The attorneys of HURST BOLEKY LLC have built a reputation for obtaining significant verdicts and settlements in a variety of medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other catastrophic personal injury cases. Below are some of our results:
The estate of a disabled husband and father alleged the defendant doctors and hospital, through its nursing staff and resident physicians, provided negligent medical care and treatment during, and subsequent to, a laparoscopic appendectomy (removal of the appendix through a laparoscope) which was alleged to have resulted in two strokes, hypoxic brain injury, and permanent disability to the patient.
The patient, a husband and father, presented to a local university hospital and their cardiologists for a work-up and treatment of his mitral valve prolapse. In spite of the significant nature of the mitral valve prolapse, it was alleged, the defendant cardiologists elected not to refer the patient to cardiac surgery for evaluation and surgical treatment which resulted in the patient’s sudden cardiac death as a result of his known mitral valve prolapse.
Brian Hurst and Thomas Boleky were on trial for nearly two weeks in a surgical malpractice case filed against Northwestern Memorial Hospital. This was the second time the partners had tried this case before a jury. A year earlier, the jury could not come to a unanimous decision despite deliberating for over 16 hours and it resulted in a hung jury (11-1 in Plaintiff’s favor). The case involved a 26 year-old female, admitted to the Emergency Room at Northwestern Memorial Hospital with a history of pelvic pain for several months, which had worsened that day. An exploratory laparoscopy was performed and during the procedure a surgical resident, employed by the hospital, inserted a trocar into the Plaintiff’s abdomen too deeply, to a length that it pierced through the common iliac artery and vein, two major blood vessels located near the back of the pelvic cavity. The patient loss nearly 8000 ccs of blood and an emergency surgical team had to be brought in to immediately open her belly, identify the blood vessels perforated in the surgery, and repair them in time to prevent her from bleeding to death. The patient suffered a long and painful recovery from this surgery, including a lengthy stay in the ICU, and was left with significant inner abdominal adhesions (scar tissue), and forced her to give up her career as an industrial engineer. On retrial, despite a vigorous defense of the resident’s conduct in inserting the trocar far too deeply, a jury found in favor of the Plaintiff and awarded her $8.7 million. Northwestern Memorial Hospital later filed post-trial motions arguing for a remittitur – as they believed the jury awarded too much for her injuries – which the trial judge granted and reduced the judgment to $2.3 million.
See The Trial Lawyer Magazine article: “$8.7M in damages for botched laparoscopy” here
A DuPage County jury returned an Illinois record $7 million verdict on behalf of a 59-year-old woman from suburban Bolingbrook, who is currently suffering from Stage IV metastatic breast cancer, against two suburban radiologists and their employer. The Plaintiff was represented at trial by Brian Hurst and Thomas F. Boleky.
Brian Hurst obtained a $5 Million verdict in the Circuit Court of Cook County on behalf of a 57-year-old woman and her husband, formerly of DuPage County, in a trial where it was alleged the patient suffered the functional loss of her vagina as a result of an unnecessary suburethral sling procedure for stress urinary incontinence (SUI). The sling procedure, it was alleged, was unnecessary due to the fact the patient did not suffer from SUI and did not undergo a proper work-up for SUI, the condition for which a suburethral sling would be indicated. The sling eventually eroded into the patient’s vagina, resulting in permanent scarring, infection, a loss of sexual function, and necessitating several surgical procedures. The woman and her husband have been unable to have intercourse since the performance of the procedure.
A female Chicago Public School teacher presented to the defendant hospital’s emergency department with chest pain, coughing and fever, was diagnosed with pneumonia and sent home. Three days later, she returned to the defendant hospital’s emergency department suffering from increasing respiratory difficulty and shortness of breath. Her blood gas tests showed the oxygen content of her blood was abnormally decreasing to dangerously low levels. The decision was eventually made to intubate the patient. It was alleged the intubation was performed negligently, was untimely, and resulted in severe hypoxic brain damage which left the patient in a permanent vegetative state.
