Case Histories - Personal Injury and Others
McHenry County Trip-and-Fall
Walsh, Knippen & Cetina secured a sizeable settlement for a 92-year-old woman who tripped over a defect in the floor while dancing at her grandson’s wedding. Her injuries included a broken leg and fractured hip. After surgery, the plaintiff developed “drop foot” syndrome. The defendant strongly contested liability, including denying the existence of any defect and any knowledge of a defect. The case settled after Walsh, Knippen & Cetina attorneys took or defended nine depositions, including three of the defendant’s employees, and obtained the evidence needed to win the case.
$51.6 Million Verdict
Bland v. Q-West
Kendall County Circuit Court Case 15 L 94
In 2015, Logan Bland, an honorably-discharged Marine, was paralyzed when a group of bouncers broke Logan’s neck while forcefully ejecting him from a bar and flipping him over. In 2021, after nearly two weeks of trial and years of litigation, a jury awarded Logan $51.6 million, breaking the previous record in Kendall County, Illinois.
From 2015 to 2020, Mike Cetina spent countless hours investigating and litigating the Logan Bland case, which would culminate in the largest personal injury recovery in Kendall County, Illinois. After Mike’s sudden death in November 2020, his good friend John Power and John’s firm, Cogan & Power, PC, stepped up to ensure Logan’s case was in good hands. John, John’s partner Sara Davis, and Mike’s son Danny—who joined Walsh, Knippen & Cetina, Chtd. after Mike died—teamed up to see the case through to trial and beyond. Through their efforts, which built on Mike’s years of hard work and skilled strategy, Logan was given the justice he deserved.
$3.3 Million Settlement
Clucas v. City of Joliet
In Feb. 2012, Ed Walsh started trial in the Circuit Court of Will County, Joliet, IL in the case Clucas v. City of Joliet. He represented a 33-year-old construction laborer and father of four young children.
Before jury selection, the court considered legal motions, and at the request of Ed Walsh, the trial judge ruled that two of the three expert witnesses for the defense would be barred and prevented from testifying on behalf of the defendant, the City of Joliet, during trial.
Following the court’s ruling, settlement negotiations resumed and continued throughout the afternoon. Ed was able to secure a settlement on behalf of our client in the amount of $3.3 million.
$1.6 Million Settlement
Franzen v. Fry's Electronics
18th Judicial Circuit 10 L 34
Ed Walsh secured this record setting premises liability settlement for a 90-year-old client who suffered disabling injuries as a result of the defendant’s negligent maintenance of its automatic entrance doors at its Downers Grove store.
$1.9 Million Settlement
Rader v. City of Chicago
Circuit Court of Cook County Case Number 84 L 1937
Ed Walsh and Jim Knippen secured a $1.9 million settlement against the City of Chicago on behalf of a 30-year-old construction worker for internal injuries he suffered when he fell nine feet, impaling himself on a concrete reinforcement bar.
The case was settled out-of-court mainly due to our firm employing an anatomically correct model of our client’s lower torso. The injuries to our client were all internal and could not be visualized. In fact, at the time of trial, the client appeared uninjured and in very good health. In order to assist the jury in understanding the nature and extent of our client’s injuries, Ed Walsh and Jim Knippen retained an anatomical model maker to construct the model.
The model was used in pretrial hearings to demonstrate the construction worker’s agonizing fall and the injuries he suffered when the scaffolding he was working on collapsed. The reenactment of the fall was the first time such a model was used in a personal injury lawsuit and set a precedent for future use of such medical testimonial exhibits. According to legal experts, the success of the model is expected to have a tremendous impact on the legal world. The use of the model will open the door for personal injury cases where the damage is primarily internal.
The creation of this demonstrative evidence/model is another example of the creativity used by our attorneys in their focused area of assisting catastrophically injured clients. The lawyers at Walsh, Knippen & Cetina, Chartered pride themselves as being leaders in innovative and creative pre-trial and trial techniques and technology. As we constantly strive to improve our trial lawyer skills, we do so knowing that our efforts will positively affect the lives of our needy clients.
DuPage County Circuit Court 99L 132
Ed Walsh settled a professional negligence case against the nationally renowned adoption agency, The Cradle Society in Evanston, Illinois. Representing the plaintiffs, the parents of an adopted daughter, our attorneys were successful in establishing that the social workers at the adoption agency negligently failed to investigate the mental health history of the birth mother of the adopted baby.
The Walsh, Knippen & Cetina, Chartered attorneys amassed a team of expert witnesses, including social workers, a life care planner, and a pediatric neurologist, to establish that the negligence of the Cradle Society adoption agency caused the plaintiffs to adopt a child who needs special life time care.
After more than 30 pretrial discovery depositions of social workers, physicians, and health care professionals, the Cradle Society deemed it to be in its best interests to reverse its arrogant, steadfast defense attitude and settle this powerful case against it. This decision was made so that a jury verdict in excess of its insurance coverage would not be entered against the agency.
A detailed explanation of the facts and law of this professional negligence case of national interest can be reviewed from the summary judgment pleadings, which the plaintiffs successfully argued during two separate hearings before the Honorable Kenneth L. Popejoy, Circuit Judge. Walsh, Knippen & Cetina, Chartered is extremely pleased with the results achieved in this case, since there have only been an extremely small number of cases of wrongful adoption prosecuted nationally.
$2.74 Million Award
Callahan v. Bernz-O-Matic
Circuit Court of Cook County Case Number 94 L 9949
In this case, A 21-year-old college co-ed died as a result of asphyxiation by a Bernz-O-Matic space heater while on a camping trip. Her case was one of many deaths caused by this brand of heater since its manufacture in the 1960s. A faulty effort at recalling the product by the successor corporation was one of the primary issues raised in this case.
As a direct result of the case, the corporation has improved its recall efforts by adding paper rings to the tops of thousands of propane cylinders to better alert the public as to the recall of the heater. In order to resolve the case, Jim Knippen was able to convince the corporation to agree to help establish a scholarship in the deceased’s name at her university for students who display her love for life.