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Verdicts




Suttle v. Lake Forest Hospital
$10,944,000.00 (Plaintiff's total recovery $13.3 million)

This birth injury verdict was the second highest in Cook County history ($11 million had been awarded in 1991) at the time.

The defendant hospital failed to detect the plaintiff newborn's acute blood loss from an undiagnosed vasa previa placental abnormality. This undiscovered blood loss caused brain damage and cerebral palsy to Diana Suttle.

This case involved eleven years of hardwork, two appeals and one jury trial. The plaintiff recovered $13,300,000.00 in total from all payments and settlements.

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Linstrom v. Dr. Han
$4,502,312.00

Terrence K. Hegarty tried this case in early 2000. This case involved hundreds of scientific studies involving a hormone prescribed by defendant Dr. Han to the plaintiff's mother in the early weeks of her first trimester.

This case was defended before trial and at trial by Hinshaw & Culbertson. ISMIS refused to pay $1 million before the verdict was returned. This case has been appealed to the Appellate Court and the plaintiff is anticipating a complete recovery.

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Boll v. Chicago Park District
$16,500,000.00

Terrence K. Hegarty tried this case in November 1988. This $16,500,000.00 verdict was reduced to $7,425,000.00 as a result of plaintiff's contributory negligence.

The plaintiff was a young man who became a quadriplegic after falling from a ramp at Soldier Field to the ground. He was a Chicago Bears fan and the fall occurred at the conclusion of the Bears game with Tampa Bay on September 11, 1983.

In this case, there were ten witnesses who appeared against the plaintiff. The plaintiff, Ron Boll, was the only witness to the occurrence and the aftermath of the occurrence who testified in favor of the plaintiff.

Mr. Hegarty presented only one occurrence witness but he presented six treating physicians and seven retained experts in this six week long jury trial.

This jury verdict was a jury high for invitees and the gross verdict was the second highest for any type of award at the time in 1988.

This jury trial award was appealed to the Appellate Court by the defendant and the Appellate Court affirmed the jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff, Ron Boll. The defendant's P.L.A. was denied by the Supreme Court of Illinois and the full net verdict plus interest was paid to the plaintiff.

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Estate of William Kitterman v. CTA
$2,765,000.00

This is the case of William Kitterman, an 84 year old man who was exiting a CTA bus when the bus door closed on his left arm throwing him to the ground. The CTA driver pulled away while the CTA bus wheel rolled over Mr. Kitterman killing him.

The CTA contended that Mr. Kitterman was not a passenger on the bus. Three young witnesses observed the entire tragedy and the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff.

Mr. Kitterman was conscious and experiencing pain for only thirty minutes. He died four hours later.

The jury awarded $2,000,000.00 for pain. This was the highest jury award ever made in Cook County, at the time, for a short period of pain before death following a traumatic event.

Mr. Hegarty tried this case for nine days against an attorney on the CTA legal staff.

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Rodriguez v. Norfolk & Western Railway
$6,122,446.00

This is the case of a Marine Lieutenant home on furlough who was walking his dog in the forest preserves at night and saw a white light and investigated. He heard voices across the railroad tracks and he stood to wait while the train passed. The train stopped. The marine looked between two cars. The train started and a projecting piece of lumber struck him and pulled him under the train striking and amputating his arm.

The jury found for the Marine Lieutenant Vincent Rodriguez and reduced his verdict to $5,020,406.00 for plaintiff's negligence.

This case was the highest arm amputation in Cook County at the time. Terrence K. Hegarty tried this case in a 10 day trial in early October 1988.

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Skrobot v. Midwest Poly Chem, Ltd.
$2,788,242.00

John Skrobot, age 19, worked in a Jiffy Lube Station when a 55 gallon drum of window wash concentrate was ignited by a cigarette lighter 5 feet away causing an explosion.

John was set on fire and ran almost 100 yards before a courageous truck driver tackled the burning boy and put out the flames. This saved John's life but he was burned over 75 percent of his body and began a nightmarish series of heroin injections to relieve the pain.

This verdict was a new high in Cook County for burns.

This case finished three trials Terrence K. Hegarty tried in the beginning of 1988. He was the only plaintiff trial lawyer to receive three multi million dollar verdicts in one calendar year.

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Lynch v. Metropolitan Wholesale Supply Co.
$3,000,000.00

This case involved a 21 year old man working at Forest City Enterprises in Burbank who was helping a carpenter to nail plywood.

Suddenly a nail split and reversed direction imbedding itself into Terry Lynch's right eye. Two other nails in Terry's belt were defective in that they had "nicks". In six other boxes of nails there were similar "nicks".

The jury awarded $3,000,000.00 for the loss of one eye. This was a record verdict. Mr. Hegarty tried this case in a thirteen day trial in Cook County in late 1989. The offer made by the defendant attorney before trial was $300,000.00. Mr. Hegarty refused this settlement.

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Jackson v. Hoffman Air and Filtration
$3,000,000.00

David Jackson, 31, worked in a grain elevator on the south side of Chicago at Fleischman Malting Company. He was a laborer assigned to vacuum grain dust, which is explosive, under a conveyor. He reached under the moving conveyor belt to move the vacuum hose and he was caught, pulled in and his head and chest were crushed. He was alive and kept in a circle with his fellow laborers, who supported him for one hour before he died. He was married with two small daughters.

This was the highest death award at the time in Cook County that was not an airplane or malpractice case.

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Rivera v. City of Chicago and Rex Hayes
$1,004,181.00

Miguel Rivera, age 21, 5 feet 8 inches, 150 lbs., was driving his two young sons home at midnight when he was in a very slight fender bender with off duty Police Officer Rex Hayes (6 feet 2 inches, 240 lbs.). Hayes was still in his Chicago Police uniform when he was picked up by his girlfriend. He had a disagreement with her before colliding with Miguel Rivera's car.

Miguel did not stop his car and Hayes chased Rivera, curbed him and pulled him out of his car. Rivera said that they should wait for and uninvolved on duty police officer and returned to his car. Hayes pulled Rivera from his vehicle a second time and hit him over the head with his police billy club which he held and wielded with two hands.

Miguel suffered a depressed skull fracture with subdural bleeding which required a craniotomy and which caused epilepsy and a temporary loss of speech.

Terrence K. Hegarty tried this case in 1984 when civil rights cases were rarely won by the plaintiff. This was the second high for civil rights in 1984.

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Shahid v. Home Care Home Health Agency, Mayer Eisenstein, MD, SE
$30,000,000

This verdict was the largest total verdict for a baby’s death in Illinois, and the largest award to parents of a baby for their loss of society claims.
The case involved the failure to timely test a newborn baby’s umbilical cord blood which would have revealed a condition called kernicterus (a/k/a bilirubin encephalopathy). The baby died 16 days after birth due to complications of kernicterus.

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Bunch v. Maersk Line Ltd.
$3.84 million


Terrence Hegarty tried this case in November of 2004.

Mike Bunch was working aboard the container ship Maersk Texas. Mr. Bunch was assigned to collect stacking cones in a dark area of the ship when he fell down a 9 ½ feet drop-off that was situated in the middle of a walk way. Mr. Bunch suffered various fractures, mild brain damage, permanent numbness to the face, vertigo and limitations in the use of his left hand. The jury awarded Mr. Bunch $3.84 million, but reduced that amount to $2.95 million after deciding that he was 30% responsible.

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