PERSONAL INJURY

Personal Injury refers to the broad category of cases in which negligent conduct causes bodily injury that is temporary or permanent. The injured person can seek full remedy under the law for all of their losses, including but not limited to, pain and suffering, loss of normal life, disfigurement, medical bills, and lost wages. The personal injury attorneys at Gibson Steigauf are dedicated to taking on insurance companies and getting you the compensation you deserve.

TYPES OF CASES

All drivers on Illinois roadways accept responsibility for the safety of others when they get behind the wheel.  Unfortunately, many people take this life-and-death responsibility too lightly by texting, talking, and otherwise allowing themselves to be distracted while driving.  When another driver’s negligence affects YOU, whether you are in your vehicle or just walking across the street, the law is on your side.  You are entitled to full and fair compensation for the injuries (including out of pocket expenses) you sustain.  Scott Gibson secured a record jury verdict for a woman who was rear-ended by a semi-truck. She suffered a back fracture that healed without surgery but left her with periodic back pain. The verdict exceeded the insurance company settlement offer before trial by seven times. Contact the car crash lawyers at Gibson Steigauf to walk you through the process of a personal injury, car accident lawsuit.

The truck accident lawyers at Gibson Steigauf have been handling truck injury and truck fatality cases for more than three decades.  Truck drivers should be the safest drivers on the road.  Unfortunately, they are not. And their mistakes are usually catastrophic for the other driver.  When a truck driver is involved in an crash, his insurance company immediately dispatches a team of investigators to protect the trucking company.  It is important to contact us as soon as possible so that we may begin our investigation on your behalf. Many times our investigation will find additional parties and insurance companies that are responsible for fully compensating our clients for their injuries and for families who are the victims of wrongful death.

The Lake County motorcycle accident attorneys at Gibson Steigauf represent motorcycle riders who are severely injured by another’s negligent driving.  Cars and trucks must share the road with motorcycles, but many times do not.  Scott Gibson represented the mother of identical 4 month old twins whose father was driving his motorcycle through an intersection in Libertyville when a college student turned left in front of him causing his death at the scene.  I-witnesses confirmed that the motorcycle entered the intersection legally and the defendant admitted he did not look and never saw or heard the motorcycle before causing the crash.  Gibson Steigauf secured payment of the full seven figure plus insurance policy which created a special trust for the benefit of the baby twins for life. If you or a loved one are injured by a car or truck that hits you while riding your motorcycle, allow us to represent you.  We will get you the result you deserve.

Bicyclists have the right to use Illinois roadways too.  Unfortunately, cars and trucks frequently don’t drive safely when bicycles are around.  More often than not, the injuries suffered by the bicyclist are catastrophic and even life-threatening.  The bicycle accident attorneys at Gibson Steigauf will take responsibility for your case so you can focus on your health and recovery.  Allow us to obtain justice for you when you have been involved in a bike crash.

These cases typically occur when businesses or other building/land owners, including homeowners negligently maintain their property.  It could be in the form of snow removal, construction, cleaning the floors, or other general maintenance.  Even when you are careful, the business can be liable for its negligent behavior.  With slip and fall (or trip and fall) cases, you must be able to determine what caused your fall.  Next, you must ultimately be able to determine how that defect came about and whether anyone knew or could have known about it.  The slip and fall attorneys at Gibson Steigauf are experienced in handling slip/trip and fall cases – we will investigate and determine if property owners failed to safely maintain their properties.  If so, we will represent you and hold the wrongdoers accountable.

Construction accidents are complex and require experienced attorneys to investigate your claims.  Our firm has protected construction workers injured on the job for more than thirty years.  Recently, Gibson Steigauf secured the largest verdict or settlement in DuPage County totaling $6,900,000 for our carpenter client who fell from a roof due to a faulty guard rail. Our attorneys understand that after suffering traumatic injuries, your goals are to make sure your medical bills are paid, your wages/salary continues to be paid, and that you get the money compensation you are entitled to.

