Noteworthy Cases

Commercial Litigation Involving An Allegedly Fraudulent Business Transaction
$125 Million Recovery

This case involved fraudulent conduct on the part of several Defendants arising out of the "split-off" transaction in which Defendants gained control of a profitable bank and mortgage company in exchange for relinquishing control of the corporation which owned a sub-prime consumer auto finance company doing business nationwide. The sub prime auto finance corporation, 6 months after the transaction, went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy because of unrecorded loss reserves which were alleged to have been intentionally concealed at the time of the transaction. Pavalon & Gifford were co-lead counsel in the representation of the Chapter 11 estate representative of the corporation in a suit against the various Defendants involved in the split-off transaction. The case was recently brought to conclusion resulting in settlements totaling $125 million.

Commercial Litigation Representation of Kansas Public Employees Retirement System
$70 Million Recovery

Beginning in 1994, Pavalon & Gifford was co-lead counsel in approximately 14 complex investment fraud cases on behalf of KPERS. The cases were venued in Topeka, Kansas and involved a series of failed investments resulting in losses totaling in excess of $150 million. KPERS, a $5 billion pension fund, made these investments in bank securities, real estate and other equities. The allegations of civil wrongdoing included professional malpractice, breach of fiduciary duties and fraud. The last of the cases were recently brought to final conclusion with a recovery for KPERS in excess of $70 million.

Wrongful Death
Record-Setting $36 Million Jury Verdict

A jury awarded a record-setting $36 million to the three children of a Chicago tool and die maker and his wife who were killed when their car was struck by a phone company pole that had snapped and was propelled into their vehicle. Pavalon & Gifford proved that the company failed to properly guard and inspect the pole in compliance with state regulations. The award included $20 million in punitive damages.

Medical Malpractice
Anesthesia Error During Emergency Appendectomy
Record-Setting $35 Million Settlement

This $35 million medical malpractice settlement is matched by only one other as the largest settlement for a malpractice case in Illinois and the most ever paid by the County of Cook for a settlement of a personal injury case. The client, a 28 year-old woman, suffered severe brain damage from the deprivation of oxygen resulting from the failure of an anesthesiologist to properly secure an intubation tube. This case is noteworthy in several respects, including the fact that the client, immediately following the occurrence, was in a persistent vegetative state from which the likelihood of recovery was virtually nil. Miraculously, she regained much of her cognitive functioning, although still suffering from significant physiological deficits requiring attendant care for the rest of her life. Additionally, because of the significant on-going medical and rehab costs, for which the family was uninsured, it was imperative to pursue this case to final resolution as quickly as possible to secure needed funds for the Plaintiff and her family. Twenty five depositions (eight of which were of various experts in five different states) were completed within a twelve month period allowing the case to reach trial within 14 months from its filing date.

Permanent Coma From Drug Overdose
$20.1 Million Settlement

One of the largest medical malpractice settlements in Illinois history was recently obtained for this 30-year-old woman who received a near fatal overdose from a powerful narcotic medication ordered by a hospital-based physician for her gastro-intestinal pain. A cardiac arrest and resulting brain damage placed her into a permanent coma-like condition. This case was noteworthy in that it involved complex and cutting-edge neurologic issues as to the differences between minimally conscious and persistent vegetative states and the life expectancies, self-awareness and appreciation of pain and suffering attributable to those states. The case was settled at the commencement of trial for a $19 million cash payment and waiver of a $1.1 million medical lien.

