VERDICTS

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Suttle v. Lake Forest Hospital
1997 – Jury Verdict – $10,944,000.00

Terrence K. Hegarty tried this case in early 1997. This birth injury verdict was the second highest in Cook County ($11 million had been awarded in 1991).

This case was defended by John D. Cassiday, Senior Partner at Cassiday, Schade & Gloor and was appealed to the Appellate Court both before trial and after trial. The plaintiff Diana Suttle was victorious in both appeals. The Supreme Court refused the P.L.A. filed by the defendant and the full net verdict and interest was paid to the plaintiff, Diana Suttle.

The defendant hospital failed to detect the plaintiff newborn’s acute blood loss from an undiagnosed vasa previa placental abnormality. This undiscovered blood loss caused brain damage and cerebral palsy to Diana Suttle.

This result involved eleven years of effort, two appeals and one jury trial. The plaintiff recovered $13,300,000.00 in total from all payments and settlements.

The following are more verdicts, commonly found on top legal directories full of lawyers.

Linstrom v. Dr. Han
2000 – Jury Verdict – $4,502,312.00

Terrence K. Hegarty tried this case assisted by Timothy W. Heath in early 2000. This case involved hundreds of scientific studies involving a hormone prescribed by defendant Dr. Han to the plaintiff’s mother in the early weeks of her first trimester.

This case was defended before trial and at trial by Hinshaw & Culbertson. ISMIS refused to pay $1 million before the verdict was returned. This case has been appealed to the Appellate Court and the plaintiff is anticipating a complete recovery.

Boll v. Chicago Park District
1988 – Jury Verdict – $16,500,000.00

Terrence K. Hegarty tried this case in November 1988. This $16,500,000.00 verdict was reduced to $7,425,000.00 as a result of plaintiff’s contributory negligence.

The plaintiff was a young man who became a quadriplegic after falling from Soldier Field to the ground. He was a Chicago Bears fan and the fall occurred at the conclusion of the Bears game with Tampa Bay on September 11, 1983.

In this case, there were ten witnesses who appeared against the plaintiff. The plaintiff, Ron Boll, was the only witness to the occurrence and the aftermath of the occurrence who testified in favor of the plaintiff.

Mr. Hegarty presented only one occurrence witness but he presented six treating physicians and seven retained experts in this six week long jury trial.

This jury verdict was a jury high for invitees and the gross verdict was the second highest for any type of award at the time in 1988.

This jury trial award was appealed to the Appellate Court by the defendant and the Appellate Court affirmed the jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff, Ron Boll. The defendant’s P.L.A. was denied by the Supreme Court of Illinois and the full net verdict plus interest was paid to the plaintiff.

Estate of William Kitterman v. CTA
1991 – Jury Verdict – $2,765,000.00

This is the case of William Kitterman, an 84 year old man who was exiting a CTA bus when the bus door closed on his left arm throwing him to the ground. The CTA driver pulled away while the CTA bus wheel rolled over Mr. Kitterman killing him.

The CTA contended that Mr. Kitterman was not a passenger on the bus. Three young witnesses observed the entire tragedy and the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff.

Mr. Kitterman was conscious and experiencing pain for only thirty minutes. He died four hours later.

The jury awarded $2,000,000.00 for pain. This was the highest jury award ever made in Cook County for a short period of pain before death following a traumatic event.

Mr. Hegarty tried this case for nine days against an attorney on the CTA legal staff.

Rodriguez v. Norfolk & Western Railway
1998 – Jury Verdict – $6,122,446.00

This is the case of a Marine Lieutenant home on furlough who was walking his dog in the forest preserves at night and saw a white light and investigated. He heard voices across the railroad tracks and he stood to wait while the train passed. The train stopped. The marine looked between two cars. The train started and a projecting piece of lumber struck him and pulled him under the train striking and amputating his arm.

The jury found for the Marine Lieutenant Vincent Rodriguez and reduced his verdict to $5,020,406.00 for plaintiff’s negligence.

This case was the highest arm amputation in Cook County at the time. Terrence K. Hegarty tried this case in a 10 day trial in early October 1988.

Skrobot v. Midwest Poly Chem, Ltd.
1988 – Jury Verdict – $2,788,242.00

John Skrobot, age 19, worked in a Jiffy Lube Station when a 55 gallon drum of window wash concentrate was ignited by a cigarette lighter 5 feet away causing an explosion.

John was set on fire and ran almost 100 yards before a courageous truck driver tackled the burning boy and put out the flames. This saved John’s life but he was burned over 75 percent of his body and began a nightmarish series of heroin injections to relieve the pain.

This verdict was a new high in Cook County for burns.

This case finished three trials Terrence K. Hegarty tried in the beginning of 1988. He was the only plaintiff trial lawyer to receive three multi million dollar verdicts in one calendar year.

Lynch v. Metropolitan Wholesale Supply Co.
1989 – Jury Verdict – $3,000,000.00

This case involved a 21 year old man working at Forest City Enterprises in Burbank who was helping a carpenter to nail plywood.

Suddenly a nail split and reversed direction imbedding itself into Terry Lynch’s right eye. Two other nails in Terry’s belt were defective in that they had “nicks”. In six other boxes of nails there were similar “nicks”.

The jury awarded $3,000,000.00 for the loss of one eye. This was a record verdict. Mr. Hegarty tried this case in a thirteen day trial in Cook County in late 1989. The offer made by the defendant attorney before trial was $300,000.00. Mr. Hegarty refused this settlement.

Jackson v. Hoffman Air and Filtration
1986 – Jury Verdict – $3,000,000.00

David Jackson, 31, worked in a grain elevator on the south side of Chicago at Fleischman Malting Company. He was a laborer assigned to vacuum grain dust, which is explosive, under a conveyor. He reached under the moving conveyor belt to move the vacuum hose and he was caught, pulled in and his head and chest were crushed. He was alive and kept in a circle with his fellow laborers, who supported him for one hour before he died. He was married with two small daughters.

This was the highest death award at the time in Cook County that was not an airplane or malpractice case.

Rivera v. City of Chicago and Rex Hayes
1984 – Jury Verdict – $1,004,181.00

Miguel Rivera, age 21, 5 feet 8 inches, 150 lbs., was driving his two young sons home at midnight when he was in a very slight fender bender with off duty Police Officer Rex Hayes (6 feet 2 inches, 240 lbs.). Hayes was still in his Chicago Police uniform when he was picked up by his girlfriend. He had a disagreement with her before colliding with Miguel Rivera’s car.

Miguel did not stop his car and Hayes chased Rivera, curbed him and pulled him out of his car. Rivera said that they should wait for and uninvolved on duty police officer and returned to his car. Hayes pulled Rivera from his vehicle a second time and hit him over the head with his police billy club which he held and wielded with two hands.

Miguel suffered a depressed skull fracture with subdural bleeding which required a craniotomy and which caused epilepsy and a temporary loss of speech.

Terrence K. Hegarty tried this case in 1984 when civil rights cases were rarely won by the plaintiff. This was the second high for civil rights in 1984.

SETTLEMENTS

McCoy v. St. Joseph’s Hospital
1997 – Settlement – $12,000,000.00

Terrence K. Hegarty settled this case assisted by Timothy W. Heath in a little over a year after the case first came into the office. The case arose when a young, first time pregnant woman went to St. Joseph’s Hospital for a routine cesarean section and never regained consciousness.

Mr. Hegarty and Mr. Heath did all of the discovery in the case and determined that not only was the anesthesiologist negligent but also that the anesthesiologist did not even have privileges at the hospital at the time he performed the operation on the woman. Further, we successfully obtained summary judgment against the hospital; the trial court found that the anesthesiologist was the apparent agent of the hospital. There is no reported decision in Illinois in which the plaintiff has obtained summary judgment against the hospital on the issue of apparent agency. As a result of the summary judgment, the plaintiff could have recovered from the hospital whatever judgment was entered against the anesthesiologist, who had a $1,000,000.00 policy. The settlement in the case included the retirement of a $1,000,000.00 lien held by a third-party insurer.

Gentile v. Consolidated Medical Transport
1999 – Settlement – $6,000,000.00

Terrence K. Hegarty settled this case assisted by Timothy W. Heath. The case arose out of a collision involving the car which the plaintiff was a passenger and an ambulance owned by Consolidated Medical Transport. We were able to establish that plaintiff had suffered a closed head injury as a result of the collision. In addition, we were able to demonstrate that the ambulance driver had violated the policies and procedures of the ambulance company, when he ran the red light with his lights and sirens going.

Smith v. Texaco
1994 – Settlement – $6,235,000.00

Terrence K. Hegarty settled this case assisted by Timothy W. Heath after 7 years of lengthy and complex discovery. Plaintiff was injured and rendered a quadriplegic as a result of an explosion of an empty, underground gasohol storage tank at a Texaco dealership in southside Chicago. The explosion occurred while the plaintiff had been grinding on the outside of the tank.

Mr. Hegarty pursued the theory that the underground storage tank lining was incompatible with gasohol and had actually stored gasohol in and behind the lining. Once the tank was emptied, the gasohol fumes from behind the lining began refilling the tank, resulting in an explosion, when the grinding wheel plaintiff was using broke and fell into the tank.

Mr. Hegarty and Mr. Heath took numerous depositions of Texaco witnesses all across the country including the Board and CEO of Texaco. More than 50 depositions of various witnesses including the approximately 20 expert witnesses were taken. In addition, approximately 10,000 pages of documents were produced regarding Texaco’s gasohol program.

Prior to trial, Hegarty & Heath incurred over $450,000.00 in discovery and trial expenses, including a mock-up of the underground storage tank in question. In order to demonstrate plaintiff’s theory, Mr. Hegarty commissioned an experiment to show that the lining of the underground storage tank in question would absorb the gasohol in sufficient quantities to result in an explosion. The experts in the case included hydrologists, agronomist, chemists, tank lining procedures experts and marketing experts.

Bartke v. Chrysler and Carle Clinic
1996 – Settlement – $4,500,000.00

Terrence K. Hegarty settled this complex case involving both a defect in the car in which the plaintiff was riding and medical malpractice at the hospital where the plaintiff was taken for treatment.

The case arose out of a one car crash on a back road in Iroquois County, Illinois. The car flipped over and plaintiff was thrown from the car. Although there was evidence that the driver had been drinking, we were able to show that there was a defect in the steering mechanism which played a role in the car losing control and flipping over.

Having been thrown from the car and unconscious, plaintiff was taken from the scene and transported to Carle Clinic in Urbana, Illinois. Once at Carle Clinic, the radiologist misread the x-rays showing that plaintiff had suffered a spinal cord injury. Although plaintiff still had movement in his lower extremities after arriving at Carle Clinic, he lost that movement approximately 12 hours after his arrival. As a consequence, plaintiff is a paraplegic.

Confidential Plaintiff v. Confidential Defendant
1993 – Settlement – $6,350,000.00

Terrence K. Hegarty settled this case assisted by Timothy W. Heath. The case arose out of and ill-fated attempt by a physician to demonstrate to a young resident an out-moded means of measuring the central venous pressure of a newborn. A prior attorney had been offered $3,500,000.00 to settle the case, which the plaintiff’s parents had rejected. Mr. Hegarty and Mr. Heath took the case over and ultimately settled the case for $6,350,000.00

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