| Practice Description: |
John Kralovec is a 1981 graduate of Loyola Law School. Mr. Kralovec is one of the firm's founding partners and brings a strong record of success in the practice of medical negligence and personal injury. Mr. Kralovec has extensive trial experience and has obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of his clients. In March 2002, Mr. Kralovec obtained a record-breaking $51 million verdict on behalf of a client who was severely injured in an autombile collision. The verdict is the highest Illinois compensatory verdict for personal injury.
In 2000, Mr. Kralovec obtained a record high verdict of $12,508,098.00 on behalf of the family of a quadriplegic child who drowned in a bathtub after being left unattended by her home health care nurse. The verdict is an Illinois high for death of a minor and is also a record high for death of a severely diabled individual.
Notable Cases and Results:
Malpractice-Patient Faults Hospital's Restroom Const./Maint.
Virginia Abbinanti v Holy Family Hospital and J.S. Adams Corp. 91L-4570
Result: $700,000 v both defts
Facts: April 28, 1990 pltf retired F-74, who had been hospitalized for raging diabetes, suffered a fract. hip ($27,440 medl. exp.--now needs a walker) when she fell while attempting to use the washroom. Says the door swung through the jamb, pulling her down, as she closed it. Alleges the door was improperly installed by IS Adams, the gen. contractor during a reconstruction project at Holy Family and that the hospital improperly maintained it. Adams said the door had been installed correctly, but became misaligned over time because the hospital had not made needed adjustments. Holy Family denied having notice of any problem with the door and disputed the negl. maintenance charge. Both defts argued that pltf was contrib. negligent and asserted that her inability to walk without assistance was due to diabetic neuropothy and was not accident-related.
Medical Malpractice - Nurse Allows Quadriplegic Child to Drown in Tub - $12.5 M
Estate of Jaclyn O'Hara, deceased minor v Nursefinders Inc. 97L-5284
Result: $12,508,098 ($11,000,000 loss of society to parents and sister; $1,500,000 survival pain & suffering; $8,098 medical and funeral expenses). A twelve year old cortically blind, spastic quadriplegic drowned in a bathtub of water when she was left unattended by her home care nurse. Highest verdict for death of a minor in Illinois.
Facts: Feb. 27, 1997, home care nurse Ernestine Smith L.P.N. (employed by deft Nursefinders) left Jaclyn O'Hara, a 12-year-old quadriplegic child, unattended in a tub of water at her south suburban home, causing her to drown. Jaclyn was born with a heart problem (double outlet ventricle) and suffered cardiac arrest after undergoing cardiac surgery, in 1994, resulting in severe brain damage, cerebral palsy, spastic quadriplegia, incontinence, cortical blindness and scoliosis. After residing at two different residential care facilities, Jaclyn returned home to live with her parents and younger sister; deft Nursefinders was hired to provide in-home nursing care and Smith was her regular nurse. Smith had bathed Jaclyn and then left her alone in a whirlpool tub for five minutes while she went to get linens; when she returned, she found the child face down in the water. Defense admitted liability and case was tried on damages only. Defense contended Jaclyn had a diminished life expectancy of 17 years and would have experienced diminished quality of life due to her pre-existing medical problems, including the severe progressive nature of her scoliosis, recurrent pneumonias, and seizure disorder. Pltf's expert maintained that Jaclyn's life expectancy was only 10% less than normal and she would have lived into her 70s. Defense post-trial motion pending. Court excluded evidence that the family had a DNR order entered in dect's medical file. Verdict is an Illinois high for wrongful death of a minor (prior high $8 million earlier this year in RR 43/1) and is also a record high for death of a severely disabled individual.
Medl. Malp.-Ex-Bear Tackles Former Team Physician for Loss
Roger Stillwell v Dr. Theodore A. Fox, and Lakeview Orthopedics 88L-18470
Result: $4,148,419 v both defts ($72,419 past and $76,000 future medl. exp., $1 million disability, $1 million past and $2 million future P.&S.) First verdict by an NFL football player against a a "team physician" for allowing a player to play after it was clear that he should have retired. Plaintiffs knee permanently damaged and will require a knee replacement in future. The plaintiff was given numerous injections by the defendant to keep him playing.
Facts: Ex-Chicago Bear defensive end with pre-existing unstable left knee, claims team physician Dr. Fox, who admitted he had control over determining whether a player was physically able to perform, should not have permitted him to play 1975-1977 seasons with knee taped (no brace) after several corticosteroid injections to knee and surrounding area. Pltf whose career was ended by a blow to the knee during the Minnesota Viking game in Oct. 1977, says knee gradually worsened by playing and that Dr. Fox (who retired as team physician in 1977) had an obligation to keep him of the field. At 40 yrs. old, pltf suffers from severe arthritis req. use of a cane to walk, and has had six knee surgeries ($72,419 medl.). Defense contended: deft's treatment of pltfs pre-existing knee problem was proper and his current problems are unrelated to that treatment (corticosteroid injections to help healing process were within std. of care); knee was sufficiently stable and pltf capable of playing (passed physical), pltf knowingly pursued hazardous occupation. Pltfs atty indicates this is the first case ever tried to vedict by a Bear player against the team physician. Judge O'Brien ruled at pretrial that Dr. Fox was not an employee of the Bears. Defense post-trial motions are expected.