Thomas Boleky obtained the second highest verdict in Kane County’s history at that time when he won $4.543 million for a couple who were passengers in a friend’s automobile when it was struck by a pizza delivery driver. The jury found both the driver of the vehicle Plaintiffs were travelling in and the driver of the pizza delivery company liable for Plaintiff’s injuries, which included partial paralysis due to cauda equina syndrome.
The patient, a 49-year-old female, suffered a debilitating stroke resulting in permanent and significant disability following a carotid artery stenting procedure which was alleged to have been experimental, unnecessary—considering the nature and extent of the patient’s carotid artery disease—and performed negligently by the defendant physicians. The patient had a history of strokes and was evaluated for carotid artery stenosis by the defendant physicians who elected to perform the carotid artery stenting procedure which plaintiff alleged was experimental at the time it was performed, though it was not explained to the patient that it was an experimental procedure.
An industrial painter was working under the Chicago Transit Authority’s elevated tracks when an electrical shock caused him to fall forward into the controls of the JLG lift he was working on, resulting in it inadvertently raising and crushing him to death, against the underside of the CTA girder. The defendants included the Chicago Transit Authority, Commonwealth Edison and the JLG lift manufacturer. He was survived by his wife and three children, one of which was a starting tackle for the Notre Dame Football team.
The patient, a 25-year-old female, suffered injury to her duodenum during the performance of an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP) with biliary sphincterotomy for biliary stenosis. It was alleged the ERCP with biliary sphincterotomy was performed negligently, causing iatrogenic (physician caused) injury to the patient’s duodenum, and resulting in significant disability and disfigurement of the patient’s abdomen, requiring several additional surgical procedures including skin grafting.
An unnecessary diagnostic laparoscopy was performed on a 44-year-old woman for complaints of a 2-3 week history of pelvic pain and pressure, thought to be caused by a relatively small, resolving left ovarian cyst. The woman, who was a CNA (certified nursing assistant) at NorthShore University HealthSystem, was at high risk for surgery due to her medical history, which included pelvic and abdominal adhesive disease from multiple prior pelvic surgical procedures. The laparoscopic procedure resulted in bowel perforation that was not diagnosed at the time of laparoscopy and resulted in the emergent re-admission of the woman 2 days later. The bowel perforation ultimately led to peritonitis, severe sepsis, respiratory failure and the woman’s death, while still in the hospital. The surgeon failed to perform an appropriate physical examination of the woman prior to surgery, which would have likely been negative and would have been an additional indication not to perform surgery, exposing the patient to an unnecessary risk of harm. Once the procedure began, the surgeon observed dense adhesive disease upon entry, which should have been a clear indication to either discontinue the surgery or convert to an open procedure, to minimize the risk of injury to the abdominal organs or tissues. Additionally, it was alleged, the surgeon failed to appropriately examine the bowel, prior to ending the procedure, to be certain injury to the bowel had not occurred during the dissection and biopsy of the abdominal cyst. The patient, a wife of 17 years and mother to a teenage daughter, was unable to recover from the massive infection and passed away approximately 6 weeks following the initial laparoscopy.
Plaintiff was struck by Defendant’s Ford-150 pickup truck while riding his motorcycle. Plaintiff suffered from multiple fractures, including his pelvis, leg, and nose. The injury to his right leg was so severe it had to be amputated above the knee.
Plaintiff suffered severe burns to his neck and chest when his house exploded from a buildup of natural gas as he walked in the front door. The leaking gas came from a flexible metal hose that supplied gas to the stove. It was alleged that People’s Gas Light and Coke Company had known or should have known of the propensity of this type of flexible hose to crack and leak gas, and had failed to ensure their customers replaced them or properly warned the customer of the danger.
Thomas Boleky secured a verdict of $3 million for the family of a man who was murdered when the Defendant negligently set up and monitored a house arrest ankle bracelet placed on a felon while on parole. The felon was able to leave his premises without the police being alerted and later shot and killed the plaintiff’s decedent with a handgun during the commission of a crime.
