OUR HISTORY OF SUCCESS
$2.5 Million Verdict -- Teen Killed by Police Car Pursuing Speeder -- January 2013: A teenage boy was killed when he tried to make a left hand turn in front of an unmarked police car. The officer was speeding without lights or sirens activated while trying to catch another driver observed traveling over the speed limit. The law enforcement agency investigating the collision determined that the teen failed to stop a stop sign and was traveling at a high rate of speed when he entered the intersection. However, Winters Salzetta & O'Brien's Paul L. Salzetta was able to utilize the vehicle's event data recorder and eye witness testimony to show that the police's accident reconstruction was incorrect, that the teen properly entered the intersection at a normal speed and had no opportunity to avoid the speeding officer.
$1.58 Million Verdict -- Iron Worker Injured in Fall -- December 2012: Partners John F. Winters, Jr. and Daniel E. O'Brien obtained a verdict from a Cook County jury on behalf of an iron worker injured while working on the "Revive Wacker Drive" construction project. The Plaintiff was forced to walk on rebar while carrying a heavy load of construction materials because the general contractor failed to keep the walkways on the site free of obstructions. The rebar was also slippery due to the contractor spraying water in the area, causing the Plaintiff to slip and fall injuring his knee and shoulder. This case, where the verdict was reduced to $788,297 due to contributory negligence, is one of the many cases where Winters Salzetta & O'Brien represents iron workers and other construction workers injured on the job.
$125,000 -- Scooter Rider Injured By Taxi: Daniel E. O'Brien achieved a successful settlement for a gentleman injured while traveling on Wells Street in the City of Chicago. The man was struck by a taxi cab while riding a scooter on the city's North Side. He suffered a fractured collar bone and ligament tears in his knee. Winters Enright Salzetta & O'Brien draws upon its decades of experience in representing its many motorists, bicyclists and other clients injured in traffic accidents.
$1.3 Million -- Police Misconduct/Civil Rights Violation: Partner John F. Winters, Jr. secured a settlement on behalf of the family of a young man that passed away when police officers tased the young man and then refused him required medical care. The man was taken into custody under suspicion of engaging in a narcotics transaction and later found unresponsive in the back of the police vehicle following the tasing. Winters Salzetta & O'Brien utilized the police department's own patrol unit cameras and station house surveillance videos to display the department's misconduct and failure to abide by its own policies and procedures.
$2.5 Million -- Failure to Diagnose Cancer: Settlement in a medical malpractice case after physicians failed to properly identify and treat liver abnormalities, which eventually developed into cancer. The Plaintiff presented to the hospital with chest pain and radiographic tests were performed to determine its source. However, the physican ordering the exams and the radiologist failed to communicate when abnormalities were seen on the patient's liver. Accordingly, the Plaintiff was never informed of his condition and was not diagnosed with liver cancer until almost three years later. Attorney Daniel E. O'Brien fought on behalf of the Plaintiff and his family.
$387,213.15 -- DuPage County Verdict for Baby's Death at Day Care: A jury in DuPage County found in favor of a couple whose young child tragically passed away at an in-home day care center. The verdict obtained by attorney John F. Winters, Jr. was achieved despite a finding by the DuPage County Coroner's Office that the child's death was a result of SIDS and therefore unable to be explained. Winters Enright Salzetta & O'Brien displayed to the jury, partly through pathology evidence, that the baby's death resulted from suffocation caused by being placed in an unsafe sleeping environment consisting of toys, dolls, blankets and loose bedding. It is believed that this is the first case in Illinois where a coroner’s determination of SIDS has been disagreed with by a jury in a civil trial.
$4.6 Million -- Record Verdict for Wrongful Burial of Infant's Remains: A Cook County jury awarded a young mother $4.6 million after a local hospital permitted the burial of her deceased infant without the mother's consent. The baby tragically died in the hospital approximately thirty days after birth. The mother's request for an autopsy was ignored and her child was buried in an unmarked cemetary plot. This is the largest ever verdict in Illinois for the wrongful disposition of a next of kin's remains. This verdict broke the previous record verdict in Illinois for this type of case, which was also achieved by Winters Salzetta & O'Brien.