Largest Verdict in Illinois for This Injury
Harold Bonfiglio v Soo Line Railroad 88L-11188
Result: $4,000,000 ($77,230 past and $609,366 future lost earnings; $309,429 past and $1,856,571 future P&S; $1,147,404 disability).
Facts: March 10, 1987 pltf M-38, a "sideloader" operator in the intermodal area of deft's Schiller Park Railroad Yard, was injured when his loading machine was rear-ended by a co-worker. Plaintiff sustained no immediate damage, however, plaintiff developed an asymptomatic hydromyelia (a cyst-like fluid-filled cavity)in spinal cord. Plainitff able to work, however, due to rare nature of condition, he may ultimately become disabled, at least to some degree. Largest verdict for this injury in Cook County.
Four-Year-Old Boy Suffers Brain Damage After Near-Drowning in Swimming Pool
Aiperstein v. Wolfson, et al.
Result: Settlement: $6,000,000.00.
Facts: A child was attending a backyard swimming pool party at the home of his mother's employer. The child suffered a near drowning in the presence of 30 adults. The initial trial resulted in a hung jury and settled thereafter.
Record Verdict - Death of Unmarried Homemaker Mom. Largest Reported Settlement of a Wrongful Death Case in the State of Illinois - 1995
Eriksen v. Kenneth Moore, M.D.
Result: $5,450,000.00; offer: $0. Divorced mother of one child was treated for migraine headaches over a period of years. Plaintiff died as a result of a brain herniation from undiagnosed and untreated hydrocephalus. Record verdict for unmarried housewife, mother of one in Cook County.
Construction Worker Hit by Flying Truck Wheel
Brent v. Northwestern Salt Co., et al.
Result: Settlement: $3,800,000.00. Thirty-one year old husband and father of two was working on sound barrier walls on I-294 when a salt truck lost a wheel and struck plaintiff. Plaintiff suffered multiple leg and pelvic fractures.
McKinstry v. Snap-On, et al.
Result: Settlement: $2,700,000.00. 8 mos. old infant suffered traumatic brain injury when the vehicle in which he was riding struck a left-turning vehicle. A Snap-On tool truck which was following vehicle in which child was a passenger also struck plaintiff's vehicle after the initial impact.
Litman v. University of Chicago Hospitals
Result: Settlement: $2,578,125.00. Decedent, wife and mother of two teenagers was admitted to University of Chicago Hospital for bowel resection surgery. Plaintiff developed cardiac tamponade as a result of an improperly placed central venous catheter and died.
Conboy v. Meade
Result: Settlement: $2,500,000.00. This case involved an automobile collision with a truck. This is the largest wrongful death settlement to date in Grundy County, Illinois.
Sparacino v. Loyola University Medical Center
Result: Settlement: $2,200,000.00. Male infant born with elevated billirubin levels that went untreated. Resulted in significant hearing loss.
Poltroch v. Chicago & Northwestern Railroad
Result: $2,100,000.00; offer: $400,000.00. Married mother of one was struck and killed by a commuter train while attempting to cross the tracks. Plaintiff was a pedestrian at the time, and defense contended that train was clearly visible. Appellate Court opinion created new law regarding post-accident changes and expert testimony in presence of eyewitnesses. Record verdict at that time for loss of wife and mother.
Largest Reported Malpractice Death Settlement in Kane County
Everett v. Karen Meyer, M.D., et al.
Result: Settlement: $2,050,000.00. Forty-two year old husband and father of two died from pulmonary embolus resulting from an undiagnosed blood clot. Highest reported malpractice death settlement in Kane County.
Alianello v. Pildes
Settlement: $2,000,000.00. Thirty-one year old wife and mother of two died due to a 13-month delay in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, including the Trial Bar
Date of Birth: 1956
Law School: Loyola University Chicago Law School, J.D., 1981
Undergraduate School: University of Illinois, B.S., 1978
Bar/Professional Association Involvement:
American College of Trial Lawyers
American Bar Association
Illinois State Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association
South Suburban Bar Association
The TLPJ Foundation (Trial Lawyers for Public Justice)
American Trial Lawyers Association
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Awards; Honors; Distinctions:
Leading Lawyer in Personal Injury Law: General and Personal Injury Law: Medical Malpractice, 2003-present
Mr. Kralovec has lectured extensively for various bar groups and associations.