Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • Helped secure a defense verdict for major academic hospital in pressure ulcer case where plaintiff sought $2.75M in damages. Plaintiff alleged our hospital client was negligent by failing to prevent and treat a sacral pressure ulcer, which progressed to a Stage IV wound. Plaintiff alleged the wound became infected and caused sepsis, resulting in death from septic shock. The defense maintained that the decedent’s heart attack from three months prior resulted in a ventricular septal defect, causing cardiac failure and decreased perfusion throughout the entire body. The defense argued that the decedent’s wound was unavoidable due to her poor cardiac state, and that her death was caused by cardiac failure, rather than sepsis. The jury deliberated for less than 90 minutes before returning a verdict for the defense. (2017)
  • Secured dismissal with prejudice and no payment for hospital client in Cook County. Plaintiff alleged a co-defendant hospital and our hospital client allowed a sacral pressure ulcer to form and progress to a Stage IV wound.  The defense maintained that the development and alleged worsening of the wound was due to the decedent’s immobility following a severe stroke, his ventilator dependence, and his numerous chronic health conditions. Despite Plaintiff’s pretrial demand of $850,000, our client was dismissed with prejudice and no payment on the second day of trial. (2016)
  • Lead trial attorney that obtained compromised verdict in directed liability case as to nursing home in Cook County.  The plaintiff’s Complaint alleged a hip fracture, infection at the surgical site requiring multiple surgeries before removal of the infected rod,  and death of a 68 year old.  Due to rulings prior to trial, the case was tried as an essentially admitted liability case.  The medical specials for the substantial post occurrence care were $580,000, which had been reduced from $670,000 during motions in limine.  The plaintiff asked for $8.5 million and received an award of $1 million which due to the pre-trial rulings is expected to be appealed.  (2016)
  • Obtained dismissal of case for the delivering obstetrician in early fact discovery phase.  The plaintiff claimed alleged birth injuries related to shoulder dystocia.  The defense aggressively investigated the alleged injuries early which revealed serious questions of validity of the claim, and the case was ultimately dropped by the plaintiff resulting in an early dismissal.  (2015)
  • Lead trial attorney that secured a defense verdict for a large operator of nursing homes in a pressure ulcer case wherein plaintiff sought $6.3 million in damages. The estate for the plaintiff sought damages from our nursing home client, co-defendant hospital and one of the hospital's doctors. The plaintiff alleged that defendants missed a hip fracture and were negligent relating to a sacral and heel pressure ulcer. The decedent lived five years with the wound, before her death. Against the nursing home, the plaintiff argued against the nursing home that there were deviations from the standard of care, violations of the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act and presented graphic photos of the wounds. Defense countered that the pressure ulcers were timely diagnosed and treated and that the plaintiff's underlying medical problems were the cause of the pressure ulcer formation and alleged worsening.  The other two defendants in the case, a hospital and a treating physician from that hospital, both received guilty verdicts. (2015)
  • Obtained Judgment on the Pleadings in favor of the defense and dismissal of case during first day of trial in Kane County in a medical malpractice case against a hospital involving allegations of failure to properly search the plaintiff’s decedent for weapons in the emergency department.  The plaintiff’s decedent later obtained a firearm and took hostages in the hospital and was later killed during a stand off with the police.  (2014)
  • Secured a defense verdict in favor of a hospital, obstetrician, and a nurse in a birth injury case wherein plaintiff sought in excess of $65 million in damages. During trial, the defense obtained a directed verdict in favor of a second nurse. The jury was hung, 9-2 in favor of the defense, as to one remaining physician. The lawsuit arose out of alleged negligence during the labor and delivery of the child in June of 1995. The plaintiff alleged that the child was injured due to lack of oxygen for 22 minutes prior to delivery and further injured by inappropriate maneuvers used to relieve head entrapment at the time of delivery. The plaintiff also argued that there was lack of informed consent for delivery via vaginal delivery rather than cesarean section. The defense experts opined that all of the care complied with the standard of care in all respects. The defense argued that the child's cerebral palsy, g-tube dependence, and developmental delay were a result of her prematurity and fetal inflammatory response syndrome. (2011)
