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Health Care Representative Cases

Illinois Cases

  • Obtained a defense verdict for a major academic hospital in Chicago. Plaintiff sought $2.75 million in damages. In this case, plaintiff alleged the hospital was negligent by failing to prevent and treat a sacral pressure ulcer, which progressed to a Stage IV wound. Plaintiff maintained the wound became infected and caused sepsis, resulting in death from septic shock. The defense maintained 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 maintained 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. After the verdict was read, jurors reported that each juror decided in favor of the defense before deliberations even began.
  • Secured a not guilty defense verdict for a large operator of nursing homes in the Chicagoland area. Plaintiff sought $6.3 million in damages from our client, the 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 5 years with the wound, or "rotting hole in her back" as plaintiff called it, before her death. Against the nursing home, plaintiff argued 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.
  • Obtained a defense verdict in favor of a neurosurgeon and a Chicago hospital in medical malpractice case. Plaintiff, a former professional tennis player, sought $1 million in damages. The plaintiff alleged that her ankle was broken during the course of a spinal fusion procedure. Plaintiff’s attorneys argued under the legal doctrine of res ispa loquitur that such an injury could not occur during surgery absent negligence. After a two-week trial, the jury returned a defense verdict in just under an hour.
  • Obtained a defense verdict in favor of a Chicago hospital in a trial in Cook County, Illinois. In this matter, the plaintiff alleged negligence and deviation from the standard of care by one of the hospital’s physicians. The plaintiff allegedly suffered a tear of the infraspinatus muscle as a result of a physical examination of the left shoulder. The plaintiff alleged that as a result of the injury, he would require an intrathecal pain pump for the rest of his life. The plaintiff requested over $5 million in damages on behalf of he and his wife. After a week-long trial, the jury found in favor of the hospital and determined that no injury was caused by any alleged deviation from the standard of care.
  • Obtained a directed verdict for a neurosurgeon client in a wrongful death medical malpractice case.  The estate of the plaintiff was seeking more than $20 million in damages.  In this case, the estate of the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against two neurosurgeons, a pharmacy corporation and two pharmacists, claiming that an excessive dosage of Dilaudid caused the plaintiff’s decedent to suffer both spinal and brain infarctions leading to quadriplegia and subsequent death, approximately three and a half years later.  The defense argued that their client complied with the requisite standard of care when he ordered Dilaudid (4-6mg if the pain reached 7-10), because the plaintiff’s decedent’s severe post-surgical pain was not being controlled by Morphine and Norco.  After eight weeks of trial, Johnson & Bell asked the court for a directed verdict in favor of their client.  The court granted the directed verdict.
  • Obtained a defense verdict in favor of a nursing home client in a trial in McHenry County, Illinois. In this matter, the plaintiff alleged negligence and violation of the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act by the defendant nursing home. The plaintiff requested a minimum of $200,000 in damages. If a verdict had been entered in favor of the plaintiff, she would have been entitled to recover her attorney’s fees and costs under the Act, and these were estimated to total an additional $150,000. After a five-day trial, the jury found in favor of the nursing home and found no violation of the Act.
  • A Kane County Judge dismissed, with prejudice, a claim of negligence against our hospital client. The case was originally brought in 2008 in Federal Court and plaintiff took a voluntary dismissal as to the hospital and then re-filed their case in 2011 in the Circuit Court of Kane County. Defendant filed Affirmative Defenses of contributory negligence which plaintiff failed to timely answer – for more than three years. On the eve of trial, the defense filed a Motion to Deem the Affirmative Defenses Admitted. The motion was granted. Using this momentum, the defense then added a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings – seeking dismissal of the case which was argued during Motions in Limine. The Judge ruled in favor of defense’s motion and dismissed the case with prejudice.
  • Secured a complete defense verdict in favor of hospital client in an alleged medical negligence case. Plaintiff sought damages of $3.4 million for lost function of his right arm.The case involved a 49-year-old male who alleged that he developed compartment syndrome because he laid on his arm for many hours without moving due to medication administered at the hospital which impaired his level of consciousness. The treating orthopedic surgeon wrote in consult that the condition likely resulted from lying on the arm for a prolonged period of time. Plaintiff presented expert testimony that the nurses were negligent in that they allowed the patient to sleep all day without assessing his status. The defense theorized compartment syndrome developed due to the patient’s prior cocaine use in conjunction with polysubstance abuse and Bipolar Disorder, each a risk factor for vascular disease. The defense successfully defended the complete lack of charting by the nurses by persuading the jury there were routine interactions between the patient and the nurses which were not charted. Defense verdict affirmed on appeal.
  • Obtained a defense verdict in favor of client, an emergency room physician in an alleged medical negligence case. The plaintiff, the wife of the deceased, demanded upwards of $750,000 during the trial. The plaintiff alleged at trial that the ER doctor negligently failed to conduct a cardiac evaluation, including serial cardiac enzymes, serial EKG’s, and failed to admit the patient to the hospital for further testing. After deliberating for approximately 30 minutes, the jury returned a verdict for the defendant.
  • Represented a national retail chain in U.S. District Court in an "admitted liability" case alleging permanent brain damage as a result of a prescription error; the verdict returned was $464,000 where the plaintiff sought $165 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
  • Represented a Chicago hospital in case involving failure to re-explore the plaintiff, a young child, after surgery. Five days post-surgery, the entire small bowel and ileocaecal valve was found to be liquefied, putrefied and necrotic. The child was placed on a transplant list and succumbed at age 14 months. Plaintiff accepted $500,000 indicated by hospital at commencement at trial while jury was still out. Had asked jury for $1 to $1.5 million.
  • Obtained a defense verdict in favor of a major Chicago medical center and its obstetrician following a weeklong jury trial in which damages in excess of $4 million dollars were sought. The lawsuit arose out of allegations that a 1996 birth at the medical center was handled inappropriately, leaving the child, now age 14, with a brachial plexus injury in the left shoulder and arm. After an hour of deliberations, the jury returned a defense verdict.
  • Obtained a defense verdict in favor of an ob/gyn surgeon from Bloomington, IL. Plaintiff alleged that doctor violated the standard of care throughout two surgical procedures which he performed on her in May, 2005, and that she suffered a bowel obstruction which required a third surgery to correct, and permanent episodes of abdominal pain and gastrointestinal (GI) issues for which there is no effective treatment. Plaintiff’s counsel sought an award of over $700,000, Medical specials were claimed in excess of $80,000. The jury deliberated for approximately 3 hours prior to coming to its verdict.
  • Successfully defended a Chicago university medical center and its resident and attending physicians from allegations of negligent obstetrical care resulting in birth injury and cerebral palsy wherein plaintiff sought in excess of $35 million from a Chicago jury.
  • Obtained a defense verdict in favor of University of Chicago Hospitals, a doctor, and a nurse, in an alleged birth injury case. 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. Plaintiff’s counsel sought damages in excess of $65 million.
  • Successfully defended, in U.S. District Court, a suburban Chicago medical center in a wrongful-death lawsuit wherein the decedent’s family sought recovery based upon the medical center’s alleged violation of the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act ("EMTALA").
  • Successfully defended a resident physician on rotation at a suburban Chicago hospital from allegations that she was negligent in the monitoring of a male patient who suffered acute GI bleeding which caused the patient’s death. Plaintiff had asked a Chicago jury to return a verdict of $17 million.

