Case Results for The Deratany Firm
Learn more about the settlements and verdicts reached on behalf of our clients.
At The Deratany Firm, our clients come first. We strive to provide each of our clients with the personalized attention necessary to obtain the compensation and closure necessary after an accident or the loss of a loved one. We leave no stone unturned to provide clients with the best legal representation in Illinois courts.
Our success is measured not by our words, but by our work on behalf of clients and the results we are able to get for them. Learn about some of our firm's verdicts and settlements below. For more information or a free case consultation, do not hesitate to contact our firm today.
On March 27, 2018, a Cook County jury awarded $45 million to the estate of a toddler who had died after being negligently released back into the care of his biological mother.
In June 2011, two-year-old Lavandis Hudson was hospitalized for injuries he sustained as a result of abuse by his biological mother, Marles Blackman. Following his recovery from those injuries, Lavandis was released back into Blackman’s care by Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, (LSSI), which was a nonprofit company under contract with the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) to provide Lavandis with care. On July 21 of that year, Lavandis died, murdered by his mother.
Our investigation revealed that LSSI was aware of Blackman’s significant history of drug abuse and violence. In addition to her acts of abuse against Lavandis himself, she had faced multiple battery and assault charges and had previously set her own disabled brother on fire. Furthermore, according to our expert witnesses and the company’s own admissions, we found that LSSI had committed over 130 violations of DCFS regulations.
We argued that LSSI had caused Lavandis’ death by failing to provide therapy services, drug reviews and home visits that would have led to a different outcome and by negligently returning Lavandis to his biological mother’s care following an act of abuse. The jury agreed, returning a $45 million verdict after less than three hours of deliberations. The verdict included $30 million for Lavandis’ own pain and suffering, $7.5 million for his next of kin’s grief and sorrow, and $7.5 million for his next of kin’s loss of society.
Our hope is that this verdict will not only secure justice for Lavandis’s family, but also send a strong message that the flawed foster care system in Illinois and nationwide needs to be changed to avoid future tragedies.
A Lake County jury awarded the parents of a brain injured child $23.3 million due to the negligence of the hospital employees responsible for monitoring his fetal heart rate prior to birth.
The Deratany Firm was able to prove that had the baby been delivered just 15 minutes earlier, he would not have sustained such devastating injuries. This case accounts for the highest medical malpractice verdict in Lake County to date.
The Deratany Firm has settled all claims in a foster care abuse case against nine defendants, all contractors or subcontractors in the Illinois social services system, for a total of $19.55 million dollars.
The final phase of the settlement was with the foster parent individually and as agent of the foster care agency she contracted with. The plaintiffs claimed that a foster mother allowed an unlicensed man into her home and he injured the foster child. The foster care agency claimed that the foster parent failed to advise them appropriately and terminated its contract with the foster parent for improper conduct.
"With the case being settled, I'm pleased that my client received justice and that the foster parent is no longer acting as a foster parent. I hold her primarily responsible," said Jay Paul Deratany.
$14.75 Million Settlement
The Deratany Firm obtained a $14.75 million settlement on behalf of an 8-year-old girl who suffered permanent brain damage at birth due to a delay in ordering blood for the baby when she was born severely anemic. As a result of the delay, the baby went 4.5 hours before receiving a blood transfusion causing severe brain damage.
The settlement money will go toward accommodations for the 8-year-old girl's disabilities at her home and for rehabilitation. Her parents hope that one day she will be able to walk with some assistance.
Jay Paul Deratany recently obtained a $14 million settlement on behalf of a family that had been abused due to negligence of a social services agency.
The Deratany Firm has several cases of "adoption negligence" wherein they represent foster families or adoptive families who suffered injury due to a foster care agency, adoption agency or social service agency making misrepresentations, which causes injury or disruption to the family unit.
A jury awarded the estate of a deceased toddler $10.7 million, agreeing that a water heater manufactured by the American Water Heater Company was unreasonably dangerous.
Lawyers for the Deratany Firm argued that the water heater could produce water at a temperature that can cause scalding and death within a matter of seconds and that the thermostat did not accurately control the temperature. They also argued that a simple valve could have prevented the tap water from reaching dangerous temperatures.
