JVR Trial Excellence Awards 2022


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.


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