On October 30, 2009, J.S. (DOB: 5/7/09) suffered a bilateral tension pneumothorax which resulted in a cardiopulmonary arrest for 23 minutes. A bilateral tension pneumothorax is a medical emergency which required immediate treatment. This child was a post-cardiac surgical patient who suffered from chronic lung disease and was ventilator dependent. He was at an elevated risk of suffering from pneumothoraxes. It was alleged that the standard of care for a pediatric intensive care unit must provide treatment to a post-surgical patient like this child requiring a physician qualified to diagnose and treat pneumothorax and must be present and available within the unit at all times to respond to an emergency pneumothorax promptly and appropriate by way of a chest tube placement immediately upon diagnosis. The stat portable chest x-ray was first ordered approximately 54 minutes before the cardiac arrest, but was not completed until 19 minutes after it was ordered. The ordering physician was aware that the child was suffering from bilateral pneumothoraxes. Because no physicians other than the treating cardiothoracic surgeons were available to place the chest tubes on a post-surgical patient like this child, the chest tubes were not promptly inserted and the child suffered cardiopulmonary arrest resulting in profound brain damage.
The confidential settlement of $4,750,000 was paid by an undisclosed defendant.
In July 2012, Harold was traveling alone on his motorcycle when he was struck from behind by a speeding car. On impact, Harold lost control of his motorcycle and crashed into a guardrail killing him. Harold was survived by his minor children and parents. The motor vehicle driver’s insurance company paid its entire insurance policy limits to settle this death claim. The incident took place on Route 405 near Long Beach, California. The decedent was a chef at a Long Beach restaurant. This wrongful death action and resulting settlement proceeds were distributed to the children of the deceased.
Three year-old Michael, had developed a dermoid cyst. The cyst was surgically removed at a children’s hospital by a pediatric neurosurgeon. However, because the physician and attending nurses did not recognize Michael’s increased intracranial pressure post-operatively, it caused the infarct of the brain, and Michael suffered permanent brain damage. Michael is now a partial quadriplegic, has some cortical blindness and is otherwise fed through a G-tube. Before trial/arbitration, the case settled.
$3 Million - Product Liability
On July 4, 1997, Linda, her husband, Jack, and their two young daughters, traveled by air from Chicago to Boise, Idaho. In Boise they rented a 1996 Chevrolet Blazer. En route to their vacation destiny, Sun Valley, Idaho, their vehicle was struck head on by a drunk driver while traveling east on a two lane highway. Although Linda and the two children survived the crash, rescue attempts by a passerby failed when the undercarriage of the Chevy Blazer became emblazoned by a fuel fed fire. Linda and her two daughters died as a result of the fire. Investigations revealed that the Blazer lacked a fuel line shutoff valve. Had the vehicle had a shutoff valve the impact of the crash would have activated it so that the valve could stop additional fuel from flowing and fueling the undercarriage fire. Because there was no shutoff valve there was ample fuel running underneath the Blazer and feeding the fire, making it impossible for Linda and her daughters to escape.
A lawsuit was filed against General Motors in the Circuit Court of Cook County. After a three and a half week jury trial, and before the jury returned with its verdict, General Motors agreed to settle this case for $3,000,000.
$2.86 Million - Medical Malpractice
On 12/13/95, Tom was a 33 year-old roofer who fell about 15 feet from a scaffold. The fall caused a comminuted fracture of Tom's lower right leg. He was taken to LaGrange Memorial Hospital where he was treated by Dr. Groya, an orthopedic surgeon. Later that day, surgery was done that inserted plates and pins in the tibia and fibula. Dr. Groya continued to treat Tom through February 5th of the following year. But Tom's right leg fracture had not healed. Because of intense swelling a blister developed and became an open sore exposing his bone. The bone was infected. In addition, his posterior tibia nerve was dead, crushed by the fall. On February 29th, Tom's lower right leg was amputated below the knee.
A medical malpractice suit was filed claiming that Dr. Groya chose not to treat the obvious symptoms of infection that Tom displayed, among other things. Because Tom had developed osteomyelitis, a bone infection caused by bacteria, the amputation was necessary. In a three-and-a-half week trial in June, 2002, the evidence was presented to the Cook County jury in Chicago. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Tom and against Dr. Groya for $2.86 million.
