More than 300 trial attorneys and Illinois judges were in attendance on the evening of October 25th as the Jury Verdict Reporter, a division of Chicago-based Law Bulletin Media, hosted its annual reception and awards for Trial Lawyer Excellence in the elegant Hyatt Regency Chicago. Forty-five professionals from both sides of the trial bar received individual Trial Lawyer Excellence awards in one of seventeen 2022 categories. Richard H. Donohue of Donohue Brown Mathewson and Smyth LLC and Joseph A. Power Jr. of Power Rogers LLP were recognized with Lifetime Achievement awards for their body of trial work, leadership, mentoring and contributions to the legal community.
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LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS Richard H. Donohue | Joseph A. Power Jr.
ATTORNEY ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS Sharon M. Peart | Joseph P. Switzer Robert S. Baizer | Bradley M. Cosgrove PLUS RECORD AWARDS AND OUTSTANDING DEFENSE VERDICTS
Congratulations to our most important Partner, our Leader and the firm’s heartbeat, Joe Power. If we listed your accomplishments here, no one would be able to see your photo. Thank you for all you have done for our clients, our firm, and our profession. With Love, the lawyers, legal assistan ts, paralegals, nurse paralegals, law clerks, office clerks, receptionists and staff throughout your entire amazing and hopefully never- ending career.
Over the past 30 years, the Jury Verdict Reporter has evolved from a weekly one-page printed newsletter to a research tool with over 50,000 Illinois cases in Lawyerport and a digital eNewsletter that features verdicts and settlements from across the state and beyond. Leading this tremendous growth was JVR Editor John Kirkton. His encyclopedic knowledge of verdicts and settlements as well as the respect he earned with members of the trial bar allowed John to evolve the JVR into an essential research tool that JVR founder Max Sonderby would never have imagined. However, Max would have been proud of John’s efforts to significantly expand the information provided in JVR case reports, and the current JVR team of Christine Davis, Beth Ann Zaretsky and Erica Boorstein are continuing our mission. Illinois attorneys and judges use Jury Verdict Reporter information to find comparable verdicts and settlements, expert witness trial history and overall trial strategy. JVR reports have become a must-have case evaluation resource for civil litigators. As we grow and improve, our JVR writers continue Law Bulletin’s standard of fair and accurate reporting. On October 25, 2022, the Jury Verdict Reporter and Law Bulletin Media hosted their annual JVR Trial Lawyer Excellence Awards ceremony and reception in the Crystal Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The event, which was attended by over 300 trial lawyers and judges, recognized significant achievements by lawyers for both the plaintiff and defense. A highlight of the evening was the presentation of Lifetime Achievement awards to attorneys Richard H. Donohue and Joseph A. Power, Jr. This magazine commemorates the ceremony and includes photographs of the lawyers who were honored for their trial work, as well as other notable guests. On behalf of Law Bulletin Media and our talented Jury Verdict Reporter team, we extend our thanks to the plaintiff and defense trial attorneys for their contributions of case information and the cooperation we receive throughout our investigative process. We acknowledge that, without your participation, the Jury Verdict Reporter would not be the valuable resource it has become.
Peter V. Mierzwa President & Publisher
JURY VERDICT REPORTER • 2022 ANNUAL TRIAL LAWYER EXCELLENCE AWARDS 3
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
JURY VERDICT REPORTER
16 Outstanding Defense Verdict in a Legal Malpractice Case
Peter V. Mierzwa President
20 Highest Reported Illinois Settlement for a Work Injury Case
Amanda Monto Marketing and Events Associate
24 Outstanding Defense Verdict in a Premises Case
Julie Leuck Senior Visual Communication Designer
30 Highest Reported Verdict or Settlement for a Dental Case
Adam Hrejsa Account Executive
33 Defense Attorney
John Leonard Senior Account Executive
35 Plaintiff Attorney
Christine Davis JVR Associate Editor
38 Outstanding Defense Verdict in a Product Liability Case
Beth Ann Zaretsky JVR Legal Writer
42 Highest Reported Lake County Settlement
Erica Boorstein JVR Legal Writer
45 Lifetime Achievement Defense Attorney Richard H. Donohue 53 Lifetime Achievement Plaintiff Attorney Joseph A. Power, Jr.
Copyright ©2023 by Law Bulletin Media. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system. Reproductions available from the publisher.
60 Highest Reported Boone County Verdict or Settlement
64 Outstanding Defense Verdict in a Medical Malpractice Case
68 Highest Reported Illinois Verdict or Settlement in a Pedestrian Case
Law Bulletin Media 415 N. State Street Chicago, IL 60654 312.644.7800 www.LawBulletinMedia.com
72 Outstanding Defense Verdict in a Product Liability Case
76 Highest Reported Kendall County Verdict or Settlement
80 Highest Reported Illinois Verdict or Settlement Since the 2019 Trial Lawyer Excellence Awards 83 Outstanding Achievement - Top Firm in the 2022 JVR Annual Settlement Report
Event Photography by Rena Naltsas
JURY VERDICT REPORTER • 2022 ANNUAL TRIAL LAWYER EXCELLENCE AWARDS 7
Experienced Trial Lawyers. Record Breaking Achievements.
The Chicago accident and injury lawyers at Cogan & Power, P.C. have the experience you can trust in your time of need. We are dedicated accident and injury attorneys who are committed to protecting the rights of our clients and guiding our clients through the entire recovery process. We are devoted to protecting the legal rights of victims of medical malpractice, wrongful death, and personal injury accidents. Protecting The Legal Rights of Victims Clients appreciate our collaborative approach to legal representation, because it allows us to provide small-firm personal attention with big-firm legal experience.