$3.32 Million -- Construction Site Fall From Height: Jury verdict on behalf of the family of a construction worker who died as a result of a fall from a residential construction site. The worker was forced to perform his construction duties near an unprotected edge on the third story of the building because his workspace was impeded by improperly located and unnecessary scaffolding. Paul L. Salzetta tried this matter before a Cook County jury and explained that the general contractor failed to initiate and maintain a safety program, failed to appoint a qualified safety manager to the site and failed to prevent or eliminate fall hazards created by the unnecessary placement of scaffolding near the unprotected edges of the building. Prior to the beginning of trial, Plaintiff also settled with a sub-contractor for $37,500.00. The verdict was upheld by the Illinois Appellate Court.
$2.387 Million -- Medical Malpractice: Winters Salzetta & O'Brien obtained a jury verdict on behalf of a young woman who suffered infertility as a result of medical negligence. During the course of her pregnancy, the young lady tragically suffered a miscarriage. The defendant doctor failed to remove the products of conception following the miscarriage and as a result one of the plaintiff's fellopian tubes needed to be partially removed, rendering her unable to have children in the future.
$2.75 Million -- Pre-Natal Death Settlement: Settlement in a personal injury case on behalf of a 29 year old woman whose child was stillborn when a nurse failed to appropriately read the fetal monitor and summon a doctor’s assistance when the monitor indicated that the baby was in distress. As a result of the nurse’s negligence, the baby died in the mother’s abdomen before being delivered. This is one of the largest settlements for this type of injury (pre-natal death) recorded in Cook County.
$35.836 Million -- Quadriplegia From Automobile Accident: Jury verdict (reduced to $26,875,000.00 for 25% contributory negligence) in favor of a 51 year old mother of two who sustained severe brain stem injury causing quadriplegia and cranial nerve injuries when she was broadsided by a Cook County Sheriff’s Police officer traveling through a red light at approximately 70 miles per hour while en route to a low-priority ‘unwanted subject’ call as un-requested backup unit. The plaintiff was required to prove, and the jury found, that the officer’s conduct was willful and wanton. Defendants claimed that the officer was on an emergency call and was justified in her actions going through the intersection. Plaintiff’s attorney Paul Salzetta was able to exclude evidence of alcohol due to unreliable testing and a showing that the client was not impaired and that alcohol played no part in the collision. This is one of the largest jury verdicts ever obtained against Cook County or any municipality in the state of Illinois.
$757,867.00 -- Kane County Motorcycle Accident: Kane County verdict obtained on behalf of the family of a motorcycle driver who died after crashing into a stopped vehicle. The two defendants stopped their vehicles in the middle of the road in order to talk with one another. After coming over a crest in the road, the motorcycle driver did not have time to stop his motorcycle or avoid the cars that were blocking the road.
$900,000.00 -- Verdict for Death at VA Hospital: Verdict in the United States District Court for the family of a military veteran who was refused treatment by the VA Hospital after the veteran informed the hospital that he suffered from suicidal thoughts. The veteran was a patient at the VA Hospital receiving treatment for substance abuse, major depression and psychoses with thoughts of suicide. The treatment began after the veteran was honorably discharged from his service in the United States military; including active combat service. The hospital discharged the veteran with a supply of pills despite his insistence that he remained suicidal. The veteran tragically committed suicide in the lobby of the VA Hospital by consuming the pills provided to him by the hospital. The case was tried on behalf of the family in federal court by John F. Winters, Jr. and Bart J. Galvin.
$5 Million -- CTA Bus Crash: Recovery for 22 year old who was broad-sided by a CTA bus as he was exiting a Jewel Supermarket parking lot. Plaintiff suffered brain damage, causing spastic quadriplegia and cognitive deficits requiring life long care. Despite the defendant’s contentions that the plaintiff pulled out in front of the bus from a private drive, reconstruction evidence showed that our client was not entirely at fault.
$1.25 Million -- Failure to Diagnose Infection: Paul L. Salzetta achieved a verdict in a Cook County medical malpractice case on behalf of the family of a man who passed away following a doctor's failure to diagnose a spinal infection.
$1.5 Million -- Steel Worker Injured on the Job: Recovery from general contractor for 49 year old steel construction worker who fell from an unsecured ladder injuring his right ankle prohibiting him from engaging in his trade. The general contractor claimed it lacked notice of the condition but investigation and discovery established that the defendant had enough knowledge of the work site so that it should have been known of the dangerous condition.
$1.3 Million: On behalf of an electrician who fell 40 feet from an elevated platform suffering multiple fractures to both legs. The general contractor contended that the plaintiff was responsible for his own injuries in failing to secure his safety harness. Despite having no recall of the fall and no eyewitnesses, we were able to reconstruct events to show that the plaintiff was likely transitioning between tie-offs requiring him to detach his harness at the moment he fell.