$2.5 Million to Injured Truck Driver
On 9/27/01 Tom, an over-the-road truck driver, was injured while picking up freight at defendant Precoat Metals's facility. When Tom arrived at the Chicago facility his flatbed truck was already partially loaded with five bundles, each bundle containing fifty of the 20' long channels. Tom was instructed to pick up five 2000 lb. coils of rolled steel and transport it to a business in Iowa. In order to transfer the rolled steel to his flatbed he needed to make sure that the complete load was properly balanced to ensure its safety while driving. A forklift operator employed by the defendant agreed to re-position the bundles so that the steel coils could be placed onboard. The objective was to lift the bundles already on the flatbed by using the forklift and then re-positioning them towards the back of the truck bed. The plan was for the forklift operator to lift the channels with the forklift, and then Tom would drive his truck forward enough so that the forklift operator would replace the load back on the bed of the truck. But when the forklift driver began lifting the load Tom was still on the flatbed, behind the channels. The forklift driver had not warned Tom he was about to do so, nor had he confirmed that Tom was out of harm's way. The channels slipped off of the forks and fell onto Tom, knocking him off the truck. The bundled channel, weighing in excess of 2,000 lbs., crushed Tom's legs. His right leg was crushed, requiring reconstructive surgery to save it, but his left leg had to be amputated above the knee
The case was tried over two weeks in October, 2005, before a Cook County jury in Chicago. While the jury was deliberating for its second day, the defendant agreed to settle the case for $2.5 million.
$2.1 Million - Elevator Injury in World Trade Center
On September 11, 2001, at approximately 8:45 a.m., Byron, a New York City bond trader, was in the lobby of the World Trade Center, Tower One, awaiting the arrival of an elevator. He had a 9:00 a.m. appointment with a company known as Stone Bridge Advisors, LLC. He was attending a meeting where a job offer was about to be finalized. The elevator he was awaiting for suddenly crashed from at least 90 stories above and the force thrust Byron into a guard station several feet away severely injuring him. Just minutes before and unbeknownst to Byron, an airplane commandeered by terrorists had crashed into the tower.
The United States Justice Department had been granted the September 11th Compensation Fund for the arbitration of claims such as this. I represented Byron through a program known as Trial Lawyers Care. My services were free. The hearing was held in New York on May 18, 2004. Byron and I presented evidence to an arbitrator. Later that same month, an award in favor of Byron was entered in the amount of $2.1 million.
$2.1 Million - Medical Malpractice
Mary, the mother of four adult children and wife of Arthur for 30 years, complained of persistent headache, nausea, vomiting and was admitted to South Suburban Hospital on September 9, 2003 for evaluation. She was diagnosed during that hospital stay by defendant Dr. Bhasin, a neurologist, with a benign meningioma, or tumor, near her right frontal lobe. She was discharged to home on September 11, 2003 with an appointment to see a neurosurgeon at the University of Chicago Hospitals the following Tuesday. But on September 13, 2003, Mary reported to the emergency department with MRI scans and CT scans in hand, reporting the worst headache of her life, nausea, vomiting, and incontinence. She was seen by the defendant Dr. Labrador in the emergency department where she was given as shot of Demerol, which is contraindicated for patients with brain tumors. Dr. Labrador consulted with Dr. Bhasin by telephone who instructed Dr. Labrador to discharge this patient and to remind her to keep her appointment at the University of Chicago Hospitals on September 16, 2003. Mary was discharged barely conscious. She was not able to be aroused by her husband and family later that evening and early the next morning an emergency medical team was notified by a 911 call. Attempts to revive her failed and she died of brain herniation early that morning. Defendants in the case were the hospital and the two physicians.
At a pretrial conference held in November 2007, the parties agreed to settle this case for $2.1 million.
$2.1 Million - Product Liability, Pharmaceutical
This case dealt with litigation regarding Meridia, an anti-depressant drug marketed in the United States. The drug was first developed by Boots Pharmaceuticals, but it abandoned the development efforts when clinical trials showed that Meridia led to a disturbing number of suicides. Ultimately, Boots sold the rights of this drug to Knoll Pharmaceuticals, who noted that the drug also was a cause of weight loss. Knoll altered the marketing to focus on weight loss. In 2000, BASF Corporation with the aspiration that Meridia would be a flagship drug in the Knoll program joined the venture to sell the drug to the public as a weight loss pharmaceutical. In the end, when Meridia did not meet BASF's sale expectations as a weight loss drug, Knoll was sold to defendant Abbott Laboratories. Abbott aggressively marketed this dangerous drug on the questionable strength of one flawed study and in spite of clinical studies and data revealing that Meridia was not even an effective agent for weight loss. In the end, the drug was marketed and was prescribed for weight loss and used by the patient who died as a result. This case was litigated in Lake County, Illinois. During pre-trial negotiations, the case settled for $2.1 million.