If you are injured while working as a tradesman or other service worker on a site you are entitled to Worker’s Compensation benefits – our team of lawyers includes specialists who only practice on behalf of injured workers before the Illinois industrial commission which is the court system for all Worker’s Compensation cases.

Many times a construction injury is caused by a company or person who is not your employer.   Gibson Steigauf has extensive experience in investigating each case to find the companies or individuals who were at fault in causing your injuries.  When the at fault party includes a company or individual who is not employed by your company our firm will pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim in the appropriate State or Federal Court system which is in addition to your Worker’s Compensation case.  We work smoothly in full coordination with our Worker’s Compensation lawyers to most effectively represent you in both cases.

Many people enjoy water, winter and trail motorized sports and recreation.  When an operator of a boat, ATV, snowmobile, jet ski or any motorized recreation vehicle drives carelessly or when impaired and then causes our client injuries or death, the defendant and his or her insurance company will be held legally responsible by Gibson Steigauf.  The defendant operator will almost certainly be covered under a specific boat, snowmobile, etc. insurance policy or under their homeowners or renter’s insurance.  Tragically, these cases usually include significant injuries or death due to our client being unprotected at the time of the crash.  Our firm has extensive experience and success in using nationally recognized experts, laws, regulations, manufacturer’s specifications and local rules to prove the negligence and responsibility of the defendant operator.  Gibson Steigauf has represented many clients who are injured on the lakes, hills and trails throughout Northern Illinois, Wisconsin and other states.

Due to the natural enjoyment so many people experience as animal owners our society cherishes our pets but also recognizes their danger to human life.  Illinois passed the Animal Control Act Statute many years ago that promotes safe pet care and protections for victims of animal attacks or negligent handling of an animal.  Gibson Steigauf has represented dozens of victims of dog and other animal bites, attacks, and knock downs occurring under many different types of circumstances.  The person who is in charge of the dog or other animal at the time is required to keep it leashed or otherwise secure so other people are not injured.  The defendant or the animal owner will usually be insured through their homeowners or renter’s policy to compensate our clients for their personal injury damages. Illinois law gives significant protection to our clients to support a successful verdict or settlement for our client.

Scott Gibson, on behalf of an injured teenager, secured the Illinois State Record exceeding $2,000,000 for a defective chemical.  A defective product is any type of a machine, part, liquid, food, or object of any kind that causes our client’s injuries.  There are Federal and State laws that give an injured person broad and strong legal protections  whether it is a consumer, industrial, or commercial product.  Gibson Steigauf has represented scores of injured victims of defectively designed, manufactured, packaged and labeled products including defective exploding lithium batteries commonly used in vape devices.

It is a horrible reality of life that women, men and children are all victims of sexual assault and abuse.  Scott Gibson was chosen by the Lake County State’s Attorney as a sex crimes specialist prosecutor representing child victims in numerous successful jury verdicts.  He was a founding member and original Treasurer Board Member of the Lake County Child Advocacy Center.  With that background, Gibson Steigauf has represented many child and adult victims in personal injury cases for damages our clients suffered from being sexually assaulted.  In addition to pursuing claims against the offending individuals we investigate employers, organizations, schools and any type of employer or sponsor of a predator.  When these companies and organizations  negligently hire, fail to supervise or investigate their employees, agents and volunteers who sexually assault our client they will be held responsible in a civil court of law. Sadly, we have been successful on behalf of many client victims including a $1,400,000 settlement before trial on behalf of a 7 year old who was sexually assaulted by an amusement park employee.

Gibson Steigauf has successfully represented many people who were injured by another person’s negligence which occurred due to burns, shootings, physical assaults, and different types of person to person injuries.  Many times the individual causing the injuries does not have personal funds to fully compensate our client but oftentimes an employer, someone acting as an agent, or homeowners insurance provides coverage that will fully compensate our client.   Recently, Gibson Steigauf represented a client who was mistakenly shot by a friend who was playing with a loaded gun.  There was no intent to shoot our client but because the shooter was covered by home owner’s insurance policy (even though the event did not occur at the home) we secured a multiple hundred thousand policy limit settlement before trial. We also successfully represented the parents of a three year old that was burned when her baby sitter was not careful and our client was burned by a pot of coffee.  The defendant’s home owner’s insurance fully compensated our client which includes funds for future burn care.