The 46-year-old Chicago resident, who had recently started a mobile dog-grooming business, drove himself to a local community hospital after work, after experiencing swelling and pain in his leg and shortness of breath. An ultrasound of his left leg was performed, and he was diagnosed with a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and a Chest CT showed a massive pulmonary saddle embolus with near complete occlusion of the right pulmonary artery as well as left-sided emboli. The man was started on standard IV heparin therapy in the ER and transferred to the ICU. Two days later, despite the fact that he was sub-therapeutic on the standard doses of heparin, he was switched to Lovenox (a heparin-based anti-coagulant at standard doses) and transferred from ICU to a general medical floor. The following day, the patient died as a result of another pulmonary embolism, which the plaintiff alleged would have been prevented by appropriate treatment for the known pulmonary embolism and DVT. The man was survived by his wife, 3 adult children, and a daughter born just 3 weeks prior to his death.
Brian Hurst and Thomas Boleky, obtained a $2.65 Million medical malpractice verdict in the Circuit Court of Cook County against a local ophthalmologist who treated a chalazion (small pimple-like bump) on his patient’s left lower eyelid by injecting the chalazion with a corticosteroid. It was alleged the corticosteroid was negligently injected into the patient’s central retinal artery causing complete and permanent loss of vision in the patient’s left eye as a result of ischemia.
The patient presented to Dr. Murad Alam and the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation Dermatology Clinic for a consultation for a history of wrinkles and sun damage around her mouth. It was alleged the defendant caused full-thickness, third-degree burns to the area around the patient’s mouth during the negligent performance of a CO2 laser resurfacing procedure. The plaintiff required several surgical procedures, including skin grafting, following the laser resurfacing and continues to suffer from scarring around her mouth. The defendants agreed to pay $2.5 Million to settle the case on the first day of trial after several years of litigation.
Plaintiff received $2.5 million settlement during the third day of trial after she suffered a spinal cord injury when the pedal of the bicycle she was riding on a Palos Heights bike path struck a drop gate, a short steel post affixed to the middle of the bike lane near an intersection with the roadway. The Village of Palos Heights claimed that it had the drop gates installed on its bike path to restrict motor vehicles’ access to the bike lanes. Plaintiff sought to prove that the drop gates were unnecessary and posed a danger to distracted bike riders as they approached the intersection.
Thomas Boleky obtained a $2.5 Million settlement in the Circuit Court of Lake County in a case alleging the golf cart owned by Defendant rolled over as Plaintiff drove the cart around a sharp curve on a path at Defendant’s golf course. Plaintiff was partially paralyzed from his resulting cervical cord injury, losing function in both legs and his fingers, as well as requiring surgical fusion and titanium plating in his neck.
Brian Hurst obtained a $2.4 Million medical malpractice verdict in the Circuit Court of Cook County against St. Francis Hospital of Blue Island, Illinois, and its emergency room physician, for an alleged failure to timely diagnose and treat the patient’s acute arterial insufficiency. The patient, a 51-year-old male, presented to the emergency department of the defendant hospital in the middle of the night following a fall on his stairs at home. It was alleged the fall caused an acute arterial injury to the patient’s right leg, resulting in an acute arterial insufficiency to his right lower extremity. Plaintiff sought to show that the failure to timely diagnose and treat the acute arterial insufficiency with an emergent re-vascularization procedure resulted in an above-the-knee amputation of the patient’s right leg the following morning.
Plaintiff, a 43-year-old male, suffered a severely comminuted tibial plateau leg fracture following a fall from a ladder while working at home. He was subsequently treated with surgery by the defendant orthopedic surgeon who performed an internal fixation utilizing hardware several days after the patient had initially presented to defendant. It was alleged the negligence of the orthopedic surgeon in delaying performance of the definitive repair, operating in the face of a likely infection, improperly performing the internal fixation and subsequently mishandling the surgical infection, resulted in severe deformity to the patient’s leg, continuing knee pain, and necessitated several surgical procedures including skin grafting and a muscle flap repair. Plaintiff’s counsel retained one of the world’s foremost experts on tibial plateau leg fractures. The defense settled the case for the full extent of defendant’s liability insurance on the eve of trial following several years of litigation.