$2 Million - Allocation Award in Hydroxycut Injury Case
Kreisman Law Offices and Robert Kreisman successfully handled the serious injury to one of our clients who was taking the dietary supplement, Hydroxycut for several weeks in February 2009. The product was issued a warning by the U.S. Federal and Drug Administration (FDA) on May 1, 2009. Our client, F.M. was found to be suffering from jaundice and then to the level of liver failure. She was hospitalized and put on a waiting list for a liver transplant which took place at the end of May 2009. A lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and then for purposes of discovery combined with the Multi-District Litigation (MDL) which was handled in the federal court in the Southern District of California. F.M. was 33 years-old at the time of her liver transplant and is surviving well now. She is the mother of three children and married. Her medical bills approached $500,000. Mediation was held which demonstrated to the arbitrator, a retired California Supreme Court Justice, that F.M. had no prior liver function issues or any health issues whatsoever. The toxicity of the Hydroxycut product that she was taking was the direct and proximate cause of her liver failure and resulting liver transplant. The resulting allocation of $2 million was one of the highest, if not the highest allocated amount in the entire country. There were more than 500 claimants who were soliciting for damages for a variety of different injuries from the ingesting of Hydroxycut.
$750,000 - Medical Malpractice Resulting in Death
Lucy, age 52, had been a patient of the defendant, David Birnbaum, M.D. since 1999. On August 14, 2001, Lucy reported to Dr. Birnbaum that she had rib pain for the past six months. No diagnosis or treatment plan was noted by Dr. Birnbaum. She returned to see Dr. Birnbaum on January 7, 2002 with a sore throat and was prescribed cough medicine. She returned again on July 26, 2002 complaining of a dry throat and cough. Again she returned on September 9, 2002 complaining of chronic cough, at which point Dr. Birnbaum referred Lucy to a cardiologist for a TEE, a test used to diagnose cardiovascular disease. The results were normal, but in a letter to Dr. Birnbaum the cardiologist recommended a chest x-ray be done. Lucy returned to see Dr. Birnbaum on December 2, 2002, still complaining of chronic cough. No chest x-ray was ordered. Instead Dr. Birnbaum referred Lucy to a pulmonologist, Dr. Schupp. Dr. Schupp saw Lucy four times from December 23, 2002 through June 18, 2003. At all of those appointments Lucy complained of cough and dry throat. Lucy was being treated for sinusitis and asthma, but not lung disease. Finally a CT of the chest showed a suspicious finding. A biopsy was done which found that Lucy had a 10 cm. tumor on the right lower lobe of her lung. She was diagnosed with lung cancer, Stage IIIB, which is an advanced stage. Lucy underwent extensive chemotherapy and radiation shortly after her diagnosis. In January 2006 she underwent a second round of chemotherapy and radiation. She passed away on April 28, 2006.
A lawsuit was brought claiming medical malpractice on the part of the defendants, the family practice physician, Dr. Birnbaum and the pulmonologist, Dr. Schupp for choosing not to diagnose and treat symptoms of lung cancer. After two mediation settings, the case settled before trial for $750,000.
$650,000 - Nursing Home Negligence
Kevin was born on July 4, 2003 to Ruben and Noemi. Kevin was diagnosed with a muscular disorder known as centronuclear myopathy. Kevin was treated at the neonatal ICU first at the University of Chicago Hospitals and then at LaRabida Children's Hospital. He was released to home on January 24, 2001, but was ventilator dependent and had a gastrostomy tube for feeding.
Beginning in March 2004, Kevin was under the home care of the defendant, Illinois Critical Care, and its nursing staff for 18 hours per day. One of the assigned nurses began her first shift on the afternoon of July 2, 2004. This was just her second visit to the home. She was not trained on the site. Kevin had been to his regular check up on July 1, 2003, with his pediatrician and pulmonologist. It was reported that Kevin was doing exceptionally well. The shift of the Nurse was to begin at 1:00 p.m. on July 2, 2004. Instead she arrived at about 1:45 p.m. She had described herself as an experienced pediatric registered nurse who had special background in the care and treatment of ventilator dependent children. Ruben and Noemi were at their home until Noemi drove Ruben to work leaving at about 3:00 p.m. During the brief time that the Nurse was alone, Kevin' tracheotomy had become dislodged for reasons that were never given. The Nurse called 911. By the time the emergency medical team arrived, Kevin had died of asphyxiation, or suffocation. It was the plaintiff's claim that the nurse disconnected the ventilator, but was not able to reconnect it.
Before trial and at mediation, the case was settled for $650,000.
$550,000 - Medical Negligence
On September 8, 2006, Timothy, age 38, died at Northwestern Memorial Hospital of complications related to subacute bacterial endocarditis (heart valve infection). On arrival at Northwestern, Timothy had been diagnosed with systemic inflammatory response syndrome and septic shock.