$2 Million -- Rear-Ended on Kennedy Expressway: Recovery on behalf of a husband and two children for a woman rear-ended and killed on the Kennedy Expressway.
$610,657 -- Jury Verdict for Slip and Fall on Ice: Plaintiff slipped and fell on ice-covered threshold step leading to stairwell of her apartment complex. She suffered a lubmosacral strain, bulging disc, Chronic Pain Syndrome and aggrevation of degenerative disc disease. Attorney John F. Winters, Jr. showed the jury via expert testimony that the ice was an unnatural accumulation caused by defective placement of a downspout, which created an ice dam and distributed water on the sidewalk before freezing, and that the sidewalk slope and sun angle created a shadow line which hid the icy condition.
$900,000.00: Recovery for a woman who suffered damage to her esophagus due to medical negligence caused by physicians performing sclerol therapy. Long-term endotracheal tube caused scarring, and a hoarse voice.
$1 Million: On behalf of the wife of a young man killed instantly when his vehicle ran off the road on I-88. Motorists reported seeing a blue plastic crate ahead of the deceased causing him to veer off the road and hit a light pole. Investigation revealed the defendant/manufacturer of the crate and the defendant/transporter. Witness testimony and reconstruction of the evidence established that the crate carrier was on the same road shortly before the occurrence and likely dropped a crate from it’s load onto the roadway leading to the crash.
$400,000.00: Medical negligence injury to a retired gentleman who was admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for lumbar surgery. The Anesthesiologist, however, carelessly performed placement of the endotracheal tube causing partial damage to one of his cords and temporary induced coma necessitating several months of rehabilitation.
$875,000.00 -- Trucking Accident: Wrongful Death recovery to family (parents and two brothers) of 22 year old young man who turned left at the end of a green arrow traffic light and was struck by a truck entering the controlled intersection on a red light. Accident Reconstruction established that though the deceased was turning left, the defendant-Trucker’s light had just turned red and he did not slow down or stop.
$900,00.00 -- Product Liability Against Tire Manufacturer: Settlement against car wheel manufacturer Budd Company on behalf of the family of a 17 year old boy killed at an automobile service station by a tire that exploded while he was inflating it following a repair. In a lawsuit against Budd Company, and tire manufacturer Uniroyal/Goodrich Tire Company, Mr. Salzetta established that the wheel company began manufacturing and selling wheels one-half inch greater in diameter, 16.5 inches rather than previously marketed 16.0-inch wheels to the same market consumers but without adequate notice or information. The inadvertent use of the larger tire caused the tire to explode upon its inflation
In a subsequent trial against the tire manufacturer only, the jury found against the defendant. Although the verdict did not exceed the original settlement it was only one of several favorable verdicts ever reached nationwide in a wheel/tire mismatch trial against the tire manufacturer only.
$172,500.00: Federal trial verdict against Firestone on behalf of a man who injured 3 fingers while attempting to reinstall a wheel that had fallen off his vehicle while driving. Expert Metallurgical Analysis proved that mechanics at a Firestone Auto Service Center failed to tighten all the lug nuts on the wheel following new tire installation.
$800,000.00: Recovery on behalf of a trucker rear-ended at the O’Hare Toll-way Oasis. The impact damaged his left knee and he suffered chronic lumbar muscle damage.
$108,000.00 -- Sexual Discrimination: Female sexual discrimination trial against trucking giant, Yellow Freight Systems for failure to hire a woman trucker. Yellow Freight appealed the verdict to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and again the United States Supreme Court. All Courts affirmed the plaintiff’s verdict.
$3.25 Million: Commercial Litigation settlement on behalf of a seller of a business against the buyer who reneged on the purchase price alleging seller fraud. Document investigation and discovery, including Business Valuation experts, established that the seller sold valuable goods and inventory and that the purchaser was attempting to raid the business and force the seller to accept a lower offer.
$4.6 Million: Co-chair trial counsel in jury verdict against an automobile service center on behalf of a young man severely burned in a single vehicle collision in which his vehicle erupted into flames. Trial evidence showed that the defendant performed careless fuel line repairs causing the fuel line to leak after the impact resulting in the fire.
$3 Million: Recovery on behalf of a young woman whose right elbow was injured in an automobile collision. Her vehicle was struck at an intersection by an offender fleeing police during a pursuit. The recovery against the police authority was grounded on willful and wonton conduct for the manner in which it conducted the police pursuit, which endangered public safety.