On January 4, 2014, Barbara Wilke drove her car south bound on Southwest Highway proceeding on a green light. Phil Johnson, a self employed truck driver, headed east on the intersecting street. His brakes failed as he tried to slow for his red light. Mr. Johnson’s truck broadsided Ms. Wilke’s car on the passenger side. She claimed aggravation of her pre-existing fibromyalgia and neck injuries leading to a cervical fusion. She filed suit against Mr. Johnson and adduced medical evidence showing approximately $671,000 in medical bills and an inability to work after her physicians put her on social security disability. After obtaining all the medical records and deposing 8 of her physicians, Mr. DiPino engage Dr. Martin Lanoff to review the medical records and deposition testimony. The defense contended that the plaintiff’s cervical fusion was unrelated to the accident with Mr. Johnson, her fibromyalgia was in fact not aggravated by the accident, and that her injury was solely a neck strain. Plaintiff demanded Mr. Johnson’s $2 million in coverage. The defense offered $50,000. The parties agreed to submit the case to a binding arbitration before Judge Michael Panter of ADR Systems Inc. After a lengthy arbitration in which all parties and medical witnesses testified, counsel for Ms. Wilke asked for $3.1 million dollars. The defense disputed the causal relationship of the injuries to the accident and urged an award of $40,000. After several days of deliberation, Judge Panter returned an award of $125,000.
In early October 2018, Mr. DiPino defended State Farm in an underinsured motorist claim arising from an accident at the Kentucky Derby. The claimant had been at Churchill Downs after recovering from breast cancer surgery. While returning to her hotel after the Derby, an underinsured motorist blew a stop sign striking the claimant’s car injuring her and 3 of her friends. The underinsured motorist had a $20,000 policy and it was split equally between the claimant and her passengers. The claimant spent the night at the local hospital for complaints relating to her head, breast, neck, and back. She was released and began a course of physical therapy and medical evaluations. Her medical bills totaled $31,000 and her expert projected an additional $80,000 for a future cervical fusion. After extensive medical discovery, the case proceeded to a three person arbitration panel. The claimant sought an award of $300k to $350k together with a bad faith claim against the claimant’s insurer. The defense argued that the evidence showed nothing more than a neck strain and that the cervical fusion had no basis in the evidence. The panel returned an award of $27,000 for the claimant. Prior to the arbitration, an offer of $43k had been made to claimant which she rejected. Mr. DiPino’s work was noted in the “And the defense wins” column of the October 24, 2018 issue of The Voice published by DRI.
Mr. Stephen defended a homeowner whose dog bite a neighbor while the neighbor came to check on the house and the dog while the owner was on vacation. The owner had given the neighbor instructions about taking care of the dog. The neighbor fed and watered the dog and took him from his cage to walk him in the back yard. When trying to return the dog the its cage in house, the dog bit the neighbor in the face severely lacerating the neighbor’s lips and cheek. She filed suit against the owner alleging ordinary negligence and violation of the Illinois Animal Control Act. The court found no evidence of negligence against the owner and found that the neighbor acted as the custodian of the dog taking the case out of the scope of the Animal Control Act and therefore found in favor of the owner.
Ms. Kling defended a State Farm insured accused of negligently driving causing Plaintiff’s car to sustain damage of approximately $3,000. The Plaintiff alleged that while she made a right hand turn off a main thoroughfare into a parking lot, Ms. Kling’s client tried to overtake the Plaintiff by driving on the right. The Defendant contended that the Plaintiff made her right turn from the left lane of the road turning into the Plaintiff. The case proceeded to Arbitration and Ms. Kling obtained a not guilty for her client. The Plaintiff paid $200 to the Court Clerk to reject the arbitration award and proceed to trial. Ms. Kling prepared the case for trial and presented several motions to the trial judge attacking the admissibility of what the Plaintiff believed to be proper evidence. The trial judge spent a day hearing argument and ruling in favor of Ms. Kling and her client. After those rulings, the Plaintiff had no choice but to accept a nuisance offer of $250. This matter was Ms. Kling’s first trial case for Beverly and Pause. Her firm is very proud of her diligence, expert preparation, and professionalism.
Mr. Wine defended a State Farm insured who struck Ms. Romano’s car. There was no doubt about the liability of the defendant but a significant question existed as to Ms. Romano’s injuries and casual relationship to the accident. The evidence showed that Ms. Romano had no significant history as to her neck. Ultimately, after conservative treatment such as physical therapy and injections, she underwent cervical fusion surgery. Her medical bills were just under $200,000. The surgery left her with a scar. Mr. Wine deposed all the physicians who cared for Ms. Romano and had her medical data reviewed by a orthopedic spine surgeon. Counsel for Plaintiff demanded $1 million to settle. Mr. Wine recommended a binding arbitration. Judge Egan, Retired, of the Circuit Court of Cook County heard the matter taking evidence of 4 medical witnesses, the Plaintiff and several thousand pages of medical records. After considering the evidence and hearing the arguments of counsel for Plaintiff and Mr. Wine, the court returned a verdict of $294,100.
From October 2 to October 8, 2017, Mr. Stephens defended State Farm’s insureds, Mr. and Mrs. Amoroso in a jury trial before the Honorable Joan Powell in the Circuit Court of Cook County. The plaintiff was hit by the nanny of the Amoroso’s while driving their car. She made a left turn on a green light while the plaintiff proceeded through the intersection. The plaintiff suffered injuries to his pelvis and lower back requiring surgery and external fixators. He also developed chronic pain. Before trial, the plaintiff demanded $775,000 to settle. At trial, the counsel for plaintiff asked the jury for $3.6 million. At trial, Mr. Stephens offered $725,000 to settle the case. The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff in the amount of $479,000.
Mr. Srodulski defended an American Family insured in a auto accident matter. Although Mr. Srodulski’s client was at fault for the collision, he built a medical defense raising questions about the Plaintiff’s quarter million dollars in medical bills and their connection to the incident. After extensive medical discovery, the parties reached an impasse with the Plaintiff insisting that her case was worth $1.2 million dollars. The parties litigated the matter before Retired Judge Jennifer Duncan Brice. After hearing from the witnesses and the respective experts for each side, Judge Duncan Brice returned a verdict of $35,000.
Mr. Srodulski defended a snow plower company in a personal injury lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County. The case was tried before Judge Bartkowicz. The plaintiff filed suit alleging that Mr. Srodulski’s client had failed to properly remove snow from her condominium’s parking lot. She fell while walking across the parking lot injuring her wrist. The wrist injury required surgery to install hardware to give her partial function of wrist. She lost some movement of her wrist permanently. Despite her injury, the Plaintiff was less than honest about how and where she fell. Mr. Srodulski’s cross examination of her was devastating. Under his questioning, Mr. Srodulski forced the plaintiff to admit she fell in an area over which his client was not obliged to plow. Accordingly, Mr. Srodulski established that her fall too place in an area where his client had no legal and no contractual obligation to plow. Mr. Srodulski then urged the court to take the case from the jury and dismiss his client from the case. Despite counsel for plaintiff’s pleas that his client’s injury for which he sought $800,000 was entitled to her day in court, Judge Bartkowicz took the rare step of throwing the case out of court against Mr. Srodulski’s client holding that the plaintiff had utterly failed to establish any factual or legal reason to let the case proceed. The plaintiff has filed no appeal and the case has been terminated.
Mr. Iovinelli defended Dan Coffey and Sila Maintenance in a jury trial before Judge Axelrood at the Daley Center. The trial lasted 4 days. Joan Anaya alleged that as a result of a rear end motor vehicle accident her spine was injured requiring surgery. She put in evidence $222,800 in medical bills. The Plaintiff’s expert Dr. Lim testified for the plaintiff but Mr. Iovinelli’s cross exam undermined the reliability of his testimony. At closing argument, counsel for plaintiff asked the jury for $750,000. The jury, siding with Mr. Iovinelli, found that the plaintiff suffered only a minor strain of her lower back and returned a verdict of only $5,000.
Mr. Srodulski defended a State Farm insured in a jury trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County. The presiding judge was Judge Bartkowicz. The trial lasted several days. The case arose from a minor automobile accident. The plaintiffs alleged that as a result of the accident, they suffered injuries to spinal disks and were at risk of future medical care and treatment. Mr. Srodulski effectively attacked the questionable medical witnesses and showed the jury that the plaintiffs had significant problems with trustworthiness. He also mounted an effective medical defense using objective and credible medical witnesses. The lawyer for the Plaintiffs asked the jury for $190,000. The jury, however, agreed with Mr. Srodulski’s position and returned a verdict of only $8000 total essentially awarding emergency room charges only.