Timothy was born in 1968 with a heart condition known as Tetralogy of Fallot. He underwent valve replacement in 1981. At the end of May 2006, Timothy became a patient of the defendant, Victor Colin, M.D., a family practice physician. His medical chart noted Timothy's history of Tetralogy of Fallot, as well as a loud heart murmur.
On August 21, 2006, Timothy presented to Dr. Colin complaining of sore throat and cough for about 4 days. His nose was swollen and red and he had a temperature of 103.2 degrees Fahrenheit. He was assessed with upper respiratory infection and cough and started on antibiotics. Timothy called again on August 23, 2006 asking for a note to keep him out of work because of his illness. On August 24, 2006, Timothy called again complaining of headache and temperature. He was prescribed a cough expectorant. On August 28, 2006, Timothy presented to Dr. Colin complaining of similar symptoms including a temperature of 101 degrees Fahrenheit. His throat had slightly improved but he had loss of appetite and ear pain. He was assessed with fever, cough and possible sinusitis.
On September 1, 2006, Timothy again presented to Dr. Colin this time with the assistance of his father. He had persistent fever and cough. He had not improved and in fact was generally worse with headaches and cough. Oxygen saturation on room air was 76% and his heart rate was 120. He was taken to Sherman Hospital, who admitted him for further evaluation. He was immediately diagnosed with subacute bacterial endocarditis and the next day transported by air ambulance to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for further treatment. Despite vigorous efforts by the staff, Timothy died on September 8, 2006. He was survived by his parents, an adult brother and an adult sister. He lived and shared expenses with his sister at a home they owned together.
This case was pending in Kane County, Illinois. On June 18, 2008 at mediation, the case settled for $550,000.
$500,000 - Medical Malpractice
A 69 year-old retiree had a heart attack on July 17, 2009. He was brought to a nearby Chicago hospital by ambulance where he was diagnosed with the heart attack. He stabilized and was held overnight at the hospital. The next morning, he was scheduled for a cardiac catherization and stenting of three coronary arteries where there was apparent blockage. The interventional cardiologist assigned to this procedure completed the stenting that next morning after about 45 minutes, but inadvertently perforated the exterior iliac artery and vein. This caused internal bleeding which was symptomatic of the perforation by the onset of back pain and a sudden drop in blood pressure. The interventional cardiologist did not immediately call for medical assistance and the patient coded after about an hour and a half. He was transferred to the intensive care unit, but never recovered, dying 3 days later.
After extensive discovery and the depositions of expert witnesses, the case settled before trial for $500,000. The patient was survived by his wife and adult daughter.
$460,000 - Agreed Upon Settlement With a Surgeon and Chicago Area Hospital
Kreisman Law Offices was a part of the legal team that reached a $460,000 medical malpractice settlement agreement with a physician and Chicago area hospital for the wrongful death of a woman client whose physician chose not to recognize a renal mass that was found on X-ray. This medical malpractice case settled before trial and before the beginning of what promised to be a lengthy discovery process.
The doctor in the case never reported to the patient’s surgeon and family practice physician what was obvious in the scan, the renal mass. During a routine six month check-up, the renal mass was found but by then was malignant and had spread to the client’s liver and kidneys.
As a result of the long delay before any recognition of the mass was made, the tumor was never timely treated and the client died prematurely just months later. The family members were the representatives that brought the lawsuit for the heirs and next of kin of the decedent.
$450,000 - Family of Pedestrians Killed on Chicago Street
In March 2010, a five-year old boy and his father were killed by a tractor trailer on a Chicago street. The case was presented in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago. After depositions were taken, the parties agreed on the settlement. The case was set for trial in the federal court.
$425,000 - Nursing Home Bed Sore Case
Our client, Lena, an 86 year-old grandmother, suffered multiple bed sores at the nursing home she had been residing. After the family discovered the severity of the bed sores, Lena was transferred to a Chicago area hospital for treatment. Medical records show that in addition to the bed sores, that there had been obvious neglect of care. The claim against the Cook County nursing home was resolved before suit by settlement for $425,000.
$339,000 - Settlement in Yaz Birth Control Case
In a case brought against Bayer Healthcare, LLC, the maker of Yaz and Yasmin contraceptives, the lawsuit settled after an arbitration allocation. The Kreisman Law Offices’ client suffered an 8-inch blood clot to the brain as a result of taking Yaz for menstrual cramps. The 29 year-old stopped taking the product when it became known that Yaz was causing severe side-effects, including blood clots.
