WRONGFUL DEATH

Wrongful death refers to a type of case in which someone else’s wrongful or negligent conduct results in untimely death. In an Illinois wrongful death lawsuit, a family member acts as a representative for purposes of filing a lawsuit and recovering money damages for the death of their loved one. Damages in wrongful death lawsuits include medical bills, pain and suffering, funeral expenses. They also include the loss of love, companionship and affection each family member would have received from their deceased loved one. Although no monetary compensation can make up for the death of a loved one, bringing a wrongful death lawsuit is an important step towards gaining justice when you and your family have been wronged. Please contact the Illinois wrongful death attorneys at Gibson Lewis for the one-on-one attention that your case requires.

TYPES OF CASES

When a person drives or operates any type of automobile, truck or other motor vehicle he must use care to ensure the safety of others on the roadway, parking lot or anywhere in the area. When a person is injured or a family loses a loved one due to another person or companies’ improper or careless driving you have a right to seek full compensation for all past and future losses and damages. Gibson Lewis has successfully represented hundreds of victims of automobile and other motor vehicle crashes throughout the state with the majority of our cases being in Cook, Lake and McHenry counties.
A person can be seriously hurt or killed due to countless negligent conditions and work actions at a construction site. When a person or company who is not your employer is negligent in causing you serious personal injury or the death of your loved one Gibson Lewis will represent you to pursue full justice from all of the individuals and companies that are responsible. Due to the complexity and unique nature of construction personal injury cases our attorneys regularly retain and work with the most highly acclaimed architectural, engineering, trade, and equipment experts in the country to testify on behalf of our clients. Oftentimes our clients also have a pending Worker’s Compensation case which requires the coordination of the representation of you or your family in both cases to achieve the most successful result.

When a person is walking or running and is injured due to the negligence of another person or company in not providing a safe floor, parking lot, staircase, or any other type of area our clients have a right to pursue a Premises Liability lawsuit. Often Premises Liability cases include multiple defendants such as a maintenance company, an owner, a snowplow company or a general contractor who are responsible to pay full compensation for past and future losses due to causing our client’s injuries.

When you are injured by an animal anyone in charge of that animal is responsible to fully compensate you for your injuries. This public policy of Illinois is contained in the Animal Control Law which states that the person responsible for an animal is “strictly liable” if it injures someone. Gibson Lewis has successfully represented dozens of victims of dog bites and other injuries caused by animals.

Boating, ATV and snowmobile injury cases are unique because they require a lawyer with experience in analyzing state and local ordinances, private property rules and the manufacturer’s usage and safety rules. Many times our clients are injured in open water, forest, farmers’ fields and trails where the “rules of the road” are vague or non-existent. Gibson Lewis is proud of its record in successfully representing many clients for serious injury or death due to negligent boat, ATV and snowmobile operation.

VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS

A 52-year old man was in the hospital for a routine procedure. The nurses categorized him as a high fall risk because he was weak and on medications. When it came time to change the linens on the patient’s bed, a nursing assistant placed the patient on a bedside chair and then left the patient alone while he went to the linen closet to get clean sheets. The patient fell from the chair and hit his head, suffering injuries to his skull and brain. The nursing assistant claimed that it was an “emergency” to get the clean linens and that is why he decided to leave the patient alone, instead of asking someone else to bring the sheets while he remained at the patient’s side. Result: $1,750,000 settlement before trial
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 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  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 jury verdict.
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.
A mother took her young child to the doctor because she wasn’t eating well, was lethargic, and “just didn’t seem right.”  Her thirst was insatiable, yet she was not urinating normally.  She had a sweet smell on her breath.  The pediatrician failed to understand the baby’s symptoms were classic signs of diabetic ketoacidosis.  He thus failed to treat the baby, who soon “crashed” and became very ill.  The baby survived, but not without damage to certain areas of her brain. Result: $4,250,000 settlement before trial.
39-year-old bank vice president underwent a gallbladder removal surgery which resulted in post-operation pain, fever and abdominal cramping. The surgeon referred her to a private gastroenterologist who concluded, based on testing, that the right hepatic duct had been improperly clipped during the surgery requiring follow-up surgery. The original surgeon refused to perform follow-up surgery. Three months later the plaintiff had to undergo a significant roux-en-y bypass surgery by a world-renowned expert at Fredort Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Subsequently the Plaintiff has been able to return to her normal activities. Result: $916,162 trial verdict.
60-year old, divorced mother of two was run over in her driveway by her ex-husband, who then backed his car up and ran over her a second time.  She suffered life-threatening injuries including a pelvic fracture and head injuries.  She spent months in the hospital and rehabilitation facilities recovering. Result: $17,000,000 verdict at 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 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.
A woman in her fifties boarded a Northwest Airlines flight from Chicago to Minneapolis to attend an ice skating competition with her young daughter.  She asked the flight attendant for assistance in placing her bag in the overhead bin because she was too short to reach it.  In the process of placing the bag overhead, it fell on the plaintiff who suffered severe injuries to her neck, requiring multiple surgeries. Result: $1,200,000 verdict at trial.
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.
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.
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.
A 73-year old man fell off a ladder in his backyard and was taken to the hospital.  While there, the radiologist misread his CT scans and failed to diagnose the presence of blood in the patient’s abdomen.  The patient died from internal bleeding. Result: $1,200,000 verdict/settlement at trial.
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.
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.
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.
A woman in her 40’s was crossing Armitage Avenue in Chicago with the walk light in her favor.  A school bus which was attempting quickly take a left-hand turn in front of an oncoming vehicle collided with the plaintiff, throwing her several feet in the air.  She suffered permanent brain injuries and is completely dependent on others to care for her. Result: $17,300,000 settlement before trial.
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.
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.
A previously-healthy newborn baby, one of three triplets, received an overdose of normal saline solution when a nurse erroneously programmed the IV pump delivering the solution to the baby.  Instead of receiving 4.5 cc’s of solution as ordered by her doctors, the baby received 405 cc’s.  She suffered minor damage to her brain and is somewhat developmentally delayed. Result: $7,000,000 settlement before trial.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A woman in her late thirties with Crohn’s Disease was struggling with constant stomach pain.  She made an appointment with a general surgeon who told her that surgery to remove a portion of her bowel would completely cure her pain.  The surgeon did not inform that patient that a) Crohn’s Disease has no cure and b) he had never performed a bowel resection on a patient with Crohn’s.  Following the surgery, the physician failed to recognize certain complications and the patient became septic.  She survived, but only after months of hospitalizations and therapy.  RESULT:$4,800,000 verdict at 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.

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.