A woman was changing the tire of her van parked on the side of the road when she was killed by Defendant’s car. Prior to her death, police had setup a number of warnings to oncoming traffic, including a parked police car with emergency lights, traffic cones, flares, and a police officer directing traffic. Despite all warnings, Defendant swerved his car into oncoming traffic to get around woman’s van and causing a car wreck, killing the woman.
A 49-year-old woman visited the emergency room of a local hospital for difficulty breathing and had a chest x-ray performed which reported an abnormality in the right lower lung. She was immediately referred for a chest CT scan, which again demonstrated the abnormality in the right lower lung, however, the interpreting radiologist failed to comment on the abnormality and no work-up of the abnormality was ordered or performed. Eleven months later, a second CT scan was performed and again demonstrated the abnormality in the right lower lung, which was biopsied and determined to be cancer. The patient, due to the delay in reporting the abnormality and working-up the abnormality, it was alleged, progressed to stage IV lung cancer at the time of diagnosis. The defendant radiologist and hospital settled the case for $1.85 million in the days leading up to trial.
The 3-year-old child developed a fever in the early morning hours of Halloween and was taken by his parents to the local hospital’s Emergency Department. Vitals signs indicated an elevated blood pressure and increased heart rate upon admission to the ED, along with an elevated temperature. No septic work-up was initiated and no blood test, urine culture or x-ray was performed prior to discharge. In the afternoon after his discharge, his parents tried to feed the him some soup and he vomited, and then developed a high fever, so his parents brought him to their family practice physician, who examined him and recommended Tylenol and Pedialyte. The boy vomited 2 more times after this visit. Early in the morning on the next day, the boy again developed a high fever, was having difficulty breathing and could not stand on his own while being dressed. His parents again took him to the hospital Emergency Department. After several hours in the ED, he became cyanotic. Attempts to transfer the child to a pediatric intensive care unit proved too late and the child died later that day as a result of overwhelming meningitis. The boy was survived by his parents and 4 siblings.
The 54-year-old Michigan resident with a congenital heart defect and a history of aortic valve replacement surgery was on a business trip in Chicago, when he began having difficulty breathing in the middle of the night and was taken by ambulance from his hotel to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Despite a diagnosis of acute severe aortic insufficiency, necessitating aortic valve replacement surgery within 24 to 48 hours, the surgery was delayed for approximately 2 weeks for what the patient’s team of physicians suspected was pneumonia and endocarditis. By the time his valve surgery commenced, his heart had weakened beyond repair and he suffered multi-system organ failure, dying shortly after surgery. He died shortly following the procedure. He is survived by his wife of 28 years and two adult daughters.
The patient, a 67-year-old male, was being treated at a local university hospital for liver cancer. During the performance of a liver resection to treat the liver cancer, it was alleged the surgeons lacerated the patient’s vena cava, resulting in massive blood loss, exsanguination, hypoxemia, and death. The patient was survived by his wife and two adult children.
Plaintiff was a passenger in a car struck on Illinois Interstate Highway 80 by a merging truck owned by Defendant shipping company. The collision caused Plaintiff’s car to crash into a concrete median post, killing Plaintiff.
Thomas Boleky tried a case to a successful verdict involving a woman who was struck by falling ceiling debris while sitting at her desk at work. Plaintiff was employed as a Job Corp counselor for at-risk teens on the south side of Chicago when small sections of the plaster and drop ceiling above her collapsed, suddenly, while she was working at her desk. She was struck on her head and body by the falling debris, including plaster, ceiling tiles and a light fixture that had been mounted on the ceiling. It was later determined that water had been leaking into the ceiling above Plaintiff’s desk for some time, which had weakened the plaster and led to the collapse of the ceiling. Plaintiff sustained head and neck trauma and was ultimately diagnosed with a concussion, post-concussive syndrome, cervicogenic headaches and cervical radiculopathy. Plaintiff also suffered a strain of the medial collateral ligament and anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee which eventually led to arthroscopic surgery 6 years later.