Medical Malpractice
Failure to monitor patient's sodium level
$14.9 Million Settlement
In this medical malpractice case, a young woman entered Palos Community Hospital suffering from dehydration and an exceedingly high sodium level. The doctors caring for her failed to properly monitor her sodium levels, which fluctuated from critically high to critically low and back to critically high which left the woman with permanent brain damage and in a coma. The woman's estate received a $14.9 million dollar settlement.
Medical Malpractice
Failure to monitor patient and equipment.
$12 Million Settlement
In this medical malpractice case, an eighteen month old boy was found unresponsive in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the University of Chicago after undergoing heart surgery. The child's oxygen deprivation went unnoticed for several minutes by the hospital staff which resulted in severe hypoxic brain injury to the child, rendering him totally and permanently injured. The child's family received a $12 million dollar settlement seventeen months after the lawsuit was filed.
Toxic Hazards At Waste Management Facility
$9 Million Settlement

Clean Harbor Environmental Services, Inc. agreed to pay plaintiff Peter Engelland $9 million to settle claims arising out of its alleged negligence in the treatment of chemical compounds. The Firm showed that while Mr. Engelland was unloading waste from his truck, a cloud of chlorine gas was negligently emitted from the adjacent pit. Without warning or protection, Mr. Engelland inhaled these hazardous fumes causing severe and permanent damage to his lungs.

Police Misconduct
$7.5 Million Verdict For Injured Victim Affirmed By Supreme Court

A jury awarded $7.5 Million to 36-year-old Henry Burke who was left paralyzed after police threw him into a paddy wagon causing his head to strike a steel bulkhead. The verdict was affirmed by the Illinois Supreme Court in a precedent-setting opinion. This award remains one of the largest in Illinois for a case involving police misconduct.

Automobile Collision
Paralytic Injuries
$7 Million Settlement

Plaintiffs, a teenager who was rendered a paraplegic and two other family members who suffered various lesser injuries, recovered a total of $7 million when their car was struck by a corporate vehicle owned by the defendant, Volkswagen, and driven by one of its corporate employees. The paraplegic youth received $6.5 million in settlement and the other two plaintiffs recovered $375,000.00 and $125,000.00.

"Lost" Medical Report Results In Spinal Cord Injury
$7 Million Settlement and
$2.85 Million Jury Verdict

A 45-year-old grocery store worker sustained an undiagnosed and untreated spinal cord infection which resulted in permanent damage to his spinal cord with paralysis. Discovery undertaken by Pavalon & Gifford revealed that a key pathology report indicating the presence of an infection had been misfiled and never seen by the client's physicians until it was too late to avoid the catastrophic results. Sixty depositions were taken during the pendency of this case which was settled for $7 million with several defendants during a month-long trial and proceeded to a verdict of $2.85 million against the non-settling treating physician.

Workplace Injuries And Wrongful Death Chemical Explosion
$6 Million Settlement

In this workplace injury arising out of an explosion at the facility of the employer of the plaintiffs, Pelron Corporation in McCook, Illinois, Pavalon & Gifford represented one seriously injured employee (paralysis and vision impairment) and the family of a deceased employee in a suit against the manufacturer and supplier of the chemical which exploded, ethylene oxide. The Firm alleged that the defendant negligently failed to provide adequate warnings regarding the dangers of the chemical. The case was settled for a payment of $4.5 million to the injured employee and $1.5 million to the family of the decedent.

Product Liability
Unsafe Vehicle Design
$5 Million Jury Verdict

A jury awarded $5 million to John Darrill Connelly who was severely injured as a result of a rear tire blowout. Pavalon & Gifford successfully argued that the tires were inadequate for the potential cargo and passenger loads of Mr. Connelly's Opel Kadet station wagon. Prior to the trial and verdict against General Motors, Pavalon & Gifford settled with Uniroyal for $1.5 million. The $5 million verdict was affirmed by the First District Appellate Court and the Illinois Supreme Court denied GM's motion for appeal.

Medical Malpractice Anesthesiology Negligence
$5 Million Settlement

The plaintiff, a 30-year-old handyman, received a $5 million settlement because of disabling brain damage he suffered while undergoing surgery to set a fractured humerus of his right arm. Pavalon & Gifford was able to show that the injury was a result of the failure of the anesthesiologist to appropriately monitor the vital signs of the plaintiff at the conclusion of the surgery.