1 E Upper Wacker Dr, #510 Chicago, IL 60601
THE GO-TO RESOURCE FOR SUCCESSFUL TRIAL LAWYERS
The Jury Verdict Reporter is the second-oldest business of its kind in the United States. Trial lawyers have come to rely on its detailed and objective reports to accurately evaluate their cases. It was founded in 1959 by newspaper reporter Max Sonderby to collect and publish summaries detailing civil jury verdicts and negotiated settlements. Law Bulletin purchased the business in 1991, and soon began computerizing the information. We now have a fully-searchable database with over 55,000 cases available in our digital platform Lawyerport. The Jury Verdict Reporter summarizes cases tried or settled, highlighting the factual situation that gave rise to the litigation. We provide details about the trial lawyers, judge, venue, case name and number, award amount, specific injuries, insurer that paid the verdict or settlement, and expert witnesses who testified. In addition, the Jury Verdict Reporter also offers “Custom Research,” our case research service in which our seasoned staff will, upon request, analyze our database according to supplied factual scenarios and compile a package of comparable Illinois cases. 2022 was an exciting year for the Jury Verdict Reporter and its subscribers! Our annual JVR Settlement Report, which reviewed roughly $1.27 billion in settlements, was published in the October issue of the Chicago Lawyer magazine. Law Bulletin Media’s legal portal, Lawyerport, which facilitates access to all Law Bulletin content including the Jury Verdict Reporter, continues to be utilized by thousands of Illinois attorneys and judges. And the Jury Verdict Reporter transitioned even more information to our weekly eNewsletter that features both verdicts and settlements.
Christine Davis, Associate Editor Jury Verdict Reporter 415 N. State Street, Chicago IL 60654 312-644-2764 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Learn more at Lawyerport.com under Legal Research.
JURY VERDICT REPORTER • 2022 ANNUAL TRIAL LAWYER EXCELLENCE AWARDS 9
2022 Jury Verdict Reporter
L to R, Front Row: David L. Kalimuthu, Daniel Cetina, John M. Power, Gerald T. Donoghue, Richard H. Donohue, Joseph A. Power, Jr., Robert S. Baizer, David C. Wise, Julie Lissner, Gina M. Ambrose; Middle Row: Eirene N. Salvi, Brian L. Salvi, Renee Ziolkowski, Anne M. Madormo, Sara M. Davis,
10 JURY VERDICT REPORTER • 2022 ANNUAL TRIAL LAWYER EXCELLENCE AWARDS
Trial Lawyer Excellence Awards
Tracy A. Brammeier, Christian D. Biswell, Kevin P. Durkin, Robert J. Bingle, Brian Bianco, Michael A McCaskey; Back Row: Bradley M. Cosgrove, David C. Hall, John W. Patton, Jr., John F. Winters, Jr., Sharon M. Peart, David L. Drake, Anthony J. Monaco, Patrick P. Clyder, Marisa Schostok
JURY VERDICT REPORTER • 2022 ANNUAL TRIAL LAWYER EXCELLENCE AWARDS 11
CONGRATULATES Richard Donohue Lifetime Achievement Award
2022 JVR Awards for Trial Lawyer Excellence
AWARD DESCRIPTION AND METHODOLOGY
Jury Verdict Reporter Trial Lawyer Excellence Awards
In preparation for the 2022 award ceremony, the Jury Verdict Reporter team and President of Law Bulletin Media Peter Mierzwa reviewed hundreds of significant Illinois jury verdicts and negotiated settlements that had been investigated and summarized by the Jury Verdict Reporter team. We identified several that resulted in record-setting awards for the plaintiffs or notable defense outcomes in cases with a high verdict potential. It also became apparent during this research that a handful of attorneys had compiled such a significant body of successful outcomes for their clients that they merited awards for their achievement. The list of award winners includes not only some very recognizable attorney names, but also a few surprises. Photographs and biographies of the award winners are featured throughout this commemorative publication, along with the selected case summaries from the Jury Verdict Reporter. We look forward to October of 2023, when we will again host our Annual Jury Verdict Reporter Awards Ceremony & Reception. We hope to see you there.
JURY VERDICT REPORTER • 2022 ANNUAL TRIAL LAWYER EXCELLENCE AWARDS 13
Congratulations David Hall, David Kalimuthu & Gina Ambrose Recipients of the 2022 JVR Trial Lawyer Excellence Award
Another Record Verdict Boone County $9,000,000 November 13, 2020 Pasillas, et al. v. Consolidated Materials Inc.
Congratulations to Patrick A. Salvi, Brian L. Salvi and Eirene N. Salvi for winning a Trial Lawyer Excellence Award for the highest reported jury verdict in Boone County, Illinois
SSP-JVR Ad.indd 1
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Outstanding Defense Verdict
in a Medical Malpractice Case
Newborn’s Infection Progresses to Meningitis Not Guilty
PLAINTIFF ASKED $31,000,000 DEFENSE OFFER None VERDICT For the Defense
T his case involved a newborn who had been discharged by defendant doctor 36 hours after birth, but was admitted the next day to a different hospital with possible sepsis. He ultimately developed meningitis which irreversibly damaged his neurological system. The plaintiff, age nine at time of trial, was non- verbal and suffered from severe brain damage
and cerebral palsy. Plaintiff’s counsel argued that the doctor that discharged plaintiff failed to fol- low standard of care by discharging the plaintiff less than 48 hours after birth despite test results that indicated he should stay in the hospital. The defense argued there were no signs of infection prior to his discharge and the newborn’s rapid decline post discharge supported their argument.
16 JURY VERDICT REPORTER • 2022 ANNUAL TRIAL LAWYER EXCELLENCE AWARDS
Dramara Sivels, Jr., disabled minor v Koke Mill Medical Associates LLC 15L-97 Tried Oct. 24-Nov. 3, 2016
VERDICT: Not Guilty
JUDGE: John M. Madonia (IL, Sangamon 7th Jud Cir)
John W. Patton, Jr. John W. Patton, Jr. received his law de- gree from DePaul College of Law in 1983. He is the founder and president of Patton & Ryan, LLC. In his nearly 40 years of prac- tice, John has been retained by corporations to try hundreds of catastrophic loss cases nationwide.