Thomas Boleky obtained a $1.3 Million settlement in the Circuit Court of DuPage County for a woman’s estate after she was killed when struck by Defendant’s car as she crossed the road after eating breakfast at a nearby restaurant. She suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured skull, fractured ribs, and a heart attack, all leading to her death.
The estate of the deceased mother of three adult children alleged the woman died as a result of the negligence of the defendant physicians in failing to appropriately manage the patient’s volume status during and subsequent to a breast reduction surgery. It was alleged the patient suffered from extensive blood and volume loss during the breast reduction surgery and that the defendants’ negligence in failing to adequately and timely address the fluid and blood loss resulted in the patient’s cardiopulmonary arrest and death in the immediate post-operative period while in the post-anesthesia recovery unit of the defendant hospital.
A 5-year-old child drowned in a Prospect Heights municipal swimming pool after wandering from an adjacent playground where he was being supervised by the municipality’s park district employees. It was alleged that he gained access to the pool through an unlocked gate and that lifeguards who were offering private lessons in a separate area of the pool were negligent in failing to notice him in the pool until it was too late to save him.
Brian Hurst filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a Pain Management Specialist who, allegedly, partially paralyzed his patient’s vocal cords during a neurotomy, a procedure targeted to deaden nerves in the cervical spine for relief of chronic neck pain. During the procedure, the defendant physician injured the right recurrent laryngeal nerve which helps to control movement of the vocal cords. Following vigorous examination of the defendant at his deposition, it became apparent the procedure was performed in the wrong area of the cervical spine.
Plaintiff filed suit alleging that Defendant trucking company failed to properly maintain the tires on one of its delivery trucks resulting in the tread separating from the tire and rolling down the hire into Plaintiff’s lane of travel. Plaintiff, travelling in the same lane as the truck, attempted to avoid the tire tread but lost control of his vehicle and collided with a light pole on the shoulder off of Interstate 355 in Schaumburg, Illinois. Plaintiff sustained several fractures to his hip and a mild traumatic brain injury. The defendants sued by Plaintiff also included the trucking firm’s maintenance contractor and a tire vendor that performed regular inspections of the fleet’s tires.
The patient, a 57-year-old woman, presented to her family physician with a cyst in her left breast. The patient was sent for a screening mammogram, which was determined to have suspicious findings. Approximately two weeks later, a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound of the left breast were performed, and were also determined to have suspicious findings. The results of both mammograms and the ultrasound were communicated to the family physician with a recommendation by the interpreting radiologist that the patient be sent for a repeat mammogram in 6 months. The family physician continued to treat the patient for routine examinations and other health care needs, but never informed her or counseled her regarding the test results of the left breast and recommendation for follow up. Twenty-three months after the initial mammogram, an ultrasound guided biopsy of the left breast was performed and it demonstrated an abnormality in the same area that was earlier viewed as suspicious; which turned out to be cancer at an advanced stage. It was alleged that, due to the delay in following up on the radiologist’s recommendation, the disease progressed to metastatic breast cancer and the patient suffered a painful, tragic and untimely death approximately 20 months after the diagnosis. Additionally, there was a potential issue of spoliation of evidence related to the diagnostic facility’s failure to preserve the initial breast ultrasound at issue in this case.
The estate of a deceased father of two adult children alleged the patient, a 67-year-old retired Chicago Police Sergeant, died as a result of the failure of defendant, Virendra Bisla, M.D., to timely diagnose and treat the patient’s known pericardial effusion. Although the defendant, Dr. Bisla, was aware, from an CT scan ordered by the defendant and performed at the defendant’s medical practice, that the patient was suffering from a 3.0 cm pericardial effusion and was on the blood thinner, Coumadin, the defendant failed to discontinue or reduce the amount of Coumadin the patient was taking and failed to refer the patient for definitive care of the pericardial effusion which allegedly resulted in cardiac tamponade and death of the patient. The defendant settled the case for the full extent of his liability insurance.