Product Liability
Kawasaki Motorcycle
$4.75 Million Settlement

In this product liability case, Pavalon, Gilford & Laatsch represented the owner/operator of a Kawasaki motorcycle alleging that the cycle was defective in that the spring that was to return the stand to its upright position when in contact with the ground while the cycle was being operated, was defective and not functioning causing the plaintiff to lose control of the cycle causing him to be thrown to the ground resulting in paralysis of his legs. The defendant settled the case for a payment of $4.75 million.

Construction Injuries Cause Paralysis
$4.35 Million Settlement

A 38-year-old Spanish speaking construction worker fell due to inadequate fall protection while climbing on cement reinforcement wire in the Deep Tunnel storm runoff project in Chicago, sustaining injuries, which rendered him a paraplegic. The Water Reclamation District, three product liability defendants and two architectural design firms contributed to a $4.35 million settlement in addition to the waiver of a substantial worker's compensation lien.

Fatal Police Shooting
Results in $3.9 Million Jury Verdict

A jury awarded $3.9 million dollars to the family of Ronald Mullins who was fatally shot by a Chicago police officer following a field stop. Although the police officer claimed his use of deadly force was justified, Pavalon & Gifford demonstrated that his conduct was wilful and wanton when shots were fired inside decedent's moving vehicle. The verdict came in spite of a finding by the Police Department's Office of Professional Standards which cleared the officer of all wrong doing.

Premises Liability
Falling Tree Branch Kills Two
$3.35 Million Settlement

A fourteen-year-old girl and her 18 month-old brother were killed by a falling tree branch on a municipal parkway. After Pavalon & Gifford were prepared to show that the municipality failed to have a reasonable program for inspecting, pruning and trimming trees, a settlement of $3.35 million was obtained for the parents of the children.

Commercial Aviation Crash Due To Pilot Error
$3.1 Million Settlement

The decedent, a 37-year-old father from the Chicago area, was killed in the crash of an American Airlines commuter plane in North Carolina. In multi-district litigation pending in the Federal Court in North Carolina, Pavalon & Gifford was appointed co-lead counsel in all of the consolidated cases. After extensive discovery conducted across the United States, the wife and two children represented by the firm received a $3.1 million settlement.

Construction Accident Causes Brain Injury
$3.1 Million Settlement

A 46 year-old steel worker sustained significant brain injuries in a fall at a Home Depot construction site. Overcoming significant issues as to the client's comparative fault, the Firm was able to obtain a $3.1 million settlement and a waiver of a $400,000.00 worker's compensation lien when it was prepared to show that the general contractor, steel erector, and safety inspection firm failed to implement a fall protection plan at the work site.

Wrongful Death
Freight Terminal Found Guilty Of Negligent Maintenance
$3 Million Jury Verdict

The decedent, a 32-year-old, married woman from Mississippi, who helped her husband, an independent truck driver, during his trips was killed at the freight terminal of the defendant when she was struck by a truck backing up as she was walking to the terminal office. Pavalon & Gifford presented evidence at the trial that the design and layout of the terminal did not provide a reasonably safe path for the drivers to walk to the defendant's office. The jury returned a verdict for the estate in the amount of $3,030,000.00.

Mid-Air Plane Collision Due To Inadequate Air Traffic Control
$3 Million in Settlements

The Firm represented the estates of four young women who perished in a mid-air collision of two private aircraft near Meigs Field in Chicago, Illinois. After lengthy pre-trial discovery efforts, settlements totaling nearly $3 million were obtained during trial with a substantial percentage being paid by the company providing air traffic control services and by the City of Chicago which owned and operated the airport.

Product Liability Rock Crushing Machine Defective Design
$2.69 Million Settlement

Pavalon & Gifford represented the plaintiff who lost his right arm below the elbow while working on a conveyor belt rock crusher. Pavalon & Gifford presented evidence of the defective design of the product resulting in a settlement of $2,345,000.00 and a waiver by the plaintiff's employer of its $345,000.00 worker's compensation lien.

Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Misdiagnosis Of Fatal Infection
$2.5 Million Settlement

The decedent was admitted to the defendant hospital in Champaign, Illinois suffering from an infected knee. Pavalon & Gifford, in this Champaign County lawsuit, proved that the doctors failed to appropriately and timely diagnose a virulent form of strep infection which could have been successfully treated if diagnosed early. The defendant paid $2.5 million to the estate in settlement.

Commercial Aviation
Wrongful Death On International Flight
$2.5 Million Verdict

The decedent was a Chicago businessman who attempted to return home from Acapulco because of a recurrence of a bacterial endocarditis (bacterial infection of the heart). While on defendant's airplane, he experienced cardiac and respiratory symptoms including difficulty in breathing requiring the administration of oxygen. During a delayed layover in Mexico City, the air crew decided to leave him on the airplane while continuing to administer oxygen which resulted in his death five hours later from congestive heart failure. Pavalon, Gilmore & Laatsch alleged the air crew was negligent by allowing him to remain on the aircraft when a full-service hospital was nearby. Pavalon & Gifford also was successful in arguing the inapplicability of the International Treaty (Warsaw Convention) limiting recovery of damages to $75,000.00. The jury returned a verdict for the estate in the amount of $2,575,430.00.

Medical Negligence Results In Amputation
$2.5 Million Settlement

The Firm obtained a $2.5 million settlement for a 24-year-old man who was treated in a hospital emergency room for a gunshot injury to his left thigh. 'The hospital's failure to timely diagnose and treat a vascular injury from the gunshot wound resulted in an amputation of the leg above the knee.

Medical Malpractice in Rockford, Illinois
Profound Injuries To Young Child
$2.4 Million Settlement

In a medical malpractice action filed in Rockford, a $2.4 million settlement was reached with a hospital and six physicians who failed to timely diagnose a medical condition in a young child which resulted in a stroke and subsequent paralysis and brain damage. The settlement remains one of the largest in Winnebago County, Illinois.

Medical Malpractice
Failure To Communicate Cancerous Findings of Pathology Report
Resulting In A 10-month Delay In Cancer Treatment
$2 Million Settlement

Plaintiff, a two time kidney transplant recipient, presented to defendant Hospital with right lower quadrant abdominal pain. Plaintiff was diagnosed with acute appendicitis and underwent an immediate appendectomy. The specimen was sent to pathology which revealed adenocarcinoma of the appendix. Plaintiff was discharged from the hospital several days later without having been advised of the results of the pathology report. Approximately ten months later, Plaintiff returned to the hospital for follow-up treatment of his kidney transplant. At that time, the results of the pathology report were discovered and reported to Plaintiff. The inactions of the Hospital and its staff resulted 10-month delay in diagnosis and treatment of Plaintiff’s appendiceal cancer.

Pavalon & Gifford settled this action for $2 million dollars and without having to file a lawsuit. In addition, and more importantly, the defendant hospital apologized in person, via Chief of Staff, to the Plaintiff and his family, and explained and demonstrated the newly written policy which was implemented to remedy the omission in communication that occurred in this case. The hospital also disciplined the two surgeons responsible for Plaintiff’s care and treatment.

Product Defect Causes Amputation
$2 Million Settlement

A Spanish speaking factory worker suffered a below-the-elbow amputation of his right hand and arm when it became entangled in a plastic wrapping machine he was operating. Pavalon & Gifford worked with expert engineers who testified that the failure to equip the machine with proper guards, shut-off devices, and releases made it defective and unreasonably dangerous. The case was settled with the manufacturers of the machine for $2 million and the waiver of a $250,000 worker's compensation lien.

Product Liability Mine Cave-In Unfit Support Bolts
$2 Million Settlement

The plaintiff was working in a deep shaft mine which caved in rendering him a paraplegic. The DuPont-manufactured bolts providing support to the mine entrance had been inappropriately hawked by the DuPont sales representative for that purpose resulting in an unstable mine roof condition causing the cave-in. The case was settled for $2 million during trial.

$1.75 Million Verdict For Newborn's Fatal Infection

A jury awarded $1.75 million dollars to the mother of a newborn child who died soon after birth from a group beta strep infection. At trial, Pavalon & Gifford proved that the failure to perform pre-natal culturing of the mother allowed the dangerous organism to be transmitted to her child. Medical literature and professional standards were used to refute the testimony of multiple defense expert witnesses. The firm then proceeded to successfully defend the verdict before the Appellate Court which unanimously affirmed the award.

Medical Malpractice
Failure To Timely Diagnose And Treat Compartment Syndrome
$1.5 Million Settlement

Plaintiff alleged the Defendants failed to order and perform appropriate monitoring of his right leg following a mitral valve repair which resulted in the failure to diagnose and treat Plaintiff’s compartment syndrome in a timely fashion. Defendants inaction resulted in a 12-hour delay in the diagnosis and treatment of this condition. As a result, Plaintiff suffered disfigurement and atrophy of the right leg, as well as pain and weakness of his right foot. Plaintiff underwent two sympathetic nerve blocks and has since pursued conservative treatment for his condition. The case was settled for $1.5 million dollars in DuPage County.

Commercial Aviation
Local Teamster's Agent Killed In Commuter Airline Crash
$1.5 Million Verdict For Her Husband

In this wrongful death case trial arising out of the crash of an Air Illinois airplane on a flight originating from Meigs Field in Chicago to Carbondale, Illinois, Pavalon & Gifford represented the estate of a 33-year-old passenger who was a business agent for a Chicago Teamster's local union. The jury returned a verdict in the amount of $1.5 million for the estate which, at the time, was the second-highest verdict for the death of a female. The verdict was affirmed by the Illinois Appellate Court approving several innovative tactics regarding evidence concerning damages utilized by the Firm.

Medical Malpractice
Failure To Diagnose Spinal Meningitis In Infant
$1.5 Million Verdict

In this medical malpractice trial, Pavalon & Gifford represented a child who suffered brain damage as a result of a delayed diagnosis of spinal meningitis. The Firm presented evidence that the defendant emergency room doctor negligently failed to do the necessary examination on the infant child which would have resulted in the timely diagnosis of the illness. The jury returned a verdict for $1.5 million which was then the largest verdict ever returned for an infant. The case was also noteworthy because Pavalon & Gifford proved the emergency room doctor altered the emergency room record to show that the appropriate exam was performed. The verdict was affirmed on appeal.

Medical Malpractice
Central Illinois Record
$1.5 Million Verdict

In this record-breaking case in a Central Illinois County, a doctor's failure to diagnose an infant's spinal meningitis resulted in the development of learning disabilities and expected loss of future earnings. The child's family was awarded $1.5 million by the jury which was the highest verdict for injury or death in that county (Macon) at that time.

Medical Malpractice
Defective Product
$1.5 Million Settlement
In this product liability case, Pavalon & Gifford successfully negotiated a $1.5 million dollar settlement to the family of a man who died as a result of a defect medical product. The settlement was reached despite numerous defensible arguments by the manufacturer.
Medical Malpractice
Failure to recognize contraindicated medication in patient with kidney disease
$1.3 million dollar settlement
In this medical malpractice case, a young man who had a history of Crohn's disease and a known and well documented intolerance to mesalamine was repeatedly prescribed this medication throughout the course of his treatment by various doctors. As a result of this negligence, the young man suffered severe and permanent injury to his kidneys. The young man received a $1.3 million dollar settlement on the eve of trial.


In addition to successfully representing our clients with catastrophic injuries and wrongful death cases, Pavalon & Gifford continues to obtain substantial recoveries for individuals injured as a result of vehicular negligence, construction negligence, premises liability, personal injury, medical malpractice and product liability.

Pavalon & Gifford

321 North Clark
Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 312-419-7400
800-542-0394 (Toll Free)
Fax: 312-419-7408