The 18-month-old girl was badly burned when scalding water suddenly flowed into the bathtub where she was being bathed. She suffered second-degree burns over more than 50 percent of her body. Six weeks later, she died.
A jury awarded the estate of an infant $9.6 million as a result of the injuries she sustained after being born in a Cook County Jail cell after the doctors and staff ignored her mother's pleas that she was in labor.
Attorney Jay Paul Deratany argued that in the evening before her delivery, the mother, nine months pregnant, complained of cramps to jail officials and was given Tylenol for what they believed were withdrawal symptoms. The infant was later born in the jail cell and fell two feet during the delivery, hitting her head on the concrete floor. The infant died the following day.
The Deratany Firm attained an $8.7 million verdict against an Erie County, Pennsylvania foster care division for a boy who was sexually terrorized by an older boy placed in his home.
The boy said he suffered years of sexual abuse at the hands of a deeply disturbed foster teen who was placed in his home when he was a 9-year-old. He was adopted in 2004.
Implicated in this award are former Erie County OCY caseworkers, whom the jury believes violated the boy's civil rights in 2001, by placing a teen with a known history of sexual offenses in a home in which a juvenile resided.
The boy had to be hospitalized numerous times for debilitating psychiatric conditions stemming from the trauma of these sexual assaults.
The head attorney for the boy and his parents, Jay Paul Deratany, told a reporter for GoErie.com News:
"The foster-care system in this entire country is broken," Deratany said. "There are too many kids who are placed too quickly without enough thought. In defense of Erie County Office of Children and Youth, they need reform, but they also need help for making those reforms. We need legislation to guide it. It goes all the way up the chain."
A Cook County jury, on April 26, 2016, found in favor of Ronald Willis Jr., plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit brought against Mount Sinai Medical Hospital of Chicago in the amount of $8 million. The case lasted nine days in front of the Honorable Elizabeth Budzinski, and the jury deliberated for nine hours.
Attorneys Jay Paul Deratany, Michael Kosner and Megan O’Connor of The Deratany Firm represented Mr. Willis, who was able to obtain justice for untimely and preventable death of his mother Joya Pipkin. Ronald Willis Jr's mother, Joya Pipkin, died at the age of 41 as a result of failed code blue system after she was given sedation on January 16, 2009.
The jury found that Mount Sinai Hospital was negligent in failing to have a proper code blue protocol in place for resuscitating patients who suffer adverse consequences from sedation. In Ms. Pipkin's case, over seven minutes passed before an anesthesiologist was present and proper resuscitation was initiated. Those seven minutes contributed to irreversible brain damage, from which Ms. Pipkin passed on February 09, 2009. She left behind her 14-year-old son, Ronald Willis Jr.
Attorney Jay Paul Deratany stated, "This was the right outcome. It is unacceptable for a hospital to not have an organized code blue system to provide for the timely resuscitation of its patients. The jury listened closely and worked hard."
"It was an incredible honor to represent Mr. Willis. He is an upstanding young man and we feel honored that he allowed us to obtain justice for him," added Michael Kosner.
A 2-year-old Hispanic child was awarded $6.2 million when she was caused to be brain damaged because of a surgeon's negligence. Deratany and his co-counsel obtained expert witnesses from as far away as New Zealand, who testified that the doctor's failure to follow protocol was a direct cause of the child's severe injuries.
Certainly the efforts of the counsel to obtain an expert who was in fact knighted by the Queen of England for his contribution to medicine was a significant factor in allowing The Deratany Firm to settle this case.
An Illinois jury verdict of $5 million in Gary Eskew, etc. v. The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company, etc., 2011 IL App. (1st) 093450, was affirmed Friday by the Illinois First District Appellate Court. The original personal injury lawsuit involved a train accident involving a Metra train that occurred in 2004, killing a blind man.
On January 22, 2004, Scott Eskew, a legally blind man, married to a mentally and physically challenged wife, was standing at the northeast corner of the METRA/BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) Railway platform at the Berwyn Station, to go to his job at the Chicago Art Institute.
