Articles Posted in Verdicts and Settlements

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Contingency fees are a critical part of the civil justice system, used frequently on many personal injury cases and medical malpractice matters. The basic idea is that it is manifestly unjust for someone injured by the misconduct of another to be prohibited from seeking accountability because of their inability to pay up-front legal costs to bring the case. After all, the very reason that many lawsuits are filed is because of the precarious financial situation some are placed in after an accident. Life savings are often drained to pay for medical and other costs, and the injury often makes work impossible. It makes little sense to allow the wrongdoer to avoid accountability so long as they harm someone of less means.

That is where contingency fees come into play. The basic idea is that attorneys agree to bear the risk of the uncertain legal outcome and take a share of the award (settlement or verdict) only after it is received by the plaintiff. If no damages are received then the plaintiff is no worse off and the lawyer bears the loss of time and expenses paid up to that point. Overall, it is a common sense solution to ensure that everyone has access to justice no matter what their financial situation.

New Illinois Med Mal Contingency Law

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Our legal team at Levin & Perconti works with families throughout Illinois who have been harmed by inadequate medical care. Medical malpractice cases are often incredibly heart-wrenching, because they involve community members whose trust is violated by those on whom they thought they could depend.

Whenever a case is filed, one of the first things that happens is both sides begin collecting information about the situation which may be used down the road in court proceedings. This involves interviewing the individuals involved (like the patients and the doctor), collecting relevant documents (medical records), and similar fact-finding matters. The time associated with gathering all of this potential evidence is one reason why some of these cases take many months to sort out.

However, in more cases than not, all of that information gathering does not actually end with a trial and presentation of information to a judge or jury. Instead, after the details are uncovered, both parties in the dispute often reach agreement regarding fair compensation and accountability to resolve the matter. This settlement process is a good thing–it saves time and expense and expedites the judicial process.

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Another medical malpractice case went to trial and, according to a report from Seacoast Online, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. The suit stemmed from a misdiagnosis that the patient claims was caused by errors made by the plaintiff’s radiologist. As with all misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis cases, the plaintiff’s argument was that if proper standards of care had been followed, then the proper diagnosis would have been reached in a timely manner, preventing harm to the patient.

Radiologist Liable for Failing to Diagnosis

The article summarizing the case explains that the plaintiff went to the hosptial in order to get help for a prolonged and severe headache. In addition to the headache, the woman began showing some neurological problems, indicating some brain issue. Her speech was slurred. In order to get at root of the problem a CT scan was performed. The results of that scan were read by the defendant-radiologist. That is where the problems originated, claim the woman.

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Only a minority of medical malpractice cases that are filed go to trial. That is either because the others are dismissed or result in a pre-trial settlment. Matters that go to trial are more costly, because more expensive legal work is required. In most cases, it is preferable for the parties to reach an agreement on an amount of compensation that avoids those expenses and ensures fair redress for the harm caused. However, there are times when those settlements cannot be reached. That usually results from one of two situations. Either the parties are not on the same page when it comes to a specific settlement amount or the defendant refuses to believe that they were actually negligent. Therefore, trials in malpractice cases are most common in situations where the amount of damages is disputed and in cases where the existence of negligence is a close call and could go either way.

In any event, when a case does go to trial, one of the most critical aspects of the resolution stem from evidentiary rules. Clients are often surprised by the complexity of these procedural rules about what can and cannot be said. It is not necessarily as simple as having any piece of information that might be relevant introduced at trial. Just because something is relevant is not the deciding factor–other barriers exist. Arguing over those barriers is often extensive. The evidentiary decisions are made by the judge, not the jury, and therefore may form the basis of an appeal by the party losing a case.

Medical Malpractice Appeal

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Even though most civil cases do not make it to trial, an attorney must be prepared to go all the way in every single case from the start. That is because it is impossible to know for sure how the legal process will unfold. A lot depends on the approach taken by the opposing side and the information that becomes available as the case is investigated. Being prepared for everything is essential in solid advocacy, and our team of lawyers at the law firm of Levin & Perconti are proud to take that to heart.

For example, just last week we won two jury verdicts, one of which invovled a case of medical malpractice. Please click here to read more about this important series of wins for our clients.

Verdict for Plaintiff in Chicago Medical Malpractice Case

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Over ten years ago a family’s life was forever altered following a birth injury that occurred at the Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois. Several of our Chicago malpractice attorneys at Levin & Perconti filed a lawsuit against the negligent medical professional and hospital involved in the error to help vindicate the rights of the injured child and her family. The suit was settled today with the hospital and the physician providing the family with $6.5 million. Two of our attorneys, John Perconti and Patricia Gifford, represented the family in the ordeal.

There were no apparent complications when the victimized mother was brought to the Lutheran General around 3:30 in the morning on September 26, 2000. The mother had not had any complications during the nine month pregnancy-a normal delivery was expected. Yet, problems arose during the pregnancy itself for which the medical team involved failed to account. Specifically, the nursing and delivery doctor failed to notice the fact that the child’s head was too large to fit through the mother’s pelvis-a condition known as cephalic pelvic disproportion.