PLTF ATTY(S): Robert S. Baizer, Joseph E. Kolar, David A. Neiman of Baizer & Kolar (Highland Park, IL) DEMAND: none ASKED: $31,000,000 DEFT ATTY(S): John W. Patton, Jr, Kathryn R. Vaughan of Patton & Ryan (Chicago, IL), David L. Drake, Christian D. Biswell of Drake, Narup & Mead (Springfield, IL) OFFER: none PLTF EXPERT(S): Dr. Jill Maron (Neonatologist); Dr. Mark Schleiss (Pedi- atric Infectious Disease); Dr. Richard S. Boyer (Pediatric Neuroradiologist); Dr. Charles Dietzen (Pediatric Rehabilitation); Dr. Stephen T. Glass (Pediatric Neurology); Dr. Gilbert Martin (Neonatologist); Dr. Thomas E. Sullivan, Ph.D. (Pediatric Neuropsychologist); Charles Linke, Ph.D. (Economist); Jan Klos- terman, R.N. (Life Care Planner) DEFT EXPERT(S): Dr. Thomas DeStefani of Central DuPage Physicians Group, 885 Roosevelt Road, #202, Glen Ellyn, IL(630-790-1555) (Pediatrician); Dr. Stanford T. Shulman (Pediatric Infectious Disease); Christopher Bartlett, Ph.D. of Litigation Analytics Inc., 8505 Freeport Parkway, Irving, TX (972-929-9900) (Economist) Pltf minor was born at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield on April 6, 2007. He was discharged 36 hours later by Dr. Cara Vasconcelles, an employee of deft Koke Mill Medical Associates. The next day, pltf was admitted to St. John’s Medical Center with possible sepsis. He ultimately developed meningitis which irreversibly damaged his neurological system. The cause of this was deter- mined to be Group B strep, which pltf’s mother had tested negative for before giving birth. Pltf, now 9 years old, is non-verbal and suffers from severe brain damage and cerebral palsy. Pltf’s counsel argued Dr. Vasconcelles violated the standard of care by discharging pltf less than 48 hours after birth because his test results and symptoms warranted that he remain in the hospital for at least one more day; this included low blood sugar, low heart rate, vomiting, sleepiness, respiratory distress, and feeding issues. Pltf’s counsel contended if Dr. Vasconcelles had tested pltf for sepsis and administered antibiotics, his resulting condition would have been avoided. The defense denied negligence, maintaining pltf was not exhibiting signs or symptoms of infection before his discharge and no one else on the hospital staff raised any concerns about his condition. The defense also argued the infant’s rapid deterioration 60 hours after birth supported deft’s contention that he could not have been exhibiting signs and symptoms of infection prior to his discharge. The jury deliberated about two hours. For a related trial against Memorial Medical Center, see JVR’s
Kathryn R. Vaughan Kathryn “Katie” Vaughan practices in the area of civil litigation, concentrating on medical malpractice defense including the representation of physicians and hos- pitals in complex matters. Katie received her J.D. from New England Law | Boston in 2011. Prior to joining SBH, Katie worked at a Chi- cago civil defense firm concentrating her practice primarily on catastrophic loss cas- es in the areas of medical malpractice, civil rights, and premises liability. She received her undergraduate degree in political sci- ence from the University of Illinois at Urba- na-Champaign. Katie is licensed to practice in Illinois, the Northern District of Illinois, and Massachusetts.
JURY VERDICT REPORTER • 2022 ANNUAL TRIAL LAWYER EXCELLENCE AWARDS 17
Outstanding Defense Verdict in a Medical Malpractice Case
15 Ap/3. St. John’s settled with pltf prior to the first related trial (amount not reported). Note: For a summary of subsequent appellate action regarding this case, see the Jury Verdict Reporter’s Appellate Review of Damages publication at 19 ARD 39.
David L. Drake David Drake of Drake, Narup & Mead, P.C. has defended individuals, insurers, doctors, medical professionals, attorneys, engineers, executives and employers. David has been a member of Sangamon County Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Adjusters’ Association of Cen- tral Illinois, Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, Lincoln-Douglas Inn of Court, American Society of Law and Medicine and Illinois Association of HMOs. David was selected as a Member of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is a frequent lecturer and speaker on legal issues with emphasis on malpractice and related litigation. His practice was almost exclusively defending doctors and attorneys.
Patton & Ryan is a corporate defense firm specializing in the trial of cata - strophic loss cases often on the eve of trial. The firm has bee retained to defend cases in over 35 states. It will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this coming January. David Drake, Rick Narup and Randy Mead hung their first shingle as Drake, Narup & Mead, P.C. on February 14, 1989. Within two weeks, Drake, Narup & Mead, P.C. was representing the insureds of the nation’s biggest general lines carrier and the insureds of the state’s principle pro- fessional liability insurer. Chris Biswell was added to the Drake, Narup & Mead, P.C. family in 2001 and immediately launched into a diverse prac- tice, including medical and legal malpractice defense.
David retired in 2018.
hospitals and medical practices in profes- sional malpractice litigation. Chris has extensive litigation and trial ex- perience, having tried several medical mal- practice cases to verdict over recent years. He has represented many specialists includ- ing Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease,
Cardiology, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Obstet- rics, General Surgery and Gastroenterology. Chris joined Drake, Narup & Mead in 2001. He was admitted to the bar in 2001, Illinois; 2002 U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois.
Christian D. Biswell Christian D. Biswell is a shareholder and president of Drake, Narup & Mead, P.C. His main focus is professional liability defense. His practice focuses almost exclusively on defending physicians, medical providers,
18 JURY VERDICT REPORTER • 2022 ANNUAL TRIAL LAWYER EXCELLENCE AWARDS
For receiving a 2022 JVR Trial Lawyer Excellence award For Outstanding Defense Verdict in a Product Liability Case CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR PARTNERS MICHAEL A. McCASKEY & ANTHONY J. MONACO
For receiving 2022 Defense Attorney Achievement Award CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR PARTNER JOSEPH P. SWITZER
▪ 2022 ▪
for a Work Injury Case Highest Reported Illinois Settlement
Work Injury Leads to Amputation of Both Arms $90,000,000
PLAINTIFF ASKED N/A DEFENSE OFFER N/A
W orker for defendant suffered severe burn injuries that necessitated the am- putation of both arms at the shoulder.
Allegedly, the defendant had failed to properly maintain their equipment and lacked necessary safety equipment.
20 JURY VERDICT REPORTER • 2022 ANNUAL TRIAL LAWYER EXCELLENCE AWARDS
(SPPP i/23) (6) Confidential
PLTF ATTY(S): David C. Wise, Robert J. Bingle of WiseMorrissey LLC (Chicago, IL) Pltf M-23 worker suffered severe burn injuries that necessitated the ampu- tation of both arms at the shoulder ($1,616,453 medl. expense; $1,109,852- $1,726,112 LT claimed). Allegedly, defts’ equipment was not properly main- tained and lacked the necessary safety devices. Paid by unnamed defts. This is the highest reported IL verdict or settlement for bilateral arm amputation in JVR’s records. The prior “high” was a $22.8 million settlement reported in 1995 (see SLL e/34).
David C. Wise Dave Wise was a founder of the firm 20 years ago and specializes in construction negligence, product liability and general personal injury and wrongful death.
Robert J. Bingle After practicing for a number of years at another firm, Bob joined Wise Morrissey in 2020 and now serves as their managing partner. Bob has garnered great success throughout his career that he now passes on to the younger lawyers at Wise Morrissey.
Wise Morrissey is a boutique personal injury firm, never having more than 5 or 6 lawyers at a given time. Notwithstanding that, in the 20 years of its existence the firm has resolved over 650 cases, approximately 180 of them for over one million dollars each for a total of over $900 Million dollars.
JURY VERDICT REPORTER • 2022 ANNUAL TRIAL LAWYER EXCELLENCE AWARDS 21
2022 JVR SETTLEMENTS REPORT Med-mal Settlement Amounts Rebound from 10-Year Low
Medical malpractice settlements fell to the second largest category of cases representing 30% of the 663 settlements in the 2022 JVR Settlements Report, and the total settlement amount rebounded from the 10-year low last year. There were 201 medical malpractice settlements with a total value of $359 million. That is up 27% from the $282 million in 2021, but still down 34% from the $546 million in 2020. The average settlement of $1.8 million increased by 20% from $1.5 million in 2021, but was still well below the $2.3 million average in 2020. The top medical malpractice settlement involved a failure to diagnose a brain aneurysm resulting in a rupture and seri- ous injury. The $20 million settlement was handled by Clifford Law Offices.
Cook County continued to be the jurisdiction with the most medical malpractice settlements with 74% of the cases and 76% of the revenue. Settling a medical malpractice case in Cook County continues to bring a premium with the aver- age amount exceeding non-Cook cases by 15% or $236,000. However, non-Cook cases saw the steepest annual rise in av- erage settlement amounts climbing 71% to $1.6 million from $944,000 in 2021. Medical malpractice trials continued to be rare, but the out- comes in 2022 were more evenly split. Of the 25 cases that went to trial during the current reporting period, the defense win rate was 52%, down from 62% in 2021.
22 JURY VERDICT REPORTER • 2022 ANNUAL TRIAL LAWYER EXCELLENCE AWARDS
WE CONGRATULATE OUR FOUNDING PARTNER John F. Winters, Jr. 2022 JVR Awards for Trial Lawyer Excellence Award Highest Reported Illinois Verdict or Settlement for a Dental Case Award $ 12 Million Settlement
▪ 2022 ▪
Outstanding Defense Verdict in a Premises Case
Back and Leg Injuries Allegedly Caused by Lack of Handrail in CTA Station Not Guilty
PLAINTIFF ASKED $14,500,000 DEFENSE OFFER $50,000 VERDICT For the Defense
T his case involved a 34-year old women exiting the CTA “L” station at Randolph/ Wabash on a December morning. As she was walking down the staircase to the street level, she slipped and fell down seven stairs suf- fering back and leg injuries with expected future surgeries. Plaintiff contended the stairs lacked
anti-skid plates and a handrail. The defense contended there was an overnight storm that covered the stairs with ice and freezing rain, and that was the sole proximate cause of the plain- tiff’s fall. The defense also argued that there was a handrail and that some of plaintiff’s injuries were based on pre-existing conditions.
24 JURY VERDICT REPORTER • 2022 ANNUAL TRIAL LAWYER EXCELLENCE AWARDS
Martha Avila v Chicago Transit Authority 16L-3548 (refiled from 09L-6365) Tried Sep. 6-18, 2018
VERDICT: Not Guilty. Special Interrogatories: Was Martha Avila’s contributory negligence more than 50% of the total proximate cause of her injury? “Yes.” Was the sole proximate cause of Martha Avila’s injuries natural accumulation of ice or water or freezing rain? “No.” Was there a condition on the property, other than ice or water or freezing rain, which presented an unreasonable risk of harm to people on the property? “No.” Could CTA reasonably expect that people on the property would not discover or realize the danger or would fail to protect them- selves against such danger? “Yes.”
Gerald T. Donoghue Gerald Donoghue is a Managing Attorney with the Chicago Transit Authority Law De- partment, Torts Division. He defends high- exposure bus, rail, and premises personal injury and wrongful death cases. Gerald is an active member of the CTA Diversity, In- clusion & Belonging (DIB) Advisory Council and the Illinois Defense Counsel, where he serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Com- mittee. In addition, Gerald serves as a men- tor to students at Loyola University Chicago School of Law through the Chicago Bar As- sociation Mentorship Program.
JUDGE: Thomas More Donnelly (IL Cook-Law)
PLTF ATTY(S): Peter V. Bustamante of Peter V. Bustamante (Chicago, IL), Timothy J. Cavenagh of Timothy J. Cavenagh P.C.(Chicago, IL) DEMAND: $1,000,000 ASKED: $14,500,000 DEFT ATTY(S): Gerald T. Donoghue, Anne M. Madormo of C.T.A. Law Dept. (Chicago, IL) (Self-Insured) OFFER: $50,000 withdrawn PLTF MEDL: Dr. Sarmed Elias (Orthopedist), Dr. Nicole Wysocki (Rehab/ Physical Medicine)
DEFT MEDL: Dr. Dale Kaufman (Emergency Medicine)
PLTF EXPERT(S): G. Allen Brin (Architect)
DEFT EXPERT(S): Dr. Samuel J. Chmell (Orthopedist)
On the morning of December 24, 2009, pltf F-34 exited the CTA Randolph/ Wabash “L” train station around 6:50 a.m., but slipped and fell while walking down the staircase from the mezzanine level to the street on the northeast cor- ner of the intersection. She contended she fell about seven steps due to the lack of an anti-skid plate or non-slip surface on the landing and the lack of handrails which complied with Chicago Building Code. Pltf sustained herniated discs at L4-5 and L5-S1,transverse process and bilateral pars interarticularis fractures of the L-1 vertebra, retrolisthesis, anterolisthesis, osteitispubis, torn adduc- tor longus tendon, partially torn leg muscles, lumbar radiculopathy, complex regional pain syndrome, medial branch neuropathy, and lumbar plexopathy. Treatment included several epidural steroid injections, medial branch blocks, and intradiscal electrothermal annuloplasty (IDET), and pltf claimed she will require a future lumbar fusion surgery within five years ($326,000+ medical ex - penses not submitted into evidence). The defense maintained an overnight ice storm had covered the stairs with ice, water and freezing rain, and this natural accumulation was the sole proximate cause of pltf’s fall. However, pltf denied she slipped on ice. The defense argued the landing was made from creosote- treated wood which complied with the Chicago Building Code since it was not
JURY VERDICT REPORTER • 2022 ANNUAL TRIAL LAWYER EXCELLENCE AWARDS 25
Outstanding Defense Verdict in a Premises Case
considered a danger for slipping, each stair tread had an anti-skid Wooster plate, the handrails admittedly were not code-compliant as they stopped three inches below the landing but the three-inch shortfall was de minimus and not causally related to her fall because she was able to grasp the handrail before she fell, only the transverse process fracture and muscle strains were related to the fall, all of her other conditions were pre-existing, and none of these condi- tions were aggravated by the incident.
Anne M. Madormo Anne M. (Belanger) Madormo came aboard the Chicago Transit Authority in 2008 as a Chief Attorney in Torts and was quickly pro- moted to Managing Attorney Torts in 2010. In addition to Avila, she has had other trial successes including obtaining a directed verdict in the personal injury case of Shelton v. CTA involving a pedestrian v. bus collision and significant arm degloving injury. Outside the trial arena, her past successes in representing the CTA include bringing hun- dreds of claims arising from derailments, subway fires and an unmanned “ghost” train on train collision to a successful resolution via settlement. As a persuasive writer, she also obtained summary judgments in cata- strophic injury cases such as Longo v. CTA (traumatic brain injury in a bus/person col- lision) and Tahir v. CTA (wrongful death in a person/train collision). Most recently, she was the trial court handling attorney that lead to the now published Illinois Supreme Court decision of Quiroz v CTA (wrong- ful death in a trespasser/train collision). In addition to handling her own significant caseload, Anne has always enjoyed educat- ing and mentoring other attorneys, whether newly admitted or fellow seasoned veterans.
The Chicago Transit Authority Law Department, Torts Division inhouse attorneys and staff defend the CTA and its employees in bus, rail, and premises personal injury, wrongful death and property damage actions in the Law Division and First Municipal Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County and Federal District Court. The CTA is the second largest transit agency in the nation. Torts Division attorneys are active in motion practice and have extensive trial experience.
26 JURY VERDICT REPORTER • 2022 ANNUAL TRIAL LAWYER EXCELLENCE AWARDS
CONGRATULATES J. Matthew Dudley & Marisa Schostok 2022 JVR Award for Highest Reported Lake County Settlement
2022 JVR Trial Lawyer Excellence Awards
28 JURY VERDICT REPORTER • 2022 ANNUAL TRIAL LAWYER EXCELLENCE AWARDS
2022 JVR Trial Lawyer Excellence Awards
JURY VERDICT REPORTER • 2022 ANNUAL TRIAL LAWYER EXCELLENCE AWARDS 29
▪ 2022 ▪
for a Dental Case Highest Reported Illinois Verdict or Settlement
Oral Surgery Results in Hypoxic Brain Damage $12,000,000
PLAINTIFF ASKED N/A DEFENSE OFFER N/A
P laintiff underwent oral surgery to re- move 14 teeth due to periodontal disease. Plaintiff had a pre-existing cardiac condition and prior to the procedure needed a cardiology evaluation to permit the use of general anesthetic. However, the
evaluation was not properly performed and the method of checking the plaintiff’s blood pressure during the oral surgery was insuf- ficient. The plaintiff suffered a cardiac event resulting in severe hypoxic brain damage and the need for 24-hour nursing care.
30 JURY VERDICT REPORTER • 2022 ANNUAL TRIAL LAWYER EXCELLENCE AWARDS
(SFFF e/23) (12U) 09C-4606
SETTLEMENT: $12,000,000 (USDC IL NE)
JUDGE: Thomas V. Lyons, II (IL Cook-Law)
PLTF ATTY(S): John F. Winters, Jr. of Winters, Salzetta & O’Brien (Chicago, IL)
John F. Winters, Jr. John F. Winters, Jr. is the founding mem- ber of the firm Winters Salzetta O’Brien & Richardson, LLC. The firm was formed in 1997. John has successfully settled or tried to verdict a variety of cases including medi- cal negligence, police misconduct, VA Hos- pital negligence, automobile/trucking neg- ligence, premises liability negligence and defamation cases, obtaining multi-million dollar results for his clients against defen- dants and their insurance companies. John has been involved in a number of high- profile matters, including his current repre - sentation of former NFL players against the NFL in the CTE brain injury cases. In addition to his work as a litigator, John Winters gives back to the community through his many philanthropic activities ranging from volunteer positions with Holy Name Cathedral, various youth organiza- tions and served as past President of former NFL Player, Russell Maryland’s charitable foundation that provided scholarships and mentoring for many disadvantaged youths in the City of Chicago.
September 19, 2007 Vietnam veteran John Johnson (55) underwent oral sur- gery at Hines V.A. Hospital to remove 14 teeth due to periodontal disease. Prior to the procedure, John was to have a cardiology evaluation to determine if his pre-existing cardiac condition (severe non-ischemic cardiomypathy with a low ejection fraction of 10 to 20 percent) would permit the use of a general anes- thetic. However, this evaluation was not properly performed. Further, although it was recommended that an arterial line be placed for precise monitoring of John’s blood pressure during the surgery, only a blood pressure cuff was used, which checked John’s vital signs in 5 minute increments. As a result, when John suffered a cardiac event during the oral surgery performed under gen- eral anesthesia, it was not timely detected and resulted in severe hypoxic brain damage which necessitates 24-hour nursing care. Paid by the United States of America.
Winters Salzetta O’Brien & Richardson, LLC is among the premier personal injury firms in Illinois. Founded in 1997, their attorneys have diverse backgrounds and a unique approach to practicing law. Winters Salzetta O’Brien & Richardson, LLC works collaboratively and their partners are directly involved in every case, no matter how large or small. Their lawyers have been and continue to be at the forefront of the personal injury field. They continually strive to remain on the cutting edge of all the latest technological developments, so they can utilize the most up-to-date resources to make the legal process smoother and more efficient for their clients.
JURY VERDICT REPORTER • 2022 ANNUAL TRIAL LAWYER EXCELLENCE AWARDS 31
AT T O RN E Y S
Drake Narup & Mead PC
Congratulations DAVID L. DRAKE & CHRISTIAN D. BISWELL
For receiving a 2022 JVR Award for Outstanding Defense Verdict in a Legal Malpractice Case
▪ 2022 ▪
Defense Attorney Achievement Awards E xcellence from the perspective of the defense attorney is best measured by minimized damages securing for the client the best possible outcome in even the most extreme cases. This year we recognize two defense lawyers for having consistently delivered exceptional results for their clients in high verdict potential jury trials as demonstrated by our extensive database of published case summaries. When verdict exposure is in the millions of dollars, these defense counsel are regularly called upon to minimize their client’s exposure.
Sharon M. Peart and Joseph P. Switzer (not pictured)
JURY VERDICT REPORTER • 2022 ANNUAL TRIAL LAWYER EXCELLENCE AWARDS 33
Defense Attorney Achievement Awards
Sharon M. Peart Sharon Peart is a trial lawyer who has defended claims involving personal injury and property damage including: construction de- fect, traumatic brain injuries, death, amputation, dental negligence, slip and fall, transportation negligence, Wrongful Tree Cutting Act, Illinois Equine Activity Liability Act, construction injuries and other claims from investigation to resolution. Sharon has taken over 70 cases to verdict. Her litigation experience is not typical or ordinary. In litigation in Southern Illinois, Sharon went under- ground into a working coal mine to view and experience transpor- tation in the mine. Throughout her career Sharon has maintained a strong work ethic and has mentored several young lawyers.
FIRM INFO The law firm of Esp Kreuzer Cores LLP represents business and individual clients in a variety of legal practice areas, including personal injury defense, construction defense, medical malpractice defense, family law and the firm is general counsel to Credit Unions.
Joseph P. Switzer Joseph P. Switzer has been in practice since 1980 and is a found- ing partner at Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP. He focuses his prac- tice on medical malpractice and product liability. As primary trial counsel, he has tried numerous complex jury cases to verdict and procured not guilty verdicts in many of these cases. Joe diligently represents a wide range of various physicians, hospitals, and clin- ics in professional negligence cases and large corporations in product and general liability matters. He also represents count- less major insurance clients and many self-insured national and international corporations.
FIRM INFO Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP is a nationally recognized litigation firm that successfully assists clients in virtually every industry
by delivering the highest standards of legal services. Since its inception in 1992, the firm has grown to more than 140 attorneys in six locations. With over one thousand tried cases, the firm provides counseling and representation to many large corporations, prestigious institutions, business owners, and individuals in jurisdictions across the United States.
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Plaintiff Attorney Achievement Awards
P rior to this year, on the plaintiff’s side, only twelve attorneys had recorded five Illinois jury verdicts of $5 million or more. Securing just one $5 million jury verdict is notable — but five — exceptional. Along the way, these trial lawyers have achieved many record verdicts, some of which have stood for nearly 30 years. This year we recognize the 13th and 14th members of this select group of plaintiff’s attorneys.
Robert S. Baizer and Bradley M. Cosgrove
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Plaintiff Attorney Achievement Awards
Robert S. Baizer Early in his career, Bob Baizer honed his trial skills as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Lake County, Illinois, where he tried major felonies including murder, rape and incest cases. In 1978, he started his own practice, and ten years later earned the then-largest medical malprac- tice verdict ($18.6 million) in the State of Illinois. He’s also proud to have secured one of the nation’s largest medical malpractice verdicts ($29.8 million). As a member of the Lake County Wrongful Convic- tions Committee, Bob played an active role in a declaration of inno- cence for a man serving ten years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of murder. Bob was active on the ITLA Board of Managers for 25 years and the AAJ Board of Governors for 20 years.. In 2012, Bob was appointed a Special Assistant State’s Attorney in Lake County, Illinois. In 2019, his firm merged with the firm of Romanucci & Blandin where he is now Senior Counsel.
FIRM INFO Romanucci & Blandin is a national trial practice committed to fighting for victims of negligence, abuse and wrong - ful death arising from police misconduct, corporate negligence, civil rights actions, medical malpractice, mass shootings, mass torts and class actions. The attorneys’ steadfast commitment to fighting for those seeking justice around the country has helped the firm obtain multiple verdicts and settlements in the millions of dollars. The Chicago-based personal injury lawyers are dedicated to providing victims who suffered injury as a result of another’s wrongdoing full and fair compensation in a diligent, professional, skilled and caring manner.
Bradley M. Cosgrove Bradley M. Cosgrove is the quintessential trial lawyer. Even dur- ing the pandemic in 2021, he took two cases to trial, obtaining an $18.15 million verdict on behalf of a teenager struck by a truck who suffered brain damage (Dec. 2021) and a $3.35 million verdict against a neurologist who negligently treated a brain tumor as migraines (June 2021). In July 2022, he obtained a $5.2 million verdict, a record in the state of Illinois for an unborn fetus. In the first half of 2022, he obtained more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts. Brad has received numerous accolades recognizing his superior trial skills. The National Trial Lawyers named him one of the Top 100 Law- yers in the country.
FIRM INFO Together, the lawyers at Clifford Law Offices represent hundreds of
years of practice in the area of personal injury and wrongful death law, particularly aviation and transportation litiga- tion. Every member of the firm upholds the highest principles of the legal profession in placing the individual client first. The firm sets the standard for professional excellence. As a result of the litigation handled by Clifford Law Offices, many defective products and dangerous practices have been changed or abandoned altogether.
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CONGRATULATIONS TO Manuel Sanchez ON RECEIVING 2022 JVR Award FOR OUTSTANDING DEFENSE VERDICT IN A PRODUCT LIABILITY CASE
▪ 2022 ▪
in a Product Liability Case Outstanding Defense Verdict
Automotive Mechanic’s Exposure to Asbestos Leads to Mesothelioma Not Guilty
PLAINTIFF ASKED $45,000,000 DEFENSE OFFER $50,000 VERDICT For the Defense
P laintiff worked as an auto mechanic for several Ford dealerships and contended that he was exposed to products that contained asbestos and that caused him to develop peritoneal mesothe- lioma. Plaintiff sought damages for reduced
life, pain/suffering, emotional distress, lost wages and his wife’s loss of consortium. The issue at trial was negligent failure to warn and the defense argued that manuals, service bulletins and training materials con- tained warnings regarding asbestos.
38 JURY VERDICT REPORTER • 2022 ANNUAL TRIAL LAWYER EXCELLENCE AWARDS
Charles C. Doolittle, Jr., Donna Doolittle v Ford Motor Co. 17L-9996 Tried Feb. 18-28, 2020
VERDICT: Not Guilty
JUDGE: Clare E. McWilliams (IL Cook-Law)
Manuel Sanchez Manuel “Manny” is the Founder and Manag- ing Partner of Sanchez Daniels & Hoffman LLP. Over the past 35 years the firm has earned a reputation as one of the premier civil litigation defense firms in the State of Illinois and has grown into the second largest minority-owned law firm in the United States. Manny is a highly accomplished trial lawyer, specializing in multimillion-dollar complex product liability, construction, professional liability, employment law and toxic tort de- fense litigation. He has been the lead coun- sel and successfully tried to verdict more than 75 cases in both State and Federal Court in Illinois, Missouri, and Indiana. He has received an AV Preeminent peer rating by Martindale-Hubbell for the past 35 years. Highly regarded by his peers, he is a multi- term elected member of the Illinois State Bar General Assembly, past Co-chair of the ABA Commission on the Jury and was se- lected as the recipient of the 2013 Distin- guished Award for Excellence by the Illinois Bar Foundation.
PLTF ATTY(S): William R. Fahey, Robert J. Cooney, Jr., Lawrence R. Weisler of Cooney & Conway (Chicago, IL) for both pltfs DEMAND: $5,000,000 ASKED: $45,000,000 DEFT ATTY(S): Samuel L. Tarry, Jr. of McGuireWoods (Richmond, VA), Manuel Sanchez, Renee Ziolkowski of Sanchez, Daniels & Hoffman (Chicago, IL) (Self-Insured) OFFER: $50,000
PLTF MEDL: Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler (Oncologist) for Charles C. Doolittle, Jr.
PLTF EXPERT(S): Dr. Murray Finkelstein, Ph.D. (Epidemiologist); Dr. Arthur L. Frank (Industrial/Occupational Medicine) for Charles C. Doolittle, Jr. DEFT EXPERT(S): Dr. Victor Roggli (Pathologist); Fionna S. Mowat, Ph.D. of Exponent, 149 Commonwealth Drive, Menlo Park, CA (650-688-1782) (Environmental Scientist) Pltf Charles Doolittle worked as an auto mechanic for several Ford dealerships from 1992 through 2000. Pltf contended he was exposed to products which contained asbestos while on the job, and also back when he was a student from 1990 to 1992, causing him to subsequently develop peritoneal mesothe- lioma. Specifically, pltf maintained Ford failed to adequately warn him of the dangers of asbestos in automotive products, including brakes. Pltf, 47 years old at trial, sought damages for reduced life expectancy, pain/suffering, emotional distress, and lost earnings; his wife claimed loss of consortium. Their lawsuit was filed against numerous defts, but Ford was the only remaining deft at trial. The sole issue at trial was a negligent failure to warn theory. The defense ar- gued Ford’s shop manuals, technical service bulletins, and training materials contained warnings regarding asbestos and included admonitions against us- ing compressed air while performing brake work. The jury reportedly deliber- ated 4.5 hours.
Sanchez Daniels & Hoffman LLP is a full service civil practice law firm with the top AV Martindale-Hubbell rating. The firm is actively involved in the preparation, trial and appeal, if necessary, of civil cases of all kinds including personal injury, property damage, coverage disputes and other litigation. The firm specializes in the fields of product liability, construction, warranty, and civil rights litigation. A major portion of their practice is devoted to transportation issues, toxic torts, alleged “bad faith” insurance claims, insurance coverage, excess and reinsurance matters, homeowner’s liability, and fire and explosion claims. Additionally, the firm handles contractual, commercial and real estate litigation as well as injunctive and/or equity relief, and appellate litigation.
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Outstanding Defense Verdict in a Product Liability Case
Renee Ziolkowski Renee Ziolkowski focuses her practice on defending corporate clients in construc- tion liability, premise liability, product liabil- ity and toxic tort actions. She has obtained successful results on behalf of those clients through complex motion practice, arbitra- tions, mediations and trials. Recently, Renee served as trial counsel in a products liability case wherein a 47-year-old professional mechanic was diagnosed with mesothelioma and requested a $45 million verdict. After four hours of deliberation, a Cook County, IL jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant, a major auto vehicle manufacturer. Prior to that, she obtained a defense verdict in Cook County, Illinois on behalf of a driver that was involved in an automobile accident. The plaintiff, a pro- fessional truck driver, claimed that he sus- tained permanent injuries as a result of the accident, including the need for a future lum- bar fusion. The plaintiff requested an award of almost three million dollars; however, the jury awarded less than six thousand dollars. Renee has served as a trial team member representing a major auto manufacturer in toxic tort actions filed in both Illinois and Missouri. In that capacity, she has defended hundreds of product liability and premises liability cases. Renee has conducted numer- ous depositions throughout the country, argued substantive motions and has assist- ed in preparing and taking matters to trial.
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▪ 2022 ▪
Thank you to our Sponsors
SMITH BLAKE HILL SBH
JURY VERDICT REPORTER • 2022 ANNUAL TRIAL LAWYER EXCELLENCE AWARDS 41
▪ 2022 ▪
Highest Reported Lake County Settlement
Alleged Failure to Continue Pulse Oximetry Monitor Results in Hypoxic Injury $20,000,000
PLAINTIFF ASKED N/A DEFENSE OFFER N/A
Matthew Dudley not pictured.
T his case was a medical malpractice ac- tion involving a plaintiff was being treated for meningitis. Allegedly, a continuous pulse oximetry monitoring was ordered but dis- continued, resulting in hypoxic injury. Defense
contended the plaintiff’s patient history was in- complete and that they would not have discon- tinued the monitoring had they known. There was also debate about who ordered the monitor- ing be discontinued.
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(SLLL l/33) (12S) 16L-319
SETTLEMENT: $20,000,000 (IL, Lake 19th Jud Cir)
PLTF ATTY(S): J. Matthew Dudley, Marisa Schostok of Dudley & Lake (Chicago, IL) Daniya (13) was being treated for meningitis/encephalitis on February 28, 2016 at the E/R. Allegedly continuous pulse oximetry monitoring was discontinued when Daniya was transported to radiology. Daniya suffered a hypoxic injury as a result and now requires constant care as a resident of Misericordia ($1,800,000 medl. expense). Nurses testified that the nasal cannula had been kept in place but CT images did not show any plastic tubing around the child’s face or nose. Defense claimed that the mother failed to provide a complete history including an event where Daniya had been tested for ocular myasthenia gravis. While Daniya tested negative for the disease, defense argued that had this detail been provided, they would not have discontinued monitoring. The E/R physician who ordered the monitoring testified the nursing staff should not have discontinued it in any event. $10,000,000 was paid by the partially self-insured hospital and $10,000,000 by Allied World (excess carrier). This is the highest reported Lake County medical malpractice settlement.
J. Matthew Dudley A co-founder of the firm of Dudley & Lake, Matt Dudley handles complex medical mal- practice and personal injury litigation. He is the immediate past President of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and serves on the Executive Committee for the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, a member of the Illi- nois State Bar Association, Lake County Bar Association and American Association for Justice. He has obtained numerous multi- million-dollar verdicts and settlements in counties throughout Illinois. He has been recognized by his peers both as a “Leading Lawyer” and “Super Lawyer.”
Marisa Schostok Marisa Schostok joined Dudley & Lake in 2016 after working as a criminal prosecutor in the Lake County States Attorney’s office. She focuses her practice on medical mal- practice, wrongful death, and personal injury litigation. She is an active member of the Il- linois Trial Lawyers Association, a co-chair of the ITLA Women’s Caucus, and the cur- rent President of the not-for-profit, the Mi - chael Matters Foundation, which provides financial assistance to brain tumor patients in Illinois. She has been recognized by her peers as both a “Rising Star” and “Emerging Lawyer.”
Dudley & Lake, LLC is a plaintiff’s personal injury law firm which focuses its practice on medical malpractice, wrongful death, complex personal injury, nursing home negligence and workers compensation. Dudley & Lake has office locations in Lake County, Chicago, and Peoria, and is proud to represent clients all over the state of Illinois.
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