This case involved a question of who had the green light at the intersection of Cicero and 83rd Street in Cicero Illinois. Plaintiff Orozco drove east bound on 83rd St contending that he had the green light and as a result of the accident, he suffered injuries to his neck and a herniated disk in his lower back together with a rotator cuff tear. He presented to the jury $6200 in medical bills having withdrawn almost an additional $11,000 in medical bills. Defendant Dyngosz, age 75, contended he drove south bound Cicero having the green light. No negotiations took place with both sides wanting to proceed to trial. The jury returned a verdict for Mr. Orozco in the amount of $18,187 after his counsel asked for $37,000.
In its June 1, 2016 newletter, the Defense Research Institute published Mr. DiPino’s result in the case of Huber v. Huber. More information about the case can be found on this website in the post of February 2, 2016. DRI’s The Voice newsletter can be found here: DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar [DRINewsletters@dri.org]
From February 5 to February 18, 2016, Mr. Stephen tried to jury verdict 2012 L 6481 in the Circuit Court of Cook County. The case arose from a rear end auto accident after which the Defendant pleaded guilty to drunk driving. The Plaintiff alleged that she suffered a disk injury in her neck with radiculopathy in her arms together with shoulder injuries and headaches. The plaintiff demanded $100,000 to settle. The Defendant offered a binding arbitration of $0 low to $100,000 high. The Plaintiff rejected the offer and the case proceeded to trial. Mr. Stephen developed evidence tending to question the Plaintiff’s injury and her credibility. Counsel for Plaintiff asked the jury to award $151,000. Despite admitting fault for the accident, the Defense argued that the evidence of the Plaintiff’s injury was not as serious as the Plaintiff claimed and urged the jury to award fair and reasonable compensation. The jury returned a verdict of $62, 200.
On January 7, 2016, in the case of Huber v. Huber, pending in the Circuit Court of Kane County, the parties agreed to arbitrate the matter before the Honorable Daniel Kelley at ADR Systems, Inc. The case arose from an incident which happened at the home of Richard and Tammy Huber in Geneva Illinois. On July 30, 2012, Tom Huber and Karin Huber brought their daughter Carly Lyn, age 7 at the time, to Richard and Tammy’s home to swim at their pool. After swimming, Carly went to say good bye to her cousins, Adam and Sabrina, who were in a bedroom containing their dogs, Frankie and Honey. The dogs were rescue dogs of Austrian Sheppard breed. The dogs had been known to be aggressive dogs so they were kept away when visitors came to Richard and Tammy’s home.
Carly knocked on the closed bedroom door and while Sabrina asked her to wait so she and Adam could hold the dogs, Carly opened the door and Honey bit her on the front of her right thigh and after she turned to flee, bit her a second time on the rear of her right thigh. Carly suffered multiple stitches to her leg to close the wounds and underwent antibiotic treatments for the wound on the back of her leg. She had medical of $6079.59. She was left with scars approximately 5 inches long and 1.5 inches wide.
Settlement negotiations were at an impasse with the Plaintiff demanding $300,000 representing Richard and Tammy’s homeowners policy limit and American Family offering $70,000. At the arbitration, Carly testified to her fear of dogs and her self-consciousness about the scars, especially on the front of her leg. Her parents testified to her medical treatment and how the dogs were known to have bitten relatives previously. Carly’s attorney urged Judge Kelley to award the sum of $701,000 based on the permanency of the scars and her fear of dogs. The defense disputed liability contending that the opening of the door while innocent constituted a “provocation” under the Animal Control Act and disputed the extent of the damages. The defense also recommended to the Court that if he found the Defendants liable, the sum of $40,000 was fair and reasonable compensation. The Court returned an award in the amount of $106,000.
Mr. Wine tried the case of Kiuzkowski v. Galent to verdict from September 21, 2015 to September 22, 2015. Judge Funderburk of the Daley Center presided over the jury. The plaintiff alleged that a disk injury to her neck and a shoulder injury contending that Ms. Galant drove her car carelessly at the intersection of Wellington and Naragansett in Chicago. Mr. Wine and Ms. Galent showed the jury that contact took place only because Ms. Galant had been struck by another car and as a result was pushed into the plaintiff’s car. The plaintiff presented medical bills of $11,264 and asked the jury for $37,000. Mr. Wine argued that Ms. Galent drove her car carefully and that the plaintiff’s injury was not credible. After Judge Funderburk gave the jury their legal instructions, they deliberated for 10 minutes and returned a verdict in favor of Ms. Galent.
This auto case arose from a collision of June 28, 2011. The crash happened at Belmont and Sayre in Chicago. Plaintiff Agnes Supergan and her passenger, Kamil Kulesza, drove southbound on Sayer. Meanwhile, Heather Murasky drove westbound on Belmont. The crash took place in the intersection and both drivers claimed they had the green light. Supergan claimed neck and back injuries and presented approximately $14,000 in medical bills. Kulesza neck and back injuries also and presented approximately $7,200 in medical bills. The parties tried the case before a jury over which Judge Lustig presided in the Daley Center. The jury awarded Supergan $10,441 but reduced her recovery by 50% finding she was half at fault for the accident leaving her a net recovery of $5220. The jury also awarded Kamil only an amount for her medical bills.
