VERDICTS AND SETTLEMENTS
Throughout their careers Scott and John of Gibson Steigauf have achieved record setting verdicts and settlements including:
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 severely mentally handicapped adult was transferred to a nursing home to begin her recovery from hip surgery. Her physician requested that the staff at the nursing home monitor her closely for indications of blood clots. Five days later she was found dead having suffocated from a clot in her lung. Result: $850,000 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.
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 Steigauf 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.
31-year-old father of two and one-half month old twins was riding his motorcycle in Libertyville, Illinois when he entered an intersection on a yellow light. The Defendant was waiting to turn left in front of him and claimed he did not see the motorcycle when he started to make his turn. Witnesses confirmed that the Plaintiff motorcyclist attempted to swerve but could not avoid the collision resulting in instant death. 4 minor children survive him. Result: $1,250,000 (policy limit) settlement.
46-year-old man was brought into an emergency room after being the victim of a beating. Physicians at the emergency room failed to timely diagnose a depressed skull fracture. As a result of the delay in diagnosis the Plaintiff developed a brain bleed leading to permanent neurological damage. Result: $2,050,000 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.
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.
A married, 72 year-old retired father of 3, who was a lay Christian minister, died in the emergency room from undiagnosed blood clots (Pulmonary Embolism caused by clots in his left leg). He went to his long-time family doctor three days prior; complaining of shortness of breath, chest pain and his vital signs were abnormal. The doctor misdiagnosed him with asthma and prescribed an inhaler. The same doctor had treated this patient and hospitalized him twice before due to blood clots in his left leg but failed to comply with the required medical care in prescribing him lifetime blood thinners and then not correctly diagnosing him three days before his death. The doctor and his insurance company agreed to pay his medical malpractice insurance policy limit before trial. Result: $1,000,000 (policy limit) settlement.
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.
A 48-year-old registered hospice nurse was riding his motorcycle in Waukegan when the Defendant drove her SUV from an adjacent store’s parking lot and blocked the lane. The Plaintiff had to swerve around the Defendant’s vehicle, lost control and suffered injuries that later claimed his life after a two day coma. The plaintiff’s decedent was married with two teenage children. Result: $1,060,000 (policy limit) settlement.
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.
Plaintiff college student was killed when he was a passenger in a car which was struck by an oncoming van that crossed the centerline. There was no conscious pain or suffering and was survived by his divorced parents and sister. Result: $1,075,000 (policy limit) 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.
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.
The baby was born in a Waukegan hospital after questionable fetal heart monitoring results were recorded. The baby suffered initial seizures post-birth but he grew and developed normally. By kindergarten he was not showing any significant impairments. Before trial the defense defended the case and refused to offer any amount of money in settlement. During the trial the defendant paid $1.4 million to resolve the case before verdict. Result: $1,400,000 settlement during trial.
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.
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.
A 44-year-old warehouseman who went to the Waukegan hospital emergency room with chest pain and shortness of breath. Defendant cardiologist admitted him and after completing a cardiac workup including catheterization discharged him the next day to return to work after the weekend. There was no referral to any other specialists or investigation of potential pulmonary embolism. Twenty-four hours after discharge he returned to the emergency room with continuing symptoms resulting in a pulmonologist diagnosing him with pulmonary embolism which caused his death the next day. Result: $1,000,000 (policy limit) settlement.
A 71-year-old man with severe multiple illnesses was admitted into a Chicago hospital for a high risk ruptured aorta surgical repair. Two weeks after the surgery he was found on the floor next to his bed after having been transferred from the ICU to the general hospital room just hours before he was found. The physician orders for restraints due to hallucinations from medicines and inability to follow orders were unilaterally not followed by the nurses on the general floor so that he was not safely kept in his bed. He was found with a head laceration. A delayed CT scan showed subdural hemorrhage and brain shift. He was not a surgical candidate and died two days later. He is survived by one adult son. Result: $800,000 settlement.
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.
A 2-year old baby with severe water burns was taken to the hospital. The physicians who cared for him violated the standard of care in caring for a child this age. He died as a result of the medical malpractice. Result: $1,000,000 settlement before trial.
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 settlement (policy limit – Federal Court).
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 products liability – Federal Court.
A severely mentally and physically handicapped adult was a state ward in a community based housing facility. He was bedbound and the staff failed to comply with pressure wound care orders causing multiple wounds. Result: $400,000 settlement before trial.
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.
Plaintiff had been treated for many years by his family physician who monitored his kidney function. Subsequently his family physician retired and a new doctor took over the practice. In follow-up examinations the new physician informed the Plaintiff that he had significant kidney disease and would require a kidney removal and transplant. The previous physician failed to take timely action in regard to blood test results showing declining kidney function. Result: $750,000 settlement.
86 year-old woman was transferred to a nursing home to rehabilitate after a knee replacement. She suffered from numerous medical conditions including dementia and significant weakness. While being transferred from a wheel chair to bed a Certified Nurses Assistant bumped her knee into an adjacent wall causing her to fall. She suffered a patella tendon tear requiring reconstructive surgery. Result: $400,000 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 to run 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 man was riding his jet ski with his brother-in-law on an adjacent jet ski. His brother-in-law tried to cut across in front of our client going causing him to go airborne and landing into 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 his 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 up 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 riding as 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.
A woman that was a severe alcoholic was admitted into a Rockford hospital for alcoholic delirium and liver failure. The doctor personally inserted a draw needle into her stomach to secure a lab sample. It was done bedside without the aid of an ultrasound. The patient was later found dead from an internal bleed from the puncture which hit an artery which would have been seen if an ultrasound had been used. Result: $275,000 settlement.
An elderly man was referred to the Cook County ENT for redness on his nose and upper cheeks. The surgeon performed a laser surgery in his office without proper controls and burned our client’s nose. He required a different surgeon to correct the burns. Result: $130,000 settlement.
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 a 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 (policy limit) settlement.
A mother’s boyfriend took her and her three children out on his boat on Lake Michigan. Two of the children, with flotation devices, went into the water but the boater did not position his boat correctly for the currents. The boys drifted away and the boater could not get his boat close enough to rescue the boys. One of the boys, just 10 years old drowned. Result: $250,000 (policy limit) 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.
A 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 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 21 year-old college student was admitted into a secure psychiatric floor in defendant’s hospital for severe depression and suicidal ideation. The nurses allowed her to go into a small room with a washer and dryer to clean her own clothes. The room had a wood door with a small window which was directly across the hall from the nurse’s station. While in the room the student used a robe tie to hang herself from the inside door overhead closing mechanism. By the time the nurses noticed that she was in that room she was severely injured and died shortly thereafter. The hospital was negligent in not properly supervising her and in violation of safety codes by failing to have the required specialty “break-off” door hardware in a secure psychiatric floor. She was the youngest child of a large close knit family – Gibson Steigauf successfully filed the wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of all of the family members against the hospital which was responsible for the negligence of its staff. Result: Confidential Settlement
A man in his sixties saw his primary care physician for an annual physical. The doctor failed to send the patient for a colonoscopy to investigate the abnormal mass that was discovered in the patient’s rectum during the exam. Instead, the physician informed the patient that the mass was a simple hemorrhoid. The patient’s colorectal cancer went untreated and he later died. Result:$1,000,000 settlement before trial.