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Our firm’s noteworthy verdicts and settlements have been featured in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin; Chicago Magazine; Cook County Jury Verdict Reporter; Illinois Jury Verdict Reporter; Verdicts, Settlements, & Tactics; Illinois Trial Lawyers Association Magazine; Vested Interest; Mealey’s Insurance Law Weekly; and the Justinian Society Magazine.
Noteworthy Recent Settlements & Verdicts
These cases are just a few of the most recent results achieved by the firm.
This case emanated from a collision that caused the Plaintiff’s death, a husband and father, who was hit head-on in downstate Illinois by a semi-truck. The Plaintiff, a 57-year-old truck driver, was hauling a tanker full of gasoline when the driver of the other semi crossed the highway median and collided with the Plaintiff’s truck. This judgment was featured in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
The Plaintiffs, a young couple, were pedestrians on a sidewalk and corner in downtown Chicago photographing a wedding party when a city refuse vehicle driven by a city worker jumped the curb and struck the plaintiffs and 6 other pedestrians causing devastating injuries. The injuries to the male Plaintiff included, but were not limited to, a brain injury, requiring surgery, and facial fractures. This case appeared repeatedly in all the local newspapers and on televised local and cable news programs and was settled less than 18 months after Plaintiffs filed the lawsuit.
Plaintiff, a 26 year old single male, who had elective hernia surgery suffered a lymphatic leak. He had a learning disability that pre-existed the injury and, therefore, had not held full time employment in his adult life.
This verdict is the largest fractured shoulder verdict in Illinois history. This record-setting verdict was featured in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. After 1.5 hours of deliberation following a three-day trial, a jury awarded the Plaintiff a record high $1,917,199.67 for a fractured shoulder in Cook County, that was caused when the Plaintiff fell off his bike in a designated bike route, after striking a street depression on a Chicago street that was negligently created by the city’s street resurfacing crew. The jury awarded 6 out of 9 line items to the penny that had been requested by Regina P. Etherton, while rejecting the City of Chicago’s comparative negligence argument.
Plaintiff a burn victim sustained 2nd and 3rd degree burns.
Plaintiff, a disabled senior citizen, was crossing an intersection at an unmarked crosswalk in Oak Park when she was struck by a truck. Plaintiff suffered a fracture to her leg and wrist. This case was settled less than 16 months after Plaintiff filed the lawsuit.
Plaintiff, a middle-aged male, suffered a dural tear after a Chicago area surgeon performed unnecessary lumbar fusion surgery at the L3-L4 level when the pathology and preoperative evaluation only indicated surgery at the L4-L5 level. Plaintiff argued that he only consented to and was only informed of surgery to be performed at the L4-L5 level. Defendants argued the surgery at the adjacent level was how he was trained to access the disc extrusion and that the repair failed due to noncompliance with bedrest as opposed to initial tear. The dural tear resulted in a cerebral spinal fluid leak as well as revision procedures.
The plaintiff, a 74-year-old female, was involved in a four-car crash on a highway after a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction was rear-ended while stopped waiting to turn left and thrust into plaintiff’s lane of traffic. The plaintiff, struck the vehicle that was in her lane, head on. The plaintiff suffered a fractured spine, fractured ribs, and a broken ankle. This collision was reported on local news channels. This lawsuit was settled for the policy limits of the adverse driver’s insurance coverage and the policy limits of the plaintiff’s underinsured motorist coverage within three months after our law firm was retained and before any lawsuit was filed.
This case stemmed from an underlying personal injury case involving an automobile accident. The defendants’ insurance company refused to provide coverage to the defendants, even though the insurance company had issued a $1,000,000.00 policy to the defendants. Our law firm secured a favorable verdict at trial and successfully defended the declaratory judgment action seeking a determination that the insurance company had no duty to defend its insureds. Our law firm obtained an award of $1,000,000.00 (the policy limit), plus 9% interest from the date judgment was entered in the underlying lawsuit ($503,506.85).
The Plaintiff, a 56-year-old man, was walking to work and crossing Michigan Avenue when he was struck by a steel cable that fell 41 floors from the roof of the 150 N. Michigan Avenue building, Chicago, Illinois. Defendants were performing a Façade Access Equipment Testing on the roof of the building and they failed to properly secure the equipment and obtain the necessary permits prior to the testing. Plaintiff suffered a herniated disc that required surgery. Defendants argued that plaintiff failed to watch where he was walking, that he was not struck by the cable, and that his injuries were caused by his pre-existing degenerative back condition. Defendants settled the case after the plaintiffs’ depositions.
Plaintiff, an 83-year-old, was parked unloading luggage from his motor vehicle’s trunk at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, when he was struck by a motor vehicle operated by an elderly driver who believed he was stepping on the brake but instead stepped on the accelerator. The impact resulted in the Plaintiff’s leg being amputated. After complications with his leg amputation, the Plaintiff died. The Plaintiff’s Estate settled with the defendant for his insurance policy limit. The settlement was affirmed by the Appellate Court after an appeal was pursued by a co-plaintiff.
The Plaintiff, a middle-aged female, was involved in a motor vehicle accident and suffered a fractured ankle. She was transported to the emergency room and ordered to see an orthopedist. She called a well-known orthopedic surgery office and requested to be seen by an orthopedist but was instead placed under the care of a nurse practitioner who wrongfully diagnosed her as having a right ankle sprain. Defendants allowed her to weight bear and undergo physical therapy for a year, causing damage to her ankle. The matter was settled for the policy limits after the plaintiff was deposed and before any additional depositions occurred.
This case emanated from two medical visits during which a board certified internal medicine physician failed to properly diagnose the Plaintiff’s rash syphilis condition which caused his syphilis to progress to neurosyphilis and resulted in vision and memory issues. Defendants denied being negligent and denied that the plaintiff suffered any permanent injuries. No settlement offers were made at any time. The jury after deliberating only 2.5 hours, awarded the Plaintiff, a gay man who is also HIV-positive, a verdict of $1,051,234. The verdict exceeded the individual defendant physician’s insurance policy limits.
This case emanated from two annual physical examinations during which Plaintiff’s board-certified treating internist failed to detect a rectal abnormality during digital rectal examinations. This cancerous tumor was discovered by Plaintiff’s treating gastroenterologist during a colonoscopy. Defendant’s failure to detect any abnormality resulted in delayed care and treatment of the tumor. No settlement offers were made until after jury deliberations, when the jury advised the court they were deadlocked 11-1 in Plaintiffs’ favor. The two previously dismissed alternative jurors also confirmed they would have voted for Plaintiffs. Immediately thereafter, defendant offered to settle the matter for $1,000,000, defendant’s insurance policy limits with ISMIE.
An infant child was taken to the emergency room of a Chicago hospital complaining of a high fever. The treating physician incorrectly diagnosed the infant’s condition after he failed to perform a complete examination. The next day the infant’s mother took the infant to another Chicago hospital’s emergency room because the infant’s fever had not subsided. The second hospital was not equipped to treat the infant’s condition. Rather than taking steps to transfer the infant, the second hospital made the mother and child wait in the emergency room for several hours without receiving care. After being neglected for nearly four hours, the infant went into respiratory arrest and died shortly after being transferred.
This lawsuit emanated from two medical visits during which a board certified internal medicine physician failed to properly diagnose Plaintiff’s rash condition which caused his syphilis to progress to neurosyphilis and resulted in vision issues. Defendants denied being negligent and that plaintiff suffered any injuries. No settlement offers were made prior to trial which resulted in a plaintiff’s verdict for $1,051,243. The parties reached a settlement agreement after defendants’ post-trial motion was denied and before an appeal was filed.
$900,000 Settlement in a hotly contested Premises Liability Case.
The Plaintiff, a 71-year-old father and husband, was admitted to a nursing home for rehabilitative care for a urinary tract infection. The Plaintiff’s care was neglected, and as a result, he died of sepsis.
Plaintiff suffered a minor foot injury while playing flag football and was misdiagnosed as having a displaced fracture of the 5th metatarsal when it was actually non-displaced. Based on the misinterpretation of the plaintiff’s x-rays, an unnecessary open reduction internal fixation surgery was performed which caused nerve damage.
Plaintiff’s baby suffered a permanent brachial plexus injury at the time of birth. Plaintiff alleged that defendants failed to thoroughly analyze plaintiff’s prenatal history to determine that her baby in utero likely had macrosomia, requiring the presence of a shoulder dystocia expert during delivery or a C-section and failed to inform plaintiff of the risks associated with macrosomia. Plaintiff claimed that defendants pulled the head of her baby during delivery, causing her baby to sustain an Erb’s Palsy injury. Plaintiff’s child has some decreased range of motion and weakness to the affected shoulder.
A 17-year-old on Public Aid was transported by ambulance to a Chicago Hospital. He was seen in triage for a history of 9 days of nausea, severe vomiting, and diarrhea. A chest X-ray was obtained which showed cardiomegaly. Liver function tests were significantly elevated. There was no recording of the abnormal liver function tests in any of the physician or nursing notes. There was no indication on the discharge instructions that the Plaintiff or his mother were told of the cardiomegaly and/or the abnormal liver function tests. The defendant discharged the Plaintiff with a diagnosis of Gastritis only. Six days later, the Plaintiff died from congestive heart failure.
A family practice physician who was not board-certified in obstetrics, undertook the obstetrical care of plaintiff’s high-risk pregnancy and failed to refer plaintiff to a high-risk obstetrics specialist and order follow-up ultrasounds, even though prior ultrasounds indicated an abnormality. When plaintiff went into labor and began bleeding, she and defendant hospital were unable to reach the family practice physician which resulted in a delayed C-section and death of the baby a week later.
The Estate of the deceased brought an action against a local Chicago Hospital and its doctor after they failed to appropriately evaluate and timely treat an incarcerated hernia. The deceased, an employed 35-year-old male, went to the emergency room for treatment for an incarcerated hernia and died from cardiac arrest at the induction of anesthesia. The decedent left surviving four minor children.
The Plaintiff, a 49-year-old woman, was crossing the street in the crosswalk at Cermak and 17th when the Defendant driver executed a right hand turn while looking at a construction zone to his left. The driver failed to see the Plaintiff pedestrian legally crossing the street, and struck her with his vehicle. The Plaintiff suffered knee fractures that required surgery. This case appeared in the news.
Plaintiff, a 45 year-old sales executive, was being seated in a downtown Chicago sidewalk café when her shoe heel became caught in a tree grate that did not comply with city requirements causing her to fall and suffer an ankle fracture. Defendants argued that Plaintiff was at fault for the fall because she was intoxicated and wore high heel shoes.
The Estate of the Deceased brought an action after the decedent died of a heart attack due to the Defendant doctor and his office’s failure to diagnosis and treat the decedent’s underlying heart problem. This case was featured in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
A 9-month pregnant plaintiff suffered from hypertension and preeclampsia, when she appeared for her regularly scheduled examination and complained of decreased fetal movement. She was sent to the labor and delivery room to have fetal monitoring and for possible delivery. The Defendants sent the mother home with instructions to urinate in a bucket and return to the hospital two days later. That same day, the fetus suffocated in utero as the cord became wrapped around his neck.
Previous Settlements & Verdicts
Regina P. Etherton has a distinguished career of wining large verdicts and settlements for her clients for decades. The following are just a few examples of the cases she and her team have prosecuted.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.