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Recent Verdicts/Settlements

$1,950,000 – (Medical Malpractice) Our client underwent a CT of her abdomen after presentation to the emergency room with abdominal pain, which was thought to be an appendicitis.  The CT was interpreted as normal and Plaintiff was diagnosed with GERD. For the following 16 months, Plaintiff continued to have abdominal pain and was told she had GERD by various physicians.  Subsequently, Plaintiff underwent a colonoscopy which revealed stage IV colon cancer. Defendants allegedly failed to properly diagnose the mass allegedly visible on the CT and had they done so, Plaintiff allegedly would have been a candidate for surgical resection of her colon and would have survived the disease. However, Plaintiff succumbed to the disease nearly 4 ½ years after its diagnosis.  Plaintiff is survived by her husband and several adult biological children. This matter settled one month before trial.

$700,000 (Trip and Fall) Plaintiff, age 53, was descending an outside stairwell of his apartment, when the edge of the stair broke, causing him to fall down the flight of stairs. He sustained injury to his cervical and lumbar spine.  Plaintiff initially treated conservatively for his injuries with physical therapies and injections.  Later, he underwent a fusion to his cervical spine by Dr. Mark Lorenz at Hinsdale Orthopedics & Associates.  With regard to his lower back, Dr. Scott Glaser recommended a spinal cord stimulator, however, Plaintiff could not have the permanent procedure due to his other co-morbidities.  Notably, Plaintiff’s pain subsided significantly with a trial stimulator.  The defense disputed the lower back injury as being related to the fall.

(Before Reductions) Legal Malpractice –  In January 2010, Plaintiff retained defendant, Law Offices of Kevin O’Brien, to represent him in a worker’s compensation matter for a work fall in October 2009. Plaintiff was working as sous chef when he slipped and fell on ice in the freezer sustaining injury to his right shoulder and neck. During the course of treatment for his right shoulder injury, Plaintiff underwent a cervical MRI and was informed by his orthopedic surgeon that he also had a C3-4 disc herniation and a congenital abnormality known as Chiari Malformation.  Notably, prior to the October 2009 work place incident, Plaintiff never complained of neck pain nor was he aware that he had the congenital abnormality. On May 20, 2010, Dr. Vincent Traynelis, Plaintiff’s treating neurosurgeon, conducted a fusion surgery to repair the C3-4 disc herniation and also conducted a C1-6 fusion and decompression to stabilize the now symptomatic Chiari Malformation.  On August 4, 2010, defendant, Law Office of Kevin O’Brien, sent Plaintiff an email in legal jargon requesting permission to settle his case. On that same date, Plaintiff had just gotten out of another hospital stay, having undergone his 9th brain surgery in the span of 2.5 months. Prior to August 4, 2010, defendant had nothing in writing to show that Plaintiff wanted to settle his case because he needed money.  Plaintiff agreed to settle, but only because he was told by the Law Offices of Kevin O’Brien that the settlement was for his shoulder injury only.  Notably, Plaintiff never received any settlement documentation in the email which showed that, in fact, his entire case was settled in full.

Said settlement documentation showed that the C3-4 disc herniation and aggravation of the pre-existing Chiari Malformation were expressly denied as being related to the work place incident. After the settlement funds were distributed, Plaintiff continued to call the Law Office of Kevin O’Brien as did the Law Office of Kevin O’Brien place calls to the Plaintiff. Phone records prove that calls were placed from August 2010 until June 2012, the first time Plaintiff received some of his settlement documentation from the Law Office of Kevin O’Brien.  Plaintiff had to request the settlement documentation on 3 occasions in order to receive a full copy.

Defendant, Law Office of Kevin O’Brien, contended at trial that Plaintiff wanted to settle because he was in desperate need of money; Plaintiff knew his congenital abnormality, Chiari Malformation, was not related to the October 2009 work place incident because he filed for SSDI for said injury; Dr. Vincent Traynelis specifically told the defendant law office that the Chiari Malformation was not related to the work place incident in October 2009. Plaintiff knew he settled his case in full because he never spoke to the Law Offices of Kevin O’Brien after the case settled in August 2010.

Had the Law Office of Kevin O’Brien not prematurely settled Plaintiff’s worker’s compensation case while Plaintiff was treating for his related work place injuries, and had the Law Office of Kevin O’Brien properly investigated the cause of Plaintiff’s injuries, including the aggravation of the pre-existing condition, then Plaintiff would have recovered damages under the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act for a permanently totally disabled person.  After 3. 5 years of litigation and nearly 2 weeks of trial, justice prevailed for the Plaintiff.

$400,000 – (Federal Employees Liability Act) Metra passenger Pollard was behaving erratically while riding as a passenger on the Metra train, talking on his phone too loud and cursing.  Metra conductor Holcomb asked respectfully him twice during the ride from downtown to quiet down and stop swearing.  When the train stopped at Hyde Park, Holcomb got off to help the passengers disembark.  Pollard got off and started to walk away, then turned around and swung at Holcomb.  The two of them wrestled on the platform and Holcomb ended up with a fracture to his mid foot.

Plaintiff wage loss was approx. 225,000-265,000.  Plaintiff’s medical bills were paid by the railroad and not admitted.  Holcomb never returned to work and had approximately 31 months of wage loss to age 60.

X-ray and CT showed fracture of the medial cuneiform and malalignment of the 1st and 2nd metatarsals. Surgery was orif of medial cuneiform and naviculo-medial cuneiform.   No future medicals.