  • A mistrial was declared following a hung jury in a case involving complications of gastric bypass surgery wherein plaintiff sought $3.8 million in damages. The plaintiff underwent elective gastric bypass surgery and days later returned to the hospital with signs of bowel obstruction and abdominal infection. A second surgery, abdominal re-exploration, was performed to ascertain whether there was a mechanical bowel obstruction. Ultimately, no obstruction was found. The plaintiff argued that the defendant improperly stitched the bowel to the fascia during the first surgery and inadvertently created a fistula. As a result, the plaintiff had to undergo another surgery to close the wound. The plaintiff alleged that attempting to stitch the fistula closed without a bowel resection was a deviation from the standard of care. Two years later, another physician performed a bowel resection and removed the fistula. The defense maintained that the bowel was not stitched to the fascia and contended that the fistula was caused by the infectious process the plaintiff was experiencing post-gastric bypass. The defense also argued that bowel resection would have been improper and very dangerous considering the plaintiff’s precarious medical condition at the time. (2006)
  • Obtained a defense verdict in favor of a hospital in a case in which the plaintiff alleged improper treatment of a patient in anaphylactic shock. The estate of the plaintiff had sought $6.37 million. The plaintiff was suffering from an allergic reaction and was driven to an immediate care center. While entering the parking lot, the plaintiff passed out in the front passenger seat. The plaintiff received immediate medical attention but was unconscious and unresponsive to stimuli. The plaintiff was unable to be removed from the car and ambulance and paramedics arrived quickly. The paramedics declined the help of the doctor on the scene with intubation. The paramedics claimed that they did not hear this offer. The paramedics attempted without success to intubate the plaintiff while on the way to the hospital. The plaintiff was eventually revived at the hospital, but suffered severe brain damage and remained in a vegetative state until her death 2.5 years later. The defense denied any violation of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act because the immediate care center did not have the facilities and capabilities to care for the patient’s emergency medical condition.  (2006)
  • Obtained a defense verdict in favor of an emergency medicine physician in an alleged failure to diagnose myocardial infarction. The plaintiff had sought $2.7 million. The plaintiff went to the emergency room due to chest pains and was treated by the defendant. The plaintiff was then admitted to the hospital for monitoring to rule out a myocardial infarction. Two EKGs were diagnostic of a myocardial infarction, but there was a factual dispute as to whether it was ever communicated to any physician. A stat cardiac consult was ordered after the third EKG but was not completed until 8 hours later. The plaintiff argued that the defense failed to timely diagnose and treat the myocardial infarction and failed to obtain a time cardiology consultation, which resulted in additional heart muscle damage. The defense denied any negligence and the plaintiff was not physically injured by any delay in treatment. (2006)
  • Helped secure a not-guilty verdict in favor of a hospital and obstetrician in a birth injury case, in which $37 million was sought. A newborn child sustained profound brain damage and cerebral palsy. The plaintiff claimed that the obstetricians were negligent in failing to adequately monitor fetal monitor strips and failed to perform a C-section delivery, which resulted in birth asphyxia. The plaintiff alleged that the pediatricians caring for the child after birth were negligent in failing to properly diagnose and treat seizures which exacerbated the brain damage. The defense maintained that the delivery method was appropriate because fetal monitor strips showed no evidence of distress. Further, the defense argued that the seizures were timely diagnosed and appropriately treated and that no action by any of the care providers could have avoided this outcome. (2005)

Appellate Opinions:

  • Lagestee v. Edward Chien, M.D., No. 1-04-0837 (February 22, 2008) (Summary judgment in favor of defendant physician upheld.)
  • Lopez v. Clifford Law Offices, P.C., 362 Ill. App 3d 969, 841 N.E.2d 465 (1st Dist. 2005)