Dan and Kathy Janatik v. Advocate Health Care Network, et al. Jury Verdict: $17,555,957.00 ($16,535,958.00 in compensatory damages for Dan Janatk, and $1,019,999.00 to Kathy Janatik in loss of consortium)
Estate of Michelle Hollister v. City of Chicago Jury Verdict: $6,000,000.00 (Verdict later reduced for comparative negligence, tort immunity, and joint & several liability) POLICE CHASE - City of Chicago police officers began a chase after a domestic fight between driver Spencer and his girlfriend. The officers in the unmarked vehicle that originated the chase claimed that the Spencer car jumped the curb and had a minor collision with the unmarked police car; although, this story was disputed by the girlfriend. After several miles of chasing the Spencer vehicle through South Side residential neighborhoods, a marked police vehicle struck Michelle Hollister's vehicle in the intersection, killing the 25 year old graduate student. Questions of fact were raised regarding the color of the light at the intersection and whether the marked squad car had its lights and siren on at the time. In this multi-week trial, Mr. Ford looked to the able assistance of his co-counsel, Mr. Byron L. Mason of Hyde Park, marking the second trial the two trial attorneys tried together. The trial court subsequently reduced the $6,000,000.00 award to $540,000.00 base upon comparative negligence, tort immunity, and joint and several liability. The case later settled pending appeal.
Howard and Dorothy Fountain v. Morris Mauer, M,D., et al. Jury Verdict: $5,267,581.00 ($4,462,581.00 compensatory to Howard, $805,000.00 to Dorothy for loss of consortium) (The verdict was reduced by 35% for comparative negligence)
Theodore Schaumburg v. Provena Hospital and Diane Solis, M.D. Jury Verdict: $4,752,000.00 (Kane County)
Karen Holliday v. Certain Confidential Medical Center Settlement on Eve of Trial: $4,500,000.00
Estate v. Roney Oatman, Inc. Settlement on Eve of Trial: $4,375,000.00 (Kane County)
Jozef and Anna Sobczak v. Joseph Flaska Jozef and Anna Sobczak v. Providence Washington Insurance Co. Jury Verdict: $3,600,000.00 ($3,125,000.00 compensatory to Jozef, $475,000.00 to Anna for loss of consortium)
Keith P. vs. Confidential Manufacturer of Industrial Equipment Jury Verdict: $3,079,000.00
Robert Carter v. Chicago Antique Brick Company, et al. Jury Verdict: $2,985,649.54
Estate of Urszula Lewicki v. Our Lady of the Resurrection Hospital, et al. Settlement on Eve of Trial: $2,750,000.00
Noah, a minor v. Michael Detweiler, D.C., et al. Settlement on Eve of Trial: $2,000,000.00
Marcin Wierciszewski v. MOBBA S.C.C.L. , et al. Settlement on Eve of Trial: $2,000,000.00
James Stallworth v. Michael Reese Hospital, et al. Settlement on Eve of Trial: $1,850,000.00 MEDICAL MALPRACTICE James Stallworth was a 74 year old man who underwent a neck surgery to cure numbness in his hands. When his neck became so painful that he could barely move his neck, an MRI was performed. It was read as essentially normal. A week later, Mr. Stallworth went to the hospital for physical therapy treatment. At the end of his session, as he sat up and put on his coat to leave, Mr. Stallworth experienced an excruciating pain in his neck which caused him to lose the use of all four of his extremities. The event rendered him an "incomplete quadriplegic"; he lost use of his legs and had limited use of his arms. Mr. Stallworth's physicians told him that he had suffered a stroke. Two and one-half months before the statute of limitation ran, friends recommended that he look into the care he had received. Because there were no lawyers in his South Side neighborhood, Mr. Stallworth and his wife of 50 plus years contacted the Chicago Bar Association who, in turn, put him in touch with our office. Our neuroradiologist stated that he interpreted the MRI as showing a subluxation at C1-C2, a "hangmans fracture", which he believed was due to post-surgical infection. Three years after fighting in the case, during a court ordered inspection of the original radiology file at the hospital, we found a paper reference to x-rays taken around the time of the MRI that had interpreted the neck as normal. This cervical spine report and the x-rays had never been produced. Upon receiving the films, we found that the cervical spine x-ray films demonstrated a clear picture of a subluxation, known as a hangmans fracture, resulting from a post-surgical infection eating away at the spine at the C1-C2 region.
Kheath Kem v. Commonwealth Edison Settlement after defeating Summary Judgment: $1,800,000.00
Estate of Vernon Banks v. West Suburban Medical Center Settlement: $1,600,000.00 on the eve of trial
Georgia v. Kloos Settlement: $1,600,000.00 AUTOMOBILE COLLISION. Automobile collision in Tinley Park, Illinois resulting in the death of a mother.
Estate of Anita James v. Neubauer Settlement for Full Policy Amount: $1,500,000.00 AUTOMOBILE COLLISION Intersection incident with disputes regarding color of the light and right of way, resulting in the death of a 22 year old single woman
Joanne Matthews v. Northwestern Memorial Hospital and NW Faculty Foundation Settlement: $1,500,000.00 on the eve of trial
Estate of Elsa Gonzalez v. St. Anthony Hospital Settlement: $1,300,000.00 MEDICAL MALPRACTICE The physician failed to properly identify and treat pre-eclampsia and eclampsia, which resulted in the mother's death during labor and delivery. The case came to us after several other attorneys had turned the parents down, asserting there was no case.
Estate of Juan Antonio Lopez v. St. Anthony Hospital, et al. Settlement on Eve of Trial: $1,200,000.00 MEDICAL MALPRACTICE Juan Antonio, a 15 year old, was playing basketball with his brothers in the back yard when he experienced lightheadedness, blurring vision and a fall, possibly fainting. His parents, immigrants from Mexico, took Omar to a pediatric cardiologist who inaccurately read his echocardiogram and stress testing as normal and discharged him without providing any explanation of his syncopal event. His echocardiogram actually demonstrated an enlarged right ventricle, and his stress test actually demonstrated an "R on T" phenomenon which occurs when a patient has a premature ventricular contraction on the T wave, which increases the odds of ventricular fibrillation. Shortly thereafter, Omar was playing basketball at a local boys club when he had a fatal heart attack, collapsed and died. The heart was sent for study to a renowned physician at the Heart Institute for diagnosis, who incorrectly diagnosed the condition as "Uhls Anomaly", an incurable disease. Our investigation later revealed that that physician from the Heart Institute and the defendant physician were old colleagues, who had previously written medical articles together. An alert member of the Medical Examiner's office caught the super specialist's "error" and correctly diagnosed the condition as a treatable, yet serious, congenital heart condition known as Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia. Our expert cardiac pathologist confirmed the Medical Examiners testimony by his review of the microscopic slides.
Cartyiel Timmons-Williams v. A Certain Confidential Hospital Settlement on Eve of Trial: $1,200,000.00 plus waiver of liens MEDICAL MALPRACTICE Cartyiel Timmons Williams was born significantly premature, at twenty-six weeks, and spent his initial 11 months in a hospital due to severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia and ventilator dependency. Pre-incident testing showed that Cartyiel had significant developmental delay. At 11 months, Cartyiel was transferred to a major teaching hospital due to bronchospasms and cyanotic spells. During the hospitalization, Cartyiel suffered a cardiac arrest. In discovery we learned that Cartyiel's tracheotomy had dislodged, disconnecting him from the ventilator, and that the event caused a lack of oxygen, which in turn caused the cardiac arrest. The hospital took the position that it was impossible to distinguish any injury that occurred from the cardiac arrest, asserting that Cartyiel suffered from pre-existing brain damage due to prematurity and ongoing anoxic insult from his lung condition.
Estate of Koffarnus v. Poole Truck Lines Settlement on Eve of Trial: $1,350,000.00 TRUCK COLLISION Mr. Koffarnus, a 43 year old divorcee with two adult children, and his partner were operating a truck and entering I-55 near Cape Girardeau, Missouri, when his truck rear ended a Poole Truck Lines truck. Poole Truck Lines' driver claimed that Mr. Koffarnus was operating his vehicle at a high rate of speed entering the highway. Our accident reconstruction expert interpreted the road markings and determined that the Poole Truck Lines truck initially moved to the left and then prematurely swerved back into the right hand lane as Mr. Koffarnus was entering the highway, cutting off his merge path. The collision resulted in the death of both Mr. Koffarnus and his partner.
