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JURY VERDICT REPORTER
1-A TO 1-L AUTO COLLISIONS (Total 91 cases. $68-,539.293: average $753.179)
Settlements by Category
April 26, 2013
April 2013 (Issue h)
$2,750,000 (SEEE h/1) 10L-13205 Attys Stephan D. Blandin and Michael E. Holden. February 17, 2010 pltf's
stopped car was rear-ended by defts' semi-truck on the north 25th Avenue off-ramp from I-290 in
Maywood. Reportedly, deft driver admitted causing the accident. Pltf M-35 truck driver, who had
undergone two prior spinal fusions but was then asymptomatic, claims aggravation of the prior
spinal injuries, leading to disabling chronic pain syndrome (three surgeries--including
implantation of a permanent spinal cord stimulator for pain control). Paid by Aviva Insurance.
$2,500,000 (SEEE h/2) 10L-11830 Atty PaulL. Salzetta. October 5, 2010 high school student Brian DeWitt (18)
was left-turning onto westbound 95th St. from northbound Central Park when his car was
broadsided by an unmarked Village of Evergreen Park police car that was pursuing an eastbound
vehicle for a traffic stop without lights/siren activated. Accident reconstruction had the police car
traveling 90 mph just 2.2 seconds prior to impact. Brian was killed (survived by his mother and
2 adult sisters). Post-mortem toxicology found THC in Brian's system--but the Estate insisted the
THC level was insignificant and was not a contributing cause of the crash. Paid by Illinois
Municipal League Risk Management Association.
$500,000 (SEEE h/3) 10L-1033 (IL, Will 12th Jud Cir) Atty Frank S. Cservenyak, Jr. Deft negligently
left-turned into pltf's path at Town Hall Drive and Phelps Avenue (Romeoville). Pltf was granted
summary judgment on liability. After the March 10, 2009 collision, F-54 developed cervical
radiculopathy and myelopathy, which necessitated an anterior cervical discectomy with fusion at
C6-C7 ($223,802 medl. expense; no LT). Paid by Hartford Insurance.
$250,000 (SEEE h/4) 11L-636 (IL, Lake 19th Jud Cir) Atty Elizabeth L. Spellman Pudenz. August 26, 2009
pltf was rear-ended by defts' large work van while stopped at a red light on Route 21 at Route 45
(Lincolnshire). M-50 cites an L5-S1 herniation with radiculopathy (no surgery), aggravation of
pre-existing thoracic spinal stenosis and spondylosis, and a neck strain ($57,853 medl. expense).
Pltf, a service technician for Vitality Foods, has been unable to return to loading, unloading, and
installing vending machines ($112,634 LT). Paid by Country Preferred (policy). Reportedly, pltf has
preserved a UIM claim against his employer's carrier, Hartford Insurance.
$193,000 (SEEE h/5) 08L-8443 Atty BryanS. Hofeld. Pltf vascular surgeon and her family were in a taxi,
southbound on I-294, when they were rear-ended by deft's limo after stopping for a vehicle ahead
that lost control on the snowy roadway. The incident occurred in a single lane construction zone
in less than optimal weather. F-42 suffered a bulging lumbar disc (unoperated) with radiating pain
into her lower extremities. She did not miss any work, but the injury made it uncomfortable for
her to stand for long periods ($20,000 medl. expense). Paid: $190,000 Carolina Casualty for the limo
company and its driver; $3000 State Farm for the lead driver.
$150,000 (SEEE h/6) No Suit Filed. (IL, Winnebago 17th Jud Cir) Atty G. Kimball MacCloskey. Deft could
not stop behind slowing traffic and crossed into pltf's lane, causing a head-on impact. Deft was
ticketed. F-49 cites comminuted fractures of her right radius and ulna at the wrist (ORIF
done--$56,277 medl. expense; no LT). Paid by Zurich.
$105,000 (SEEE h/7) 10L-825 (IL, Will 12th Jud Cir) Atty FrankS. Cservenyak, Jr. Deft trucker negligently
left-turned his tractor-trailer from Route 53 onto Laraway Road (Joliet), causing a collision with
pltf's vehicle. F-73 suffered blunt trauma injuries, and developed de Quervain's syndrome (painful
tenosynovitis of the thumb, wrist and forearm) which required surgery. Pltf was a competitive
bowler, but was sidelined for over a year ($55,860 medl. expense). Paid by Great West.
$100,000 (SEEE h/8) 11L-41 (IL, Winnebago 17th Jud Cir) Atty G. Kimball MacCloskey. April 29, 2011 deft
suddenly stopped and turned his vehicle sideways in the road so he could back into a drive. Pltf
M-60 was too close to stop and suffered fractures of his left forearm and elbow ($139,774 medl.
expense; $35,000 LT as a clerk). Paid: Farmer's (policy).
$22,500 (SEEE h/9) 10L-433 (IL, Winnebago 17th Jud Cir) Atty G. Kimball MacCloskey. Impact when deft
left-turned in front of M-46 carpenter temporarily aggravated pltf's pre-existing degenerative
changes at C5-C6 ($15,057 medl.; $27,686 LT). Paid by American Family.
(SEEE h/17) Confidential (IL, La Salle 13th Jud Cir) Attys Stephan D. Blandin and Michael E.
Holden. April 13, 2001 M-14, riding a dirt bike, suffered a broken neck at C2-C3, which caused
brain death, when he hit a neck-high steel cable that had been strung across a gravel path that ran
- along deft's railroad tracks. The city where the incident occurred had apparently been granted an
easement by the railroad to use the path for power line maintenance. Allegedly, it was common
knowlege that the path was used by local children to ride motorcycles and ATVs--and the cable
was seldom r.aised--although it supposedly was intended to keep trespassers off the property. Both
defts denied owing the teen any duty of care. The city also argued it was protected by the Tort
Immunity Act (among other things). The railroad paid $350,000 and the city paid $260,000. This
case settled after a decade of litigation, including multiple motions to dismiss and appellate action.
(SEEE h/18) llL-6207 Attys Kathleen M. Ryan and Philip J. Ryan. August 3, 2011
mobility-impaired F-67 fell off the curbed island in the parking lot adjacent to a handcap accessible
parking space in the Brewster Creek Shopping Center (Bartlett). Pltf suffered bimalleolar fractures
to both ankles requiring surgical repair with internal fixation ($223,450 medl. expense; no LT),
which have resulted in arthritis. Allegedly, the deft violated disability laws and prevented safe
access to the shopping center stores. Paid by Hartford Casualty for Bonnie Management Corp.
(SEEE h/19) 09L-331 (IL, Will 12th Jud Cir) Attys Richard B. Rogich and Elizabeth L. Spellman
Pudenz. M-32 ironworker was a patron of the Stateville Haunted Prison--operated by Scared Inc.
and staffed by actors from Foundation Theatre Group. Allegedly, an actor chased pltf with a
baseball bat toward a dark unmarked area with a 6-inch drop-off, which caused pltf to trip and
completely tear his left ACL (knee reconstruction done). Pltf further claims the left knee buckled
post-op while he was descending stairs, resulting in ACL, MCL, and meniscus damage in his right
knee that required surgery ($100,627 medl. expense; $125,600 LT). Defense contested causation of
the right knee injury and disputed pltf's lost income claim. Paid by Scottsdale Insurance.
(SEEE h/20) llL-922 (IL, Du Page 18th Jud Cir) Atty FrankS. Cservenyak, Jr. August 16, 2009 F-62
slipped/fell on water from a leaking skylight in the Stratford Square Mall. Allegedly, the incident
aggravated previously asymptomatic patellofemoral osteoarthritis in pltf's right knee, necessitating
a total knee arthroplasty in April 2010 after conservative measures failed. 'She also aggravated a
prior shoulder injury and needed additional physicial therapy ($142,692 medl. expense). Paid by
Travelers Insurance for Feldman Mall Properties, Stratford Square Mall, and FMP Stratford LLC.
(SEEE h/21) 11L-12642 Atty Robert J. Zaideman. M-56 dentist tore a rotator cuff ($25,000 medl.
expense; no LT claimed) when he slipped/fell in the alley behind Buffalo Joe's (Evanston).
Allegedly, the restaurant kept a bin to collect cooking grease, which was emptied periodically by
Mahoney Environmental, but grease was allowed to spill into the alley. Paid: $92,500 Indiana
Insurance for Buffalo Joe's plus $82,500 Liberty Mutual for Mahoney Environmental.
(SEEE h/22) Confidential (IL, Winnebago 17th Jud Cir) Atty G. Kimball MacCloskey. November
22, 2008 mother of 9-month-old Samuel asked a server at deft's restaurant to bring a cup of warm
water so she could make a bottle for him. The server brought a cup of scalding water and placed
it in front of the infant--who grabbed it. He suffered first and second degree burns to his arm, groin
and upper leg, but scarring did not result ($25,191 medl. expense). Paid by co:171fidential deft.
12. MEDICAL MALPRACTICE (Total 91 cases, $245.579.413: average $2.698.675)
$35,000,000 (SEEE h/23) OSL-7156 Attys Joseph A. Power, Jr. and Devon C. Bruce. On April 14, 2006 male
infant (age 3 months) was admitted to Hospital #1 due to difficulty breathing and was diagnosed
with possible right lower lobe pneumonia. When the baby's respiratory distress increased,
personnel intubated him--but used a 4.0 ETT which was too large and caused subglottic stenosis,
necessitating placement of a tracheostomy in June 2006 to bypass his narrowed breathing passage.
In September 2006, the baby (now 9 months old) entered Hospital #2 due to excessive secretions
coming from his tracheostomy tube. Allegedly, nursing staff failed to properly monitor the baby
and timely suction secretions from the tube, leading to hypoxia-induced cardiac arrest and anoxic
brain damage. The child, now 7, suffers from severe cognitive deficits, cortical blindness, spastic
quadriplegia, and needs 24-hour care. Paid by undisclosed defts: $2 million by self-insured
Hospital #1; $1.5 million ISMIE for a doctor; $31.5 million by self-insured Hospital #2.
$20,000,000 (SEEE h/24) 12L-13761 Attys Timothy J. Ashe and Kristina K. Green. December 2, 2011 M-3
underwent outpatient surgery at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital due to an undescended testicle.
Allegedly, hospital staff failed to monitor the child in the post-anesthesia care unit, and did not
timely identify his respiratory arrest, leading to cardiac arrest and hypoxic ischemic brain damage
when resuscitation was not promptly commenced. The child has severe cognitive and physicial
impairments (including quadriplegia and limited vision) and needs 24-hour care ($434,448 past
medl. expense; lifetime lost income over $2.4 million claimed). Cook County is self-insured.