The problems did not end there.

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The Washington Post reported this week on a settlement in a particularly troubling case of medical deceit. The situation involved a relationship that St. Joseph Medical Center had with MidAtlantic Cardiovascular Associates-a cardiovascular group co-founded by Mark D. Midei. Midei is a cardiologist who has been charged with medical fraud, causing hundreds of patients to undergo unwarranted heart procedures.

St. Joseph hosptial was charged with taking kickbacks from MidAtlantic in exchange for referring patients to MidAtlantic for “lucrative cardiovascular procedures.” The illegal relationship reportedly took place over a ten year stretch from 1996 to 2006. The kickback was disguised as a payment for services but was instead an attempt to hide the illegal referral scheme. Of course, referral payments in this way incentivize costly, dangerous, and unnecessary treatments. That sort of relationship makes money the object of medical care instead of the needs of the patient.

Dr. Midei eventually left his job at MidAtlantic to work full-time for St. Joseph, taking a high profile seven figure salary. The employment lasted until 2009, when accusations about Midei’s falsification of records led the hospital to contact hundreds of its former patients and warn them of the possible error.

The hospital explained that it “reached the agreement without admitting liability in order to avoid the expense and uncertainty of litigation.”
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The Sun is reporting a large medical malpractice verdict involving a woman who lawyers say is now a paraplegic. A 53-year-old victim won a $3.5 million medical malpractice verdict against the two surgeons and their business. The woman had underwent surgery for blocked arteries three years ago and had disastrous results. After the surgery she filed a medical malpractice lawsuit. The jury found the two doctors responsible for the victim’s injuries.

The medical malpractice trial focused on the fact that the doctors used an improper grafting technique. The victim claimed that this medical error led to blood loss and other injuries which included damage to her spinal cord. This left her as a paraplegic and unable to walk. Although she still has some feeling in her legs, she is in constant pain. The medical malpractice verdict has given her some sense of security. She has not been able to resume her lifestyle since the medical error. The jury awarded the victim $1.3 million for noneconomic damages, $2 million for future medical bills, and more than $200,000 for prior bills. As a paraplegic, this victim will experience many future medical bills for ongoing treatment and rehabilitiation.

In cases such as this, noneconomic damages oftentimes include lost wages. The mistakes of medical providers can leave victims unable to return to their normal work life. When this occurs, it is important to seek compensation for lost earnings. If you have experienced lost wages as a result of medical malpractice, consult a Chicago medical malpractice attorney. To read more about this specific medical malpractice case, please click the link.

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The New York Times is reporting that a jury has awarded former Dolphins player O.J. McDuffie a $11.5 million medical malpractice verdict. This medical error was committed by a prominent physician and ended the football player’s career. The medical malpractice trial lasted for 2.5 weeks and discussed the career-ending toe injury. The doctor was a former Miami Dolphins team doctor.

The medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that there was negligence and malpractice after the football player received treatment for his toe injury. This injury was originally suffered in 1999. The Dolphins doctor had told the player that he could continue to play football despite MRIs that said the toe had tendon damage. He also had several other medical malpractice settlements with other doctors. To read more about the medical malpractice verdict, please click the link.

When people become victims of medical malpractice, they are entitled to receive compensation for future medical care and pain and suffering. These medical malpractice victims are also entitled to receive compensation for lost wages that they may have incurred due to the medical malpractice. This verdict reflects that lost wages can vary from patient to patient. Since this medical malpractice victim was an NFL football player, he was entitled to larger wages, which made his medical malpractice verdict quite high. The jury had awarded the player $10 million of lost earnings. McDuffie was a first-round draft pick with a sizable professional career. If you have been a victim of medical error, please consult a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer.

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NJ.com is reporting that a family has been awarded an 18.5 million medical malpractice verdict against a hospital and an obstetrician. The medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that he doctors were not quick enough to perform an emergency C-Section on the boy in 1998. This then resulted in birth delay which caused the victim’s cerebral palsy. Medical experts testified that if this baby had been delivered just eight minutes earlier, he would not have been inflicted with cerebral palsy. This small timeframe resulted in a medical error that is going to change this young boy’s life forever.

The boy’s mother also had a legal suit against the doctor and hospital, but unfortunately she died from unrelated causes six years ago. The medical malpractice lawsuit will help take care of the victim for the rest of his life. His new adopted mother is pleased with the medical malpractice verdict. The jury deliberated for two days before handing down the verdict. The boy is now 12 years old. He will need extra care to help with his cerebral palsy.

When physicians fail to perform c-sections in a timely manner, birth injuries can occur. One possible birth injury is cerebral palsy, which the person will suffer from for life. Cerebral Palsy is an encompassing term that groups disorders that appear during the first few years of a baby’s life. It affects a child’s muscle systems and leaves them either weak and floppy or rigid and stiff. If your child is a victim of cerebral palsy, please consult a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer.