaintiff’s underinsured motorist coverage within 6 months of the accident, without filing a lawsuit or the need for arbitration.
Settlement: $240,000 – Motor Vehicle Accident
Plaintiff’s motor vehicle was struck by a motor vehicle that improperly turned left at a Wisconsin intersection. Plaintiff suffered a fractured wrist that required surgery. Plaintiff settled for the adverse driver’s policy limits ($100,000) and then pursued an underinsured motorist claim for the remaining portion of the settlement ($140,000). Both claims settled less than 10 months after the collision without a lawsuit being filed.