Dram shop cases are based upon the Illinois law requiring bars, restaurants, stores or any business that gives or sells alcohol to be responsible for buyers who become alcohol impaired and cause our client’s injuries.  The law gives special protection for victims of drunk drivers or other individuals who became impaired from alcohol drunk from a commercial establishment.  We have represented many victims of alcohol and drug impairment including Scott Gibson’s successful representation of the family whose twin son was killed when he was a passenger in a car driven by a fellow teenager who became intoxicated due to alcohol provided to minors at a party.  The at fault home owner was forced to pay its entire multiple hundred thousand insurance policy limit before trial.    Scott Gibson gave many speeches and wrote articles to school and civic organizations about the legal responsibility of certain social hosts.  The case was extensively reported nationally and state-wide which resulted in the new Illinois state law holding certain social hosts responsible for serving alcohol to minors.

VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS

31 year-old Carpenter was working on a third-story new building when a safety barricade collapsed causing him to fall 30 feet onto the ground. Another contractor previously removed the barricade but failed to properly and safely reinstall it. Our client suffered massive internal injuries including a torn aorta, broken bones and required 11 surgeries.
Result: $6,900,000.00 DuPage Record Verdict/Settlement

A 15 year-old part time worker assisting in cleaning semi tractor trailers is splashed with “Aluminum Clean ‘N Bright” industrial cleanser. Plaintiff followed the instructions provided on container regarding incidental exposure but a subsequent emergency room exam found a significant deep tissue hydrochloric acid burn, the treatment of which eventually required 13 skin graft operations. The warnings on the container were inadequate and a special warning was necessary because hydrochloric acid causes significant tissue injuries before the injury becomes symptomatic. Result:$1,850,000 Illinois State Record settlement and waiver of $250,000 Workers Compensation lien.

58-year-old lady car was rear-ended by a semi-tractor trailer truck at a red light. She had previously suffered five previous auto and work injuries causing back and neck injuries. A mid-back compression fracture in this crash healed within 4 months but her neck and back continue to be aggravated by symptoms from the crash. The jury verdict was a record for an unoperated aggravated spine injury. Result: $517,000 Illinois State Record Spine Jury Verdict.

46-year–old environmental executive and mother of three was hit head – on at 40 m.p.h. in Libertyville.   The Defendant was a young driver who abruptly attempted a left hand turn directly in front of the Plaintiff.  The ligaments in our client’s cervical (neck) spine were torn causing spinal instability and the need for a 3-level surgical fusion.  The Plaintiff returned to work but is permanently restricted from participating in her life-long love of outdoor activities including motorcycle, dirt bike and mountain bike riding.
Result:  $1,250,000 (policy limit) settlement.

57-year-old man was driving his motorcycle on a through street when the defendant drove his truck from an intersecting side street and pulled out in front of the Plaintiff. The defendant had stopped at the stop sign but claimed that he did not see the Plaintiff. The plaintiff suffered a right leg “through knee” amputation. Plaintiff was a retired engineer who worked as an independent consultant and has been able to return to his work. Result: $5,750,000 settlement before trial.

A union carpenter’s apprentice fell while working with joists being hoisted at a construction site. Injuries included a fractured wrist and elbow ending Plaintiff’s employment as a carpenter. Result: $900,000 settlement and waiver of $340,000 workers compensation lien.

A 19 year-old young man was staying with a friend in New Hampshire looking for a job.  For fun, our client and another friend who did not live in the apartment decided to play a plastic pistol soft-pellet shooting game where they hid in the apartment and tried to score a “hit” by shooting the other player with soft rubber pellets.  The play-guns were designed to look just like real semi-automatic pistols.  Unbeknownst to our client, the friend had stored a real 9 mm automatic in the apartment to hide it from his parents with whom he lived.  When our client was in the bathroom the friend took out the real gun and aimed it at the bathroom door to scare our client when he came out.  As our client was washing his hands in the bathroom the friend mistakenly fired the gun, shooting a bullet through the door striking our client in the abdomen.  Our client was rushed into life-saving emergency surgery.  The bullet will remain permanently in his body and he has permanent nerve damage to the main nerve controlling his left leg.  The friend’s parents homeowners policy paid its limit as the friend was a family resident covered under the liability portion of the homeowner’s policy. Result: $500,000 (homeowner policy limit) settlement.

A truck driver was rear-ended while stopped at a red light. The impact caused soft tissue injuries to neck and back and aggravated pre-existing knee arthritis preventing Plaintiff from continuing to work as a truck driver. Result: $1,500.000 settlement.

A 5-year-old girl visited a large theme park with her mother and other children when she was inappropriately touched by a theme park employee who was securing her into a child’s ride. Shortly before trial the theme park agreed to pay a settlement. Result: $1,400,000 settlement.

A union carpenter suffered a fractured right femur when a wall collapsed at a construction site. He required surgery to insert a titanium rod. Result: $825,000 settlement and waiver of $301,000 workers compensation lien.

Plaintiff’s hand was crushed while operating a machine. His third, fourth and fifth fingers were partially amputated and his forearm was lacerated which required surgical closing. The steel fabrication machine lacked safety gates and a “dead man’s” switch component. The machine had “key lockout switches” but they were not used. Result: $800,000 settlement before trial and waiver of one half of the $140,000 workers compensation lien.

Plaintiff was an army Master Sergeant who was crossing the street at the Fort Sheridan Army base Fourth of July fireworks celebration when a Lieutenant Colonel “jumped line” and hit the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff had neck and back symptoms but incurred only $7,800 in medical expenses. There was evidence that the Defendant lieutenant colonel was impaired from drinking alcohol although he was never charged with DUI. Result: $215,000 jury verdict.

57-year-old truck driver delivered a load of concrete forms on a flat bed truck to a construction site in Evanston. The Defendant general contractor was required to provide two union ironworkers to coordinate the choking, rigging, and unloading of the concrete by communication with a crane operator who was “in the blind.” The Defendant asked the Plaintiff to help unload due to a shortage of ironworkers. Due to a miscommunication the crane operator began lifting the concrete form at the time when the plaintiff standing on the form. Plaintiff suffered fractures to both wrists requiring surgery. Result: $772,500 settlement.

71-year-old auto parts delivery truck driver was T-boned in Waukegan by the Defendant who ran a red light. Plaintiff suffered cervical injuries requiring surgery and follow-up surgery for his shoulder and knee. Result: $1,000,000 (policy limit) settlement.

22-year-old lady was driving her boyfriend’s motorcycle when the Defendant attempted to pass through a construction “no passing zone.” The collision resulted in a severe left ankle injury requiring fusion surgery. The case settled for the policy limits including a $1 million umbrella underinsured motorist payment from her own company plus $50,000 policy limit payment from the Defendant’s insurance company. Gibson & Associates filed a companion Declaratory Judgment insurance case which resulted in Summary Judgment for the Plaintiff finding that the original insurance broker for the Plaintiff’s family failed to include the requested $1 million underinsured motorist umbrella coverage. Result: $1,005,000 (policy limit) settlement.

Defendant drove a truck through a stop sign and broadsided Plaintiff’s vehicle. The Plaintiff suffered a shattered collarbone, lacerations and back injuries. A subsequent MRI showed a cervical disc herniation which did not require surgery. Result: $1 million (policy limit) settlement before trial.

Minor plaintiff in Lake Forest was “sketching” with his skateboard while holding onto the back of Defendant’s SUV. Defendant’s speed reached 30 miles an hour causing the Plaintiff to fall off his skateboard suffering a left wrist fracture requiring surgery and a head injury. He completely recovered from his head injury and continued on to pursue an engineering degree in college. Result: $1,100,000 (policy limit) settlement.

35-year-old mother was driving her SUV when the Defendant and ran a stop light and T-boned her. She suffered chest injuries and severe lacerations to her head and face requiring follow-up corrective surgery. The plaintiff was able to return to her work in a factory. Result: $955,000 settlement.

A traveling book salesman was stopped on a highway in Rockford, Illinois when he was rear-ended by a semi-tractor trailer truck. The Plaintiff had immediate pain to his ankle which resulted in the need for a surgery months later. The plaintiff was unable to return to his work as a traveling book salesman due to the physical requirements of his job. The case settled before trial in the Federal Court in Rockford, Illinois. Result: $1,051,000 (policy limit – Federal Court) settlement.

38-year-old business executive was visiting her neighbors in their backyard. She bent down to pet the neighbor’s dog which lunged up and bit her in the face. She suffered a severe bite to her mouth and face requiring surgery and resulted in permanent scarring. Afterwards the defendant admitted that the dog had previously bitten two other people. Result: $300,000 (policy limit) settlement.

60-year-old printer was working on a custom installed new platform when the attached stair case semi-collapsed.  He fell to the concrete floor causing knee and shoulder injuries requiring surgeries.  It was disputed as to whether the design, installation or later changes caused the stair supports to not be bolted into the floor.  Post – inspection findings caused immediate new installation of bolted stair supports.  Result: $800,000 settlement before trial in Federal Court.

Drunk & high teenager drove across center median in McHenry County crashing head on into our client. Our client suffered a severe ankle fracture requiring surgery. Result: $775,000.00 pre-trial settlement.

2 1⁄2 year old grandchild grabbed a hot pot of coffee from her grand-parent’s kitchen counter in McHenry County. It shattered causing burns to shoulders and chest requiring skin grafts. Result: $762,500.00 pre-trial settlement.

A 66 year-old woman was sitting on her outside front steps in Waukegan painting her nails when the next door neighbor’s young children opened their front door and ran out to play.  There was no fencing and the children let out their Labrador retriever which ran up our client’s steps and lunged at her.  She fell back causing her to fall down the stairs breaking her wrist.  Our client underwent a surgical repair with internal placement of hardware to repair the fracture. Result: $300,000 (policy limit) settlement.

A 51 year-old secretary was riding her bike to work in Lake Forest.  While crossing an intersection with the right of way that was controlled by a traffic light she was hit by a driver turning left who claimed she did not see her in the cross walk.  Our client was knocked to the pavement fracturing her left leg and a pelvic bone.  She underwent surgery to repair her left tibia plateau fracture. Result: $375,000 settlement.

A 42 year-old was riding his jet ski with his brother-in-law on an adjacent jet ski.  The brother-in-law tried to cut across in front of our client causing him to go airborne and land onto our client’s jet ski.  Our client suffered a concussion and underwent a fusion surgery for cervical spine neck injury. Result: $500,000 (policy limit) settlement.

A 23 year old woman was a passenger on a snowmobile.  The driver attempted to avoid a tree and turned too fast causing the snowmobile to tip.  Our client suffered a broken leg requiring surgical repair. Result: $101,000 (policy limit) settlement.

A 40 year-old woman was walking down a grocery aisle.  Unbeknownst to her the cleaning service had done a deep clean waxing of the floors the night before and had failed to place any signs or warnings.  She slipped causing a low back injury requiring a fusion spine surgery. Result: $275,000 settlement. 

A 58 year-old garbage collector fell off of the truck while climbing up the side to retrieve a garbage can that had fallen into the overhead collection bin.  This was a brand new line of custom designed trucks that was having problems with the control arms holding the garbage cans as they were lifted in space to be dumped at the top of the truck.  The truck design did not include steps or other means for the operator to access the overhead bin as it was not designed to need human access.  Our client suffered a broken wrist and injured shoulder. Result: $156,216 settlement.

The 29 year-old wife of an intoxicated driver was a passenger late at night returning from a party when her husband drove into a dead end street that had been blocked off by the municipality.  The jury found that there were inadequate signs to safely inform a driver at night that the street had been closed.  Our client suffered a broken leg requiring surgery and non-permanent internal injuries. Result: $296,000 jury verdict.

Our client was a student at University of Illinois who was intoxicated in a campus bar at the end of finals.  A couple of verbal conflicts occurred between our client and an Illinois football lineman who out weighed our client by 200 pounds.  The lineman left the bar at closing and then returned to confront our client as he was leaving.  The bar video showed the lineman doing one shove move that knocked our client to the floor.  The lineman was underage and admitted to receiving free beer and shots from the bar since he was a football player.  Our client suffered a skull fracture causing partial hearing loss and a nose fracture. Result: $350,000 settlement.

A 35 year-old woman was a passenger in a boat on the Chain of Lakes when it crashed into another boat.  Both drivers were intoxicated.  Our client suffered a fracture to her pelvis and non-permanent internal injuries. Result: $525,000 settlement.

An 86 year-old woman was walking out of a large discount store in Vernon Hills when the automatic door closed on her knocking her to the floor.  There was faulty maintenance by an independent door company and failure to inspect/warn from the store.  Our client underwent surgery for a hip replacement. Result: $250,000 settlement.

An 89 year-old woman was going into a grocery store when her foot caught on a curled up rubber floor mat causing her to fall.  She suffered a broken pelvis needing surgical repair and made a complete recovery. Result: $245,000 settlement.

A 46 year-old woman was a passenger on her boyfriend’s motorcycle when a commercial garbage truck driving in the adjacent lanes attempted to change lanes without a signal or forewarning.  The truck pinned the motorcycle underneath its running board and dragged the plaintiff on the roadway.  She suffered severe road rash and required two operations for a rotator cuff shoulder injury. Result: $540,000 pre-trial settlement.

A 42 year-old saleswoman was stopped on the Chicago Eisenhower expressway when she was rear ended at low speed by a commercial van driver.  She underwent a neck surgery for a one level surgical fusion and returned to work. Result: $710,000 settlement.

A 50 year-old married mother sought counseling services from a psychoanalyst specialty therapist for depression and job related stress.  Over several months the therapist convinced his patient that part of his therapy included meeting him privately outside the office resulting in sexual contact.  Gibson Steigauf was able to secure the therapist losing his professional license, closing his practice, and paying damages personally which represented all of the therapist’s available funds. Result: $150,000 settlement. 

A 35 year-old purchased an automatic boat winch to lift and lower his large speed boat that was docked at his chain of lakes home.  He was called at work by the Lake County Sheriff to inform him that his boat, that had been secured out of the water by the winch, fell and was drifting out into the lake.  Our client went home, pulled his boat onto shore, and secured the boat with a rope by using the retractable outside boat cleats.  The next day, as our client was draining the water out of the boat, a wave caused the boat to violently move catching our client’s arm on the outside extended cleat.  He suffered a severe wound to his arm requiring vascular surgery.  The Defendant winch seller and manufacturer claimed that regardless of the defective winch they were not responsible for the water moving the boat.  Gibson Steigauf proved that because of the defective winch it forced our client to secure and empty the boat which would not have occurred but for the defective winch.  Result:  $440,000 settlement before trial.

Our client was a 33 year-old plumber working alone in an ice cold, partially constructed building.  He was in the process of carrying a new toilet into the front foyer when he slipped and injured his shoulder.  As he was lying on the rough floor he saw a trail of clear ice on the floor which began under a machine left by another tradesman.  He radioed for help and as he looked at the machine he saw that a brass pipe fitting had burst from the side due to ice building up in the machine.  Gibson Steigauf proved that the other tradesman failed to properly drain the machine of water in freezing temperatures the day before in violation of safe practices.  We were able to prove the case with the help of the actual burst brass fitting that was removed from the machine.  Our client underwent extensive therapy for his shoulder injury.  Result:  $450,000 settlement plus waiver of Worker’s Compensation lien

A 55 year-old scientist was driving to a work site when he entered an intersection on a solid green light.  A school bus entered the intersection from the opposite direction, attempted to turn left in front of our client, and caused a major crash.  Our client had to be cut out of his car by emergency paramedics and rushed to the trauma hospital.  The Defense claimed that the bus driver had the right of way but we were able to prove that the bus driver was at fault.  Our client suffered internal injuries requiring surgery and subsequent emotional trauma from memories of the crash.  Result:  $1,100,000 mediation settlement shortly before trial.

Our 45 year-old client walked into a gas station to pay the cashier. He slipped on clear fluid that was on the tile floor in front of the cashier’s counter.  Minutes before, a gas station employee had mopped that area and was in the process of mopping on the other side of the station at the time of the fall.  No signs, cones or warnings were placed to notify our client and other customers of the wet floor.  Our client suffered injuries to his shoulder, wrist and ankle.
Result:  $200,000 settlement before trial

Our 50 year-old female client went to her local tattoo parlor for a cartilage ear piercing for an ear ring.  Previously, she and her family had gotten numerous piercings and tattoos at this location but this time our client suffered an ongoing infection from the piercing site that required hospitalization and wound care.  Result:  $115,000 settlement

Our 12 year-old client was walking on the sidewalk to a neighbor’s house to bring her brother home for dinner.  As she was walking parallel to the neighbor’s back yard a boomerang flew over the fence and struck her directly in her eye.  Her brother and neighbor’s  12 year-old son were playing with a plastic boomerang that had been purchased that day by the neighbor’s father who was inside the house.  Gibson Steigauf proved that the father negligently supervised and entrusted a dangerous object to the boy without proper instruction or supervision.  Our client suffered a tear to her retina requiring emergency surgery by Northwestern’s specialty’s eye surgeons in Chicago.  Result:  $100,000 policy limit settlement

59 year-old union epoxy painter was injured in a new construction site for a California prison.  He entered a partially constructed room to prep the floors so he could paint the walls.  Another contractor had previously done work in a preset hole in the concrete floor but covered the hole with a thin piece of plywood that was not properly secured.  Our client stepped on the plywood which shifted causing him to partially fall in the hole.  A co-worker heard him scream, pulled him out of the hole and took pictures of the unsafe condition while awaiting the paramedics.  The contractor admitted during the case that the pictures show an unsafe and unsecure hold covering.  Our client suffered a shoulder surgery requiring surgery.  Result:  $425,000 settlement before trial in California Federal Court.

50 year-old man goes to a large warehouse hardware store who is greeted at the entrance by an employee who offers to help him find what he is looking for in the many store aisles.  The store policy requires the employee to walk the customer to the area of interest but our client was just verbally told where to go in the store.  As he walked into the store he turned the corner of an aisle and unbeknownst to him a horizontally displayed piece of lumbar was sticking out head height into the aisle.  The board was unfinished wood that was displayed on a large wall of same color boards.   Our client did not see the lumber and it struck him on his forehead causing bruising and neck pain.  The Defendant argued it was not liable because the board was open and obvious.  Gibson Steigauf successfully showed that the board was not properly displayed and a customer would not reasonably expect a board to be sticking out into the aisle.  Additionally, the employee should have walked our client through the store and pointed out the dangerous board. Our client suffered a neck injury requiring surgery.
Result:  $425,000 settlement at mediation.

Our 70 year-old client went into a large book store to buy a special book for her grandson.  She entered the ladies restroom and when she attempted to sit onto the toilet, the seat was not attached causing her to fall directly onto the tile floor.  Gibson Steigauf discovered that earlier that day a janitor had reported to the store manager that the toilet seat was not secure but the manager took no action to fix it or take it out of service. There were no warnings or signs that the seat was not attached. The Defendant argued that the event never happened, or if it did, that due to the tight space of the toilet stall she could not have fallen on the floor.  If she did not fall directly onto the floor the Defendant’s expert opined that she was not injured.  Gibson Steigauf retained an expert engineer who built a life size anatomically correct doll of our client and videotaped a demonstration showing that the doll would fall directly on the floor after sliding off the toilet.  Due to the direct fall our client was injured. Our client suffered a low back injury requiring surgery.  Result:  $550,000 settlement at mediation shortly before trial.

A 12 year-old boy was raised by his blind grandmother and single mother who enrolled him into a local community service organization to participate in activities that could not be provided by his family.  An adult volunteer for the Defendant Community Service Organization that was highly regarded, offered to mentor the boy. The man bought the boy presents,  took the boy on trips, and had him to his house for sleepovers.  During that time the man sexually assaulted the boy.  Gibson Steigauf discovered that the volunteer had been barred from mentoring boys in another service organization due to allegations of sexual misconduct.  The man was also not properly supervised in violation of the organization’s own policies.  The case caused the service organization to be closed until completely new management and safety procedures were instituted.  The man was criminally prosecuted and sent to prison.
Result:  $470,000 settlement including some compensation paid personally from the sexual predator.

A 43 year-old homeowner had called the electric power company to request tree trimming due to the power lines running through tree branches in his back yard.  He did not receive a return call.  Our client was worried about his children who were old enough to climb the tree.  Pursuant to State Regulations the power company was required to inspect and trim trees as needed every four years.  Due to budget concerns it had been six years since the prior tree trimming.  Our client could not afford to hire a private tree company so he climbed the tree with a saw to trim the overgrown branches but did not know that the tree was heavy in sap which conducts electricity.  As he moved branches a “live wire” contacted the trunk of the tree which electrocuted our client.  The power company argued that our client was at fault for trimming the tree on his own.   Gibson Steigauf proved that the power company was negligent in not responding to the call for tree trimming and not complying with State Regulations.  Our client lost parts of two toes and a tooth from the bolt of electricity.
Result:  $225,000 settlement before trial.

A 24 year-old was out with friends celebrating a birthday.  Our client was lightly intoxicated and walked from one bar to another to meet more friends.  Shortly after arriving, a bar patron who was drinking for a long period of time who had previously left the bar returned.  Our client did not know this young man but due to the bar patron’s  intoxication he mistook our client for someone he was angry with, picked up a chair, and hit our client in the face and hand.  Gibson Steigauf proved that the bar had served the man a number of drinks which was a cause of his intoxication.  Our client suffered a broken nose and injured wrist requiring some physical therapy.  At the time the Statutory Limitation on damages was $50,000 which limited the total recovery.  Result: $50,000 settlement.

A 21 year-old college student visited a Hawaii resort with his family and a group of families.  Some of the families stayed at different resorts along a boardwalk adjoining the beach and ocean.  After dinner, our client and friends went out to the pool to swim and use the hot tub.  It was around 11 pm and dark so our client began walking a female friend back to her resort down the board walk.  As they began walking they saw a group of teenagers on the beach who began to walk toward them in a menacing manner. Our client and the girl turned around to return to his resort.  As they began walking across the pool deck our client was attacked by the teenagers.  Unbeknownst to our client, a resort security guard saw the events unfold and hid behind a bush trying to radio for help.  He took no action to protect our client and fled when he saw the attack.  Gibson Steigauf proved that the security guard did not comply with the resorts own security and safety procedures and could have stopped the attack.  Our client suffered a broken nose and bruising.  Result:  $145,000 settlement.

A 41 year-old Union Carpenter was climbing up a rolling baker scaffold in a new construction office building when he fell three feet due to the scaffold ladder detaching.  He landed in a preset hole in the office buildings concrete floor wrenching his knee.  Our construction expert proved that another tradesman had used the scaffold without permission and did not reattach  the scaffold ladder properly.  Our client underwent a tibia plateau surgery but was able to return to work.  Result:  $690,000 settlement and waiver of worker’s compensation lien.

A 46 year-old roofer was working alone on a ladder that he put onto the side of the building.  He was given the wrong type of ladder by the general contractor and it slipped causing him to land on concrete.  Our client suffered a right heel fracture that did not require surgery.  He was able to return to work.
Result:  $390,000 settlement and waiver of worker’s compensation lien.