The Food & Drug Administration has issued 3 separate warnings about the taking of Yaz and Yasmin, progestins (birth control product) containing drospirenone. Now in its 4th generation, Bayer continues to market Yaz and Yasmin as safe products even though the FDA has warned women about their side effects and the dangers associated with taking these products. There have been more than 50 reported deaths of women taking Yaz or Yasmin since 2003. Drospirenone is known to increase potassium levels in blood. Elevated potassium levels at dangerous levels are called hyperkalemia which can cause venous blood clots.
Yaz and Yasmin have also been associated with stroke, heart attack and pulmonary embolism.
The case was filed in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, as part of a Master Complaint. This case was settled as a result of an allocation made at arbitration.
$287,500 - Hospital Malpractice
In 2004, Alexis was receiving treatment for her sudden paralysis of her arms and legs in a Chicago hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The paralysis had also inhibited her ability to breathe on her own, so Alexis was receiving all of her oxygen through a ventilator. While in the MRI unit for a brain and spine scan Alexis became extubated. She was transported six floors up, back to the ICU, but had no heart beat when she arrived. Alexis was survived by one adult child.
The case was pending for trial in Cook County, Illinois. After mediation the case settled for $287,500.
$235,000 - Injured Construction Site Worker
In November 2006, Jack was a carpenter/roofer who was hired to do finishing work at a construction site. He was provided an extension ladder without a safety line. While at an elevation of 12-18 feet, Jack’s ladder slipped down with Jack who then landed on the ground on both feet. He was seriously injured, fracturing his calcaneous on the left and his tibia on the right. Jack was out of work for more than two years.
Settlement was reached within several weeks of the beginning of the trial at Will County, Illinois court.
$205,000 - Chicago Medical Malpractice
A lawsuit against a hospital and Chicago area midwife settled for $205,000 after a full term, 39 weeks 1 day, neonatal was stillborn. The case settled after expert witnesses were disclosed and some of those depositions were taken.
$165,000 - Injured Construction Site Worker
In September 2003, Larry was a roofer who was hired to help tar the roof at a construction site. He was pouring hot roofing tar into a container without a temperature gauge when the tar erupted, splattering Larry with burning hot tar. Larry suffered severe burns to his face, chest, abdomen, arm, and thigh, which required extensive skin grafting. Larry missed about seven months of work due to the injury.
The case was pending for trial in Cook County, Illinois. The case settled for $165,000.
$150,000 - Nursing Home Negligence
Mildred had been a resident at a nursing home facility since 2004. She suffered from dementia, confusion, and diabetes. During the course of her stay Mildred’s appetite began to deteriorate and she developed urinary incontinence, both conditions placing her at high risk for skin breakdowns. In 2007 she developed Stage III pressure ulcers that became infected with MRSA. Within a few months Mildred passed away from a combination of sepsis from her infected pressure ulcer, dehydration, and malnutrition.
The case was pending for trial in Cook County, Illinois, and was settled at a mediation for $150,000.
$125,000 - Hospital Injury
Our client, Ken, age 52, was admitted to Rush University Medical Center complaining of knee pain after a fall on ice. On admission, Ken was incorrectly assessed. The treating physicians and staff chose not to order an MRI or other diagnostic study that would have revealed that Ken had bilateral quadriceps ruptures. Instead, Ken was prescribed physical therapy and occupational therapy, both of which would have been contraindicated given his condition. On the date of Ken’s discharge, he fell, attributable to his quadriceps ruptures and injured his shoulder. Ken required rotator cuff surgery on his left shoulder. The case settled before trial.
$125,000 - Premises Liability
On August 12, 2007, Marie and her husband were with friends at a McDonald’s restaurant on Chicago’s south side. As they exited after their early morning breakfast, she slipped on the edge of the curb where paint remover had recently been applied by an employee of the restaurant. Marie severely injured her left foot requiring later surgery.
The case was pending for trial in Cook County, Illinois. The case settled after two mediation settings for $125,000.
$100,000 - Broken Arm
In July 2010, Marie and her husband were visiting family at a farm in central Illinois. During the afternoon of that visit, Marie took a short ride on a go-kart with her sister-in law, who was driving. Marie fell out of the go-kart breaking her right arm. She was treated at local hospital first and then transferred by ambulance to a trauma center where she had open reduction surgery to repair the fracture. She had been out of work for one year. The case settled before suit was filed for the homeowner’s insurance policy limits.
$95,000 - Injured Airline Baggage Handler
In September 2010, an American Eagle baggage handler, our client, Joseph, was injured when his baggage hauling trailer was struck by another baggage hauling truck operated by United Airlines at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Joseph suffered a back injury that kept him out of work for ten months. This case was settled with the United Airlines before suit was filed.