On September 12, 2012, Hunter March operated a Honda 929 motorcycle. He headed northbound on Route 31 in the right hand of two lanes. Meanwhile, Gayle Vandenbergh headed likewise northbound north of Mr. Marsh. Mr. Marsh contended that Ms. Vandenbergh was initially in the left hand land positioned to turn left onto Cedar and as he began to pass her, she suddenly changed lanes from the left to the right trying to turn into a parking lot cutting him off. Ms. Vandenbergh denied ever being in the left hand lane and contended that she was at all times in the right lane and had slowed to turn into the parking lot to her right and that Mr. Marsh tried to pass her on the sidewalk hitting her passenger side. The responding Geneva Police Officer issued Ms. Vandenbergh a ticket for improper lane usage. Ms. Vandenbergh appeared in traffic court without an attorney and agreed to take driving school not realizing such constituted a guilty plea. A passenger testified corroborating Ms. Vandenbergh’s testimony. One eyewitness in another car testified she wasnt sure what happened. Another eyewitness testified corroborating Ms. Vandenbergh’s testimony. Mr. Marsh suffered a neck injury resulting in a c5-c6 fusion of his neck. He had medical bills of $126k and lost his job as a cook.
Ms. Vandenbergh was covered by a policy of insurance with a $100k limit. Mr. Marsh’s counsel demanded the policy limits threatening bad faith if the limits were not offered. On the advice of Mr. DiPino, the insurance company proposed a binding arbitration with the limits as the high and $20k as the low. Plaintiff’s counsel agreed to the proceeding.
At arbitration the parties and evidence were put to the arbitrator. Plaintiff’s counsel also provided the arbitration with an affidavit from a former attorney who claimed that the passenger in Ms. Vandenbergh gave him an oral statement saying Ms. Vandenbergh was in the left lane. After hearing all the evidence and the testimony of the witness together with their demeanor, the arbitrator awarded Mr. Marsh only $60k. The arbitration was binding and final.
Mr. Stephen defended Mary Stevens in a jury trial tried before the Honorable Thomas Flanagan at the Daley Center in Chicago. The case arose from an accident of May 27, 2010. The plaintiff, Pearl Teverbraugh, alleged that as she walked across 14th Street in Hazel Crest, Ms Stevens, age 89, ran over Ms. Teverbraugh’s foot leading to leg and knee injuries. Ms. Teverbraugh, however, sought medical treatment five days later having denied leg pain at the scene of the accident. Ms. Stevens denied making contact with Ms. Teverbraugh. The plaintiff put into evidence approximately $61,000 in medical bills. Mr. Stephen and Ms. Stevens persuaded the jury that no contact ever took place and the jury returned a verdict of not guilty in favor of Ms. Stevens.
Mr. Stephen defended Sarah Reynerston in a personal injury suit arising from a car accident. The presiding judge was the Honorable Dorothy French, and the case was tried from May 18 to May 20, 2015. The case arose from a rear end occurrence in a construction zone on Schick Road in Bloomingdale. The parties disputed the severity of the contact between the cars. Jennifer Baker, the adult plaintiff, had had a long history of back problems which she claimed were aggravated by the accident. Dr. Montella testified on Ms. Baker’s behalf tying $58,000 in medical bills to the accident. Rhianna Baker, a minor, presented medical bills for back injuries in the amount of $205. Ms. Reynerston contended that the Ms. Baker made a sudden stop for no reason. Dr. Tuttle also testified for Ms. Baker disputing the casual relationship of the alleged injuries to the accident. The lawyers for the Plaintiffs’ demanded $100,000 to settle and at trial asked the jury for $208,601 for the adult plaintiff and $1705 for the minor plaintiff. The jury found the adult plaintiff fifty percent at fault and returned a verdict of $557 for Ms. Baker and $255 for her child.
Mr. Stephen went to jury verdict in cause 2013 L 804, Kashtenjeva v. Blain. The presiding judge was the Honorable Susan Cleary. The jury heard the case from April 27 to April 30, 2015. The case arose from a collision in Plainfield, Illinois. Ms. Blain made a left turn in front of Ms. Kashtenjava. The impact was significant in that both cars were totaled. Ms. Kashtenjava suffered a traumatic brain injury leaving her with memory deficits, injuries to both shoulders, and injuries to her knees. Her physicians at trial was Dr. Kruse and Dr. Cabin. The plaintiff put into evidence medical bills of approximately $29,000 and $26,000 in wage loss. Her counsel asked the jury for $467,302. Because of Mr. Stephen’s skill, the jury returned a verdict on only $68, 902.40