Jay Paul Deratany, attorney for the plaintiff alleged that BNSF and METRA were negligent for failing to have an adequate P.A. system and for giving an improper message to commuters, which created confusion. The Plaintiff also alleged that the conductor of the train, who had told the ticket agent she would "wait," was negligent because she did not wait and in fact proceeded through the intersection killing Scott Eskew, and that the engineer and conductor should have sounded the horn to warn passengers given their knowledge that people were crossing.
"Unfortunately, even with all of the train accidents we are seeing, BNSF and METRA have not adopted proper measures to protect their commuters," plaintiff's attorney Jay Paul Deratany said. "In this case, BNSF failed to have even the most basic policies in place to guide their employees, so that they do not tell passengers to cross the tracks while the gates are down. We hope that this case sheds some light on further safety measures that must be taken. Had strict guidelines been in place, Scott's death could and should have been prevented."
This case arose out of a medical malpractice action brought by the decedent's wife against a Chicago Hospital. The plaintiff was awarded $4 million by a Cook County Jury for the death of her husband. Her attorneys, The Deratany Firm, argued that the hospital failed to diagnose her husband's abdominal aortic aneurysm and failed to obtain his test results in a timely manner.
The Deratany Firm argued that her husband's death was a result of the delay in obtaining test results and reaching the correct diagnosis.
Going the extra mile in our cases can help avoid litigation and provide clients with closure and financial compensation sooner rather than later. That approach is how we were able to help a 28-year-old client who was injured in a highway accident.
A truck driver was traveling east on I-80 in Indiana when he realized he was headed in the wrong direction. Rather than get off at the next exit and pay a toll, the driver made a U-turn in a crossover designated for emergency vehicles only, and attempted to turn onto I-80 westbound. The truck was in mid-turn and straddling all lanes of traffic when it stalled.
Our client, CB, was driving a semi-truck westbound on I-80 when he saw the stalled vehicle. Unable to stop in time, he crashed into the other truck.
The collision left CB with a fractured femur in each leg, a fractured left hip, a fractured left elbow, a lacerated liver, a fractured nose, a torn meniscus and a dislocated jaw. He spent a month in the hospital and required months of physical therapy after that.
Cases like this can take 4 or 5 years to resolve as they work their way through the legal system. But we went to work on behalf of our client to find a way to settle this sooner.
After his injuries had healed, we sent CB for a complete and comprehensive independent medical exam with a physiatrist. He was given a functional capacity evaluation (FCE) to determine the effects of the injuries on his ability to work. Our firm covered the cost of the exam, which was $25,000.
We also wanted to know what effect the injuries would have on his future. So we sent him to see an orthopedic specialist for a comprehensive review to determine—within a reasonable degree of medical certainty—the likelihood of future onset arthritis and whether he would need a hip replacement in the decades ahead. Our firm covered the fee of $12,000.
Next, we had CT scans and X-rays of our client’s injuries converted into a 3D format, which allowed views of the fractures from all angles. These provided very powerful images that clearly showed the extent of the physical damage from the crash, especially to the femurs of both legs and the left hip.
Because of our efforts on behalf of our client, the insurance company decided it was in their best interests to negotiate. We were able to work out a settlement for $4 million, which we determined to be the full value of his claim. This gave our client closure and financial relief within a year of his crash—without filing a lawsuit.
CB recovered from his injuries and now has the resources needed to address any future medical issues related to the crash.
Our hard work on behalf of clients never ends until we achieve the best possible outcome, and we will pursue every option to hold negligent parties responsible and maximize compensation.
During a raging blizzard in January 2015, Nadja was driving down I-80 in Indiana on her way home to Chicago. Conditions were slippery and visibility was poor. She saw a multi-vehicle pile-up in front of her and was unable to stop her car due to the conditions, momentarily losing consciousness after she collided with another vehicle.
When Nadja awoke, she found that the front of her car was wedged underneath a semi-truck, and the roof was slightly caved in. The car was smoking. Afraid it might catch fire, she managed to get out of the car and to the side of the road.
A few minutes later, a trucker traveling down the highway saw the pile-up ahead and quickly swerved toward the side of the road to avoid it. The truck hit Nadja, sending her flying toward the median. She was knocked unconscious and suffered a severe fractured pelvis.
Because conditions were so bad on the road, it took emergency medical personnel nearly an hour to get to the scene. Nadja suffered frostbite on her hands and legs. While in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, her heart stopped. The EMTs were able to get her heart started again, and she was put into a medically induced coma at the hospital. Doctors feared she might lose her hands because of the frostbite.
But her hands were saved. Amazingly, Nadja eventually made a full recovery.
She had suffered significant damages, however. We went to work to help her recover financial compensation for her injuries.
This was an extremely complex case, and we worked hard to determine the responsibility of all the parties involved. Ultimately, we took legal action against 9 parties—all trucking companies—involved in the accident.
During our investigation, we discovered what really happened. We reviewed all of the accident reports for I-80 that day and found another accident that had led to the chain of events in which our client was hurt. Ahead of her, two trucks had crashed and were blocking the road. As other vehicles approached the crash site, they tried to stop suddenly, causing other collisions and creating a pileup. The police accident report for Nadja’s accident had made no mention of the original truck crash, likely because none of the vehicles in the pileup actually made contact with the two trucks.
Once we discovered this information, we added the trucking company responsible for the original crash to our lawsuit, and the damages we recovered from that defendant turned out to be one of the largest parts of Nadja’s total recovery.
Another challenge we faced was fighting to keep the case in Illinois, Nadja’s home state, which we felt gave her the best chance to recover damages. Usually, a case arising from an accident that occurred in Indiana would be heard in Indiana. But citing existing law, we made a convincing argument that the case had a stronger connection to Illinois. We researched the trucks and trucking companies involved, where they were located, where cargo was being transported and where contracts for the cargo originated.
Over the course of two years—a fairly short time to resolve a case with this degree of complexity—our hard work on all fronts paid off. Our argument to keep the case in Illinois was successful. And we were able to negotiate financial settlements with each of the 9 parties, for a total recovery of $2,145,000.
More importantly, we were able to help Nadja build a better life for herself and her son.
The Deratany Firm recently settled a multi-defendant construction negligence case in which over one hundred roofing trusses collapsed onto the Plaintiff as he was installing them, causing him severe injury. Plaintiff argued that the general contractors supervising the construction site failed to properly plan the project and inspect the site during construction.
Recently attorneys Jay Paul Deratany and Megan O'Connor reached a settlement agreement in a medical malpractice case involving the death of a 65-year-old man with Parkinson's Disease for $1.75 million.
A 65-year-old man with severe Parkinson's Disease went to Northshore University for the surgical placement of a Deep Brain Stimulator ("DBS"), which is a device implanted into the brain that can control the tremors associated with Parkinson's Disease and give patients a "new lease on life."
The surgery was successful and the placement of the DBS was textbook. In the twenty-four hours following the procedure, the plaintiff began to develop nausea, abdominal swelling and abdominal pain. He had not moved his bowels in three days. This is a condition called an ileus, which is the failure of the bowels to start moving following a surgery. The plaintiff's symptoms continued over fifteen hours without being treated, when the patient began vomiting profusely.
Being a Parkinson's patient, the plaintiff had less control over the muscles in his neck and mouth. The plaintiff choked on his vomit, "aspirated" and a code blue was called.
The plaintiff did not recover and died the next day.
The Deratany Firm argued that the hospital should have identified the condition and treated it over the course of fifteen hours, especially knowing that the plaintiff was at greater risk for being unable to handle the effects of vomiting given his medical condition.
The plaintiff left behind a widow and three adult children who recalled what a wonderful man he was, and how he always had jokes for his family and the doctors.
Attorney Jay Paul Deratany said that, "this case presented such a tragedy of extremes. The family walked into the hospital with so much hope for a new life, and walked out of the hospital with extreme devastation. This death was absolutely preventable and the hospital should have acted sooner. A patient should never die this way after a successful surgery choking on his own vomit."
“It was an incredible honor to represent this family. We feel honored that they allowed us to walk with them on this journey and to obtain justice for their family. They wanted to ensure that this did not happen to other patients, and other families.” added Megan O'Connor.
This case has been pending since 2012 in front of the Honorable Moira Johnson.
Our firm is always dedicated to recovering maximum compensation for our clients. But we are also aware of the challenges clients face day-to-day and do whatever we can to help. In 2016, we came to the aid of a family trying to make ends meet after the shocking death of a wife and mother in a car accident in Lombard.
A moving truck was traveling down North Street in Lombard one night. The driver was impaired and ran through a red light at an intersection, t-boning a car driven by Dawn, who was coming home from work. Dawn suffered brain damage and was taken to the hospital, where she died 3 months later.
While she was hospitalized and following her death, her husband Aaron was left as sole caretaker of their two children, one of whom is disabled.
Our firm worked on the case. The moving company was small, but they had a $1 million insurance policy. We investigated and found another $750,000 in coverage. We also looked for any assets the company had to get the family the most compensation possible.
In the meantime, Aaron contacted us. He had to take care of the children and couldn’t work. What little savings they had were running out. They needed money to get by. We could have helped him get a short-term loan, but the interest rate likely would have been fairly high and it would have given him another monthly bill.
Instead, we arranged with the insurance company to give Aaron a $25,000 advance on the eventual recovery. This gave the family a financial cushion while we pursued damages. We then settled the case for the full policy limits of $1.75 million, giving the family the resources they need to rebuild following this tragedy.
A Lee County jury awarded a crash victim $1.275 million in damages after a four day trial. A bee farmer who owns Walker Farms in North Fort Myers, was injured in an accident Sept. 14, 2005, while driving on Del Prado Boulevard in North Fort Myers. A truck driver swerved over the line and hit the plaintiff and his wife causing severe and permanent damage
"The Law Firm of Deratany, Skorupa and O'Hara in conjunction with The Deratany Firm are grateful to the good citizens of Lee County who gave their time and served as jurors in this case. The right result was achieved in this case. Mr. Walker is forever changed as a result of this horrific accident but justice was served and the defendants were held accountable for their gross negligence," said Jay Paul Deratany.
This case arose from an Illinois adoption agency's failure to disclose the physical and mental well-being of two children in a foreign orphanage who were being adopted by the plaintiffs. After repeated inquires by the plaintiffs regarding the well-being of the children they were planning on adopting, the Illinois adoption agency's employee represented to the plaintiffs that the children were in good health and had no history of violence or any sexually inappropriate behavior.
After the adoption agency's reassurance, plaintiffs adopted the two children and brought them into their home with their three young biological children. A few months later, plaintiffs learned that one of the adopted children was sexually abusing one of their biological children and their other adopted child. The Illinois adoption agency's employee knew about the adopted child's history of inappropriate sexual behavior and falsely represented to the plaintiffs that the child had no such history.
The Deratany Firm succeeded in obtaining an $800,000 award for a child because the doctor failed to diagnose and treat her for meningitis.
The Deratany Firm, on attorneys arguing on behalf of the mother, argued that the physician and employees of the medical group, who were first responsible for evaluating the little girl, failed to adequately evaluate her condition, failed to advise her mother of worrisome signs and symptoms, and failed to rule out meningitis. The attorneys further argued that the child's illness could have and should have been arrested before it attacked her central nervous system.
In 2013, a 92-year-old woman died at a nursing home, but not of natural causes. Because of staff negligence, she had developed a urinary tract infection, which led to sepsis that proved to be fatal. She was also dehydrated and had a bed sore on her sacral area.
It can be difficult to prove negligence, but we worked steadily on behalf of her family to build the strongest case possible. We even located former employees of the nursing home ready to testify about the conditions and treatment of residents.
Our investigation found that the nursing home was not providing adequate care. The nursing home was also required to chart her care and condition on a daily basis. She had been a resident for about 60 days, but her care and condition had only been charted for 14 of those days.
In April 2017, we were able to reach a settlement of $250,000, which was split equally among her four adult children. We were pleased to have been able to help the family and get justice for their mother.