Kristen Davis v. Riverside Medical Center, et al. Settlement on Eve of Trial: $1,150,000.00 (Kankakee County)
Freddie Palomares v. Nasir Yaqub, M.D. et al Settlement on Eve of Trial: $1,150,000.00 MEDICAL MALPRACTICE The physician failed to properly identify and treat neonatal seizures, which resulted in neurological injury. The case was made very difficult because it came to our office nearly 8 years after the birth, and many of the medical records could not be found.
Charles Redd v. Bananas.Com d/b/a Cermak Produce No. 2 et al. Settlement on Eve of Trial for Full Policy Amount: $1,000,000.00 WORK SAFETY - Charles Redd was a "lumper", a freelance dock worker hired to load produce on the defendants’ produce truck at the South Water Market, a wholesale fruit and vegetable market first built back in August of 1925, which, at the time of the incident, was located just South of Roosevelt Road and Morgan Street (just behind the University of Illinois at Chicago swimming pool complex). Because of union regulations, dock workers laboring for the fruit and vegetable companies were allowed to bring the crates of produce to the dock but could not place them in the trucks. The union for the truck drivers would not allow the drivers to load anything from the docks. Accordingly, the lumpers fill the void and, for a negotiated cash price, move the produce from the docks into the trucks trailers. The work would occur in the pre-dawn hours before the city’s restaurants opened for breakfast. Mr. Redd was moving pallets of produce inside the Cermak Produce No. 2 truck when an unguarded and unsecured 45,000 BTU propane heater, used to keep produce from freezing, tipped over and ignited Mr. Redd’s clothing, which resulted in severe burns to 21% of his body. Liability hinged upon whether the propane heater's safety guard had been removed, making the heating apparatus hazardous and in violation of applicable Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Defendants maintained that Plaintiff was an unwelcome trespasser on the truck. Since the incident, the South Water Market has been converted to townhouses and condos to complement the new University Village townhouses to the east.
Rubin Connor v. Certain Confidential Physicians, et al. Settlement on Eve of Trial: $1,000,000.00 MEDICAL MALPRACTICE Rubin Connor was a 56-year-old African American man with a medical history including Type 2 Diabetes, cerebral stroke with residual right-sided weakness and end stage renal disease secondary to diabetic neuropathy. Mr. Connor’s condition required chronic hemodialysis. Because of an obstruction to the blood flow in his leg, a bypass procedure was performed. During the subsequent five week rehabilitation course, the leg became infected at the surgical graft site, and despite documented positive cultures, CT scans showing an unusual accumulation of fluids at the surgical site and unexplained drops in the blood hemoglobin and hematocrit levels, the infection went undiagnosed and untreated, and thereafter, became necrotic. Rubins leg was amputated above the knee. Statistically, due to the serious diabetic condition and arteriosclerosis, Rubin may arguably have lost his leg within a five year period. However, with the undiagnosed, untreated infection, the amputation became a certainty. The case settled for $1 million dollars before trial.
Three Minor Boys v. Boy Scouts of America Settlement on Eve of Trial: Amount confidential SEXUAL MOLESTATION Three Cub Scouts living in the South Side projects were sexually molested by their Scout Leader/Sunday School Teacher during scout meetings at the local church. The case settled after long and extraordinarily contentious litigation.
Estate of Michael Hernandez v. City of Chicago Settlement on Eve of Trial: $951,500.00
Quentin Turner v. Ingalls Memorial Hospital Settlement on Eve of Trial: $900,000.00
William Lively v. Certain Confidential Medical Center Settlement on Eve of Trial: $850,000.00 (Randolph County) MEDICAL MALPRACTICE Mr. Lively, a 74-years-old man, was admitted to the hospital February 2, 2005 for a scheduled colostomy reversal. A surgical sponge was negligently left in Mr. Lively's abdomen. The sponge remained in Mr. Lively's abdomen during the course of his nine day admission before the retained sponge was finally identified. The retained sponge caused a myocardial infarction which arose due to sepsis and the trauma of additional surgery; development of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots), gall bladder inflammatory problems with biliary stasis and sludge, urinary tract infection, renal failure, ileus, chronic venous insufficiency, and the lack of reserves to compensate for the insufficiency also arose as a result of this incident.
Estate of Linda Nickerson v. Michael Reese Hospital Settlement: $825,000.00 MEDICAL MALPRACTICE The hospital and its physicians failed to timely identify and treat post-surgical bleeding after laparoscopic surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. Mrs. Nickerson bled out and died.
Diminskis v. Chicago Transit Authority (tried with Howard Schaffner) Jury Verdict: $800,000.00 BUS/PEDESTRIAN COLLISION In February 1983, Mr. Diminskis, a 75 year old, was in route to his part-time job at the Draugus Lithuanian Bookstore and was crossing eastbound across Western Avenue at 73rd Street when he was struck by a C.T.A. bus. The injuries resulting from this accident included a subdural hematoma which required surgical evacuation. The C.T.A. driver insisted that Mr. Diminskis darted in front of the bus. Mr. Diminskis, due to his injury, had no recall of the incident. The fact the driver had been suspended after the incident was barred from the evidence as a post-trial remedial measure.
Estate of Donald Mazique v. Mt. Sinai Hospital Settlement: $700,000.00 MEDICAL MALPRACTICE The physician failed to properly identify and treat fetal distress, which resulted in a stillborn birth.
Brian Harrington v. Ademola Adekola Settlement on Eve of Trial: $500,000.00
Estate of Kutilek v. City of Chicago Settlement: $500,000.00 total, $315,000.00 to estate
Sharon Hernandez v. Joseph Thomas, M.D. $449,206.50 (Jury Verdict: $383,000.00 + additional settlements)
Estate of Doris Hoppe v. Edward Hirsch, M,D., et al. Jury Verdict: $ 389,700.00 (Dekalb County) MEDICAL MALPRACTICE The physician failed to diagnose and treat a bleeding ulcer in a 68 year old woman, resulting in her death. The insurance company for the physician offered zero dollars to settle the case, perhaps because the case was being tried in rural DeKalb County, Illinois where no one had previously won a medical malpractice verdict or obtained a six figure verdict. The jury found in favor of the Hoppe family members despite the fact that several of the jury members were patients of same medical group or socialized with the defendant doctor.
Yoon v. Jones Truck Line Jury Verdict: $383,915.00 for occupants of the automobile AUTOMOBILE/TRUCK COLLISION In January 1982, Miss Yoon and her boyfriend were driving at 3:00 a.m. during a sleet storm on I-55 twenty miles south of Joliet. The roadway was passable only in two tire ruts in the right hand lane. As her boyfriend attempted to pass a truck using the left hand lane covered with sleet, he lost control of the car and struck the left guard rail of the Mason River Bridge and spun back into the road. The truck driver claimed that the car passed him at 70 m.p.h. and that just before the collision, the car backed up, swerving to face the truck and blinded the truck driver with its bright lights on, just before accelerating the car into the truck drivers path. Although it was clear from the skid marks in the sleet shown in the Illinois State Police photographs that the automobile had lost control in the ice while passing, it was also apparent from those same photographs that the truck driver was less than candid when he claimed that he was blinded by the bright lights of the automobile. The headlights of the car were seen in the photographs at the initial impact with the guardrail, and therefore, were not on the car at the time of the collision to blind the truck driver or otherwise light up the road. The verdict in the Yoon case included a $151,455.00 award for the Yoon family and was one of the first verdicts in Illinois using as its primary basis for recovery the new component for wrongful death of loss of society following, what was at that time, the new precedent of Prendergast v. Cox, 470 N.E.2d 34. Prior to this, a recovery for the wrongful death of a child required a showing of economic loss in terms of loss of future contribution to the parents, an illogical damage premise.
Estate of Arvid Malmquist v. Village of Lincolnwood Jury Verdict: $238,990.00 BUSH OBSTRUCTION The decedent's wife broadsided another vehicle at an uncontrolled intersection, and the collision caused her husband's head to hit the dashboard. Under Illinois law at that time, if the beneficiary (the wife) was contributorily negligent, that negligence acted as a total bar to recovery in a wrongful death case. The Village's insurance company offered zero dollars to settle, but the jury found that the Village's failure to maintain bushes at the intersection precluded her from observing the other vehicle passing through the intersection, and they returned a verdict on her behalf. The verdict (preceded by Yoon case that was tried in 1986) was one of the first verdicts in Illinois where the majority component for wrongful death was loss of society following the new precedent of Prendergast v. Cox, 470 N.E.2d 34.