| 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 automobile 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:
Record Compensatory Non-Death Personal Injury Verdict (Illinois)
Albert C. Garner v Willie Carter, d/b/a Carter's Excavating & Grading
A 32-year-old high school teacher was rendered quadriplegic when the bed of a tractor-trailer dump truck disengaged from the truck and landed on Plaintiff's van. The verdict is the highest Illinois compensatory verdict for personal injury (non-death).
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.
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.
Medical Malpractice Leading to Septic Shock and Death
Thomas Bullaro, Individually and as Independent Administrator of the Estate of Carol Ann Bullaro, Deceased, v. Daniel Pacella, D.O., and Daniel Pacella, D.O., P.C., an Illinois Corporation
Plaintiff was diagnosed with diverticulitis and underwent surgery. During the procedure, Defendant doctor failed to perform a Hartmann's colostomy after identifying an abscess in the colon, rectum and vagina leading to septic shock and death of a 50-year-old wife and mother of one.
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.
Facts: Plaintiff, an ex-Chicago Bear defensive end, received several corticosteroid injections to the knee and surrounding area to keep him playing causing him to suffer from severe arthritis that required the use of a cane to walk and a total of six knee surgeries.
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.
Undiagnosed and Untreated Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Estate of Kathleen Duffy, deceased v. Little Company of Mary Hospital & Healthcare Centers
Facts: Death of a 45-year-old wife and mother of two. A Type 1 diabetic was brought by paramedics to the emergency room with an extremely elevated glucose level. Plaintiff contended the emergency room nurses failed to properly triage the patient as "urgent" and failed to properly monitor her physical condition with advance warning alarms. As a result, Plaintiff suffered a cardiopulmonary arrest in the emergency room due to undiagnosed and untreated diabetic ketoacidosis.
Construction Worker Hit by Flying Truck Wheel
Brent v. Northwestern Salt Co., et al.
Result: Settlement: $3,800,000
Facts: 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.
Passenger in Van Killed After Dump Truck Hits Overpass
Estate of Genesis Bryant, deceased, v. Willie Carter, d/b/a Carter's Excavating & Grading
Facts: A 22-year-old single female was killed when the "bed" of a tractor-trailer dump truck hit an overpass, was ripped from the trailer, and landed on top of a van in which she was a passenger. She sustained numerous injuries including a C1-C2 separation and subarachnoid hemorrhage, which combined to take her life nine hours post-crash.
Pedestrian Struck, Killed Attempting to Cross RR Tracks
Poltroch v. Chicago & Northwestern Railroad
Result: $2,100,000; offer: $400,000. 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.
Malpractice-Patient Faults Hospital's Restroom Const./Maint.
Virginia Abbinanti v. Holy Family Hospital and J.S. Adams Corp.
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.
Other Selected Settlements
A four year old boy 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.
Plaintiff was assisting a co-worker in unloading angle iron steel from a barge. When Plaintiff attempted to climb down from the stack of steel he was standing on, the dunnage (wood) supporting the steel cracked, causing a 5,000-pound bundle of steel to fall on Plaintiff's legs. The cause of the accident was Defendant’s improper stacking of the steel bundles creating a hazardous and dangerous condition. Plaintiff's injuries led to an above-the-knee amputation of left leg.
Plaintiff was killed when he stepped back into an elevator hoistway door. The elevator door collapsed and he fell seven stories into the elevator shaft.
Plaintiff, a bricklayer, was killed when an inadequately braced wall collapsed, crushing decedent during construction of the off track betting parlor.
Plaintiff experienced a recurrence of a malignant gastrointestinal stