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.
Mr. Wine defended Alexadra Bochis at a jury trial arising from a personal injury suit filed against her by Enrico Alberti. The case was tried on February 14, 2017 before Judge Desierto in the Circuit Court of Cook County. The case arose from an auto accident of December 14, 2012 at the intersection of Forest Preserve Drive and Overhill Ave in Chicago. The crash happened when Mr. Alberti turned left from Forest Preserve Drive onto Overhill while Ms. Bochis drove in the opposite direction of Forest Preserve Drive. The collision was heavy and Mr. Alberti alleged he lost two teeth requiring a permanent bridge together with neck and back injuries. He presented to the jury $10,000 in medical bills and his lawyer urged the jury to add $15,000 for his pain and suffering and $5,000 for loss of a normal life. Mr. Wine emphasized that Mr. Alberti had an obligation to yield because he made a left turn and that Ms. Bochis had no time to avoid the collision. The jury took only forty-five minutes for deliberation and returned a verdict in favor of Ms. Bochis.
Plaintiff Gregory Gordon, a professional truck driver for Watkins Brothers out of Georgia, drove a flat bed semi loaded with 70,000 pounds of building materials north bound on I-90 in downstate Illinois on his way to Minnesota. He came upon the slow moving passenger van of Dorothy Lucas who drove herself and her family back to Chicago from a vacation in Louisiana. Ms. Lucas experienced a flat tire and began to slow to keep control of her van and pull over onto the shoulder. The collision was extreme with the semi truck rolling over and the van being flipped onto its side. Mr. Gordon suffered injuries and incurred medical expenses of $66,000 for a fractured leg needing surgery and facial surgery for check bone repairs. He was in a wheelchair for 6 months and lost $35,000 in wages. He never returned back to work as an over the road driver. In addition, the 6 passengers in Ms. Lucas’ can brought claims against Mr. Gordon and Watkins which were settled for $120,000 collectively. Mr. Gordon sued Ms. Lucas in the Circuit Court of Cook County and Watkins Brothers joined the lawsuit seeking recovery against Ms. Lucas for the sums it paid to her passengers.
The evidence was disputed. Mr. Gordon contended that Ms. Lucas lingered on the highway too long travelling well below the minimum speed limit of 45 mph. He also contended that she was fully in the right hand moving lane and he had no chance to avoid her as traffic in between he and Ms. Lucas moved to the left lane. Ms. Lucas contended that as soon as her tire indicator activated on her dashboard, she slowed and activated her hazard lights. She also contended that she had almost fully pulled onto the shoulder when the collision happened. The Illinois State Police and its reconstruction team concluded that Ms. Lucas was at fault and ticketed her for the incident. Mr. Gordon and Ms. Lucas retained their own reconstruction experts who arrived at differing conclusions about Mr. Lucas’ speed and position on the roadway. Ms. Lucas also developed evidence showing Mr. Gordon’s rig violated some specifications of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act. The parties could not agree on settlement in that the Ms. Lucas’ insurer made no offers to settle and the Plaintiffs demanded the entirety of her $300,000 coverage.
The parties agreed to a binding arbitration before Judge Michael Panter, retired from the Circuit Court of Cook County, at ADR Systems, Inc. in Chicago. The parties testified as did their respective experts and submitted video evidence depositions of the State Police and medical witnesses. Counsels for Mr. Gordon and Watkins Brothers argued that their respective clients were entitled to an award of $500,000 in total. Ms. Lucas argued that she was not at fault for the accident and that Mr. Gordon was responsible for the accident urging the Court to find in her favor. Judge Panter, unaware of the insurance coverage and the limits pursuant to the arbitration contract, deliberated on the matter for 4 days and returned a verdict for Ms. Lucas on all claims.