Indiana Cases

  • Obtained a defense verdict in favor of a hospital client in a medical malpractice wrongful death case. The case involved a 28-year-old woman who came to the emergency room with chest congestion and was treated by an ER doctor and staff, then discharged. The young woman died 56 hours later from acute necrotizing MRSA pneumonia. The young woman’s estate filed a medical malpractice and wrongful death case against the hospital, the ER doctor, and the ER staff.  Johnson & Bell attorneys defended the hospital, and the hospital’s nurses, by presenting substantial evidence to the jury, which established that the hospital’s care and treatment met the applicable standard of care, and did not cause the young woman’s death. The young woman’s estate was seeking damages in the millions and in excess of the total amount recoverable under the Medical Malpractice Act. After a week-long trial in Gary, Indiana, the jury returned a defense verdict for all defendants after one hour of deliberation.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for an Indiana hospital in a medical malpractice and premises liability case. In this case, the Plaintiff fell and broke her hip at the hospital’s outpatient rehabilitation clinic, where she was rehabbing after cancer surgery. The surgery had resulted in the removal of part of her pelvis and sciatic nerve and had left her with a drop-foot. Plaintiff claimed that she tripped on a weather rug placed on the walking track at the facility when she was walking laps alone before the start of her therapy appointment. Plaintiff claimed that she had been improperly instructed by her therapists to walk laps alone before therapy, and that the therapy environment was unreasonably dangerous because the rug was on the track. The Plaintiff requested an award of $1 million.
  • Successfully defended a northwest Indiana hospital charged with malpractice. The lawsuit stemmed from the death of a female patient who developed meningitis three days after being discharged from the hospital following surgery to remove a brain tumor. The patient’s husband contended that his wife’s meningitis was a hospital-acquired infection resulting from a failure by the hospital to utilize appropriate infection control measures at the time of surgery. Plaintiff asked the jury for damages in the amount of $2.3 million. Plaintiff also submitted an alternative damages request -- $1.3 million for survival damages -- if the jury found that meningitis was not the cause of death. The jury returned a verdict for the hospital on all claims.
  • Obtained a defense verdict in favor of a hospital located in northwest Indiana, in an alleged medical negligence case. Plaintiff demanded $1.25 million during the trial. The case involved a 68-year-old female, who had just undergone a proctectomy procedure. Following the procedure the patient was received back to the medical/surgical floor from the recovery room and her condition was noted to be stable and appropriate for a post-surgical patient. The next morning the patient suddenly and unpredictably crashed from which she did not recover and subsequently passed away. After deliberating for just over one hour, the jury returned a verdict for the defense.
  • Obtained a defense verdict in favor of a hospital in Indiana following a six-day jury trial. Damages in excess of $2.6 million were sought. The lawsuit arose out of allegations surrounding the wrongful death of a 25-year-old patient, with a condition called Hereditary Angioedema (HAE)—a very rare and potentially life-threatening genetic condition. After deliberating for two hours, the jury returned a defense verdict.

Johnson and Bell

Johnson and Bell