Regional pain syndrome was a differential diagnosis and never confirmed.  He was not treated for it.  He uses a cane occasionally although it was not prescribed.  He takes otc meds.

Metra police department was in a state of chaos at the time as documented by the Hilliard-Hynes report, a report commissioned by Metra.  We argued Metra did not provide a safe place to work due to lack of police presence, lack of training for conductors on how to deal with unruly passengers and lack of closed circuit cameras.  There were many prior similar incidents of criminal attacks on Metra conductors, including the murder of conductor Wilbur Hooten on the same train line.

Railroad claimed the sole cause of the injury was the conduct of Pollard.

Mr. Bizzieri worked the file up for trial, Brugess and Terranova tried it until settlement.

$395,000 – Our client, who suffers from cerebral palsy and ambulates with a cane, tripped and fell on unsecured mats placed outside an elevator bank to protect the carpet during a commercial tenant’s move-out of the premises.  As a result of the fall, our client sustained severe and permanent injuries to his rotator cuff, requiring surgical intervention.  This matter settled at mediation shortly after the filing of the lawsuit.

$321,800 (Worker’s Compensation)  Petitioner, now age 53, injured himself while working.  He sustained injury to his cervical spine, which required a cervical fusion and disc removal.  Petitioner underwent 2 surgeries in an attempt to return to work.  Eventually, Petitioner returned to work on a part-time basis.  This settlement represents a wage differential under the Act. Additionally, Petitioner will receive an annuity in the amount of approximately $33,000 for the cost of future medical treatment as a Medicare Set Aside.

$285,000 (Worker’s Compensation) – Settlement for a 59 year-old woman who sustained serious lower back injuries while lifting a heavy pan of cookie dough at The Creamery. Our client underwent a fusion with the insertion of hardware; however, the hardware was later removed. She will not return to work in the immediate future. In addition to her settlement, our client also received a $195,000 Medicare Set Aside (MSA) for all future medical treatment for her lower back.

$230,000 (Motor Vehicle Collision)  Plaintiff, age 56, was rear-ended while at a complete stop.  As a result of the collision, she sustained a torn rotator cuff in her shoulder.  Initially, our client underwent conservative treatment in the form of physical therapy at ATI as well as cortisone injections by her treating orthopedic surgeon,  Dr. Nikhil Verma at Midwest Orthopedics at Rush; however, ultimately, surgical intervention was necessary.  She had a great recovery, post-operatively.

$225,000– Pre-suit settlement for mother who was killed in DUI car crash. $225,000 was the extent of the coverage and the defendant driver did not have any assets.

$150,000 – Highly disputed trucking collision as to who had the right-of-way on Route 83 just east of Harlem Avenue, where two lanes of travel becomes a single lane while traveling in an easternly direction. Plaintiff, a young woman, suffered a comminuted fracture to her patella (knee) during the crash. Our client had to be extricated from her vehicle due to the severity of the collision. This matter settled at mediation.

$150,000 (Personal Injury/Worker’s Comp) – Our client, a father of four, was working as an electrician for his employer, Four Star Electric, at the Walgreens construction site located in Huntley, Illinois. While pushing an A-frame cart that held 14 reels of wire, the front caster (wheel) fell into an uncovered plumber’s cleanout (hole). The plumber’s cleanout had been created and left uncovered by employees of a sub-contractor of the general contractor on the project. The A-frame cart fell onto its side as a result of the front caster dropping into the plumber’s cleanout; thus, causing injury to our client. This matter settled pre-suit.

$120,000 (FELA) – A Metra employee suffered a herniated disc in his lower spine while working at the Storehouse in Blue Island. Our client entered the bed of the truck on a forklift to offload reels of cable. While in the bed of the semi-trailer, the dock plate automatically re-set itself, unbeknownst to our client. While backing-up out of the bed of the truck, the forklift crashed into the dock plate/dock.

$100,000 (policy limits) – Pre-suit settlement for 35 year old man who sustained lumbar herniation as a result of rear end car collision.

$90,000 (Personal Injury/Worker’s Comp) – Our client, while in the course of his employment for the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, was driving in a staggered tandem of snow plow trucks to clear snow/ice off of southbound Interstate 294. He had his emergency lights flashing as a warning to those on the roadway. Our client was entirely within the left most lane of the roadway, when the co-defendant entered the roadway from an entrance ramp in an effort to get ahead of the tandem of trucks. Soon thereafter, she admittedly lost control of her vehicle and spun into our client’s lane causing an impact. As a result of that initial collision, our client was then immediately rear-ended by a Con-Way Freight semi-tractor trailer, which was traveling behind him illegally within the left most lane of traffic. The State of Illinois has left lane restrictions for the operation of semi-tractor trailers at and near the location of the impact. As a result of the occurrence, our client sustained cervical and lumbar injuries. This matter settled at mediation.

$80,000 – A 35 year-old tri-athlete was injured at an Equinox gym. She suffered a disc injury to her thoracic spine (middle of back) when she was caused to fall off a stationary bicycle during a spin class. The incident occurred as our client attempted to adjust the seat of the stationary bicycle and the seat cracked-off, causing her to fall into the bicycle behind her while still clipped into the pedals.

$65,000 – Legal malpractice for failure to properly perfect a lien with a trustee regarding a land trust.

$20,000 (Policy Limits) – Plaintiff, a young man, was riding a motorcycle to work when suddenly a vehicle tried to turn left in front of him. Our client was thrown through the air upon impact and suffered a fracture to his clavicle and toe, as well as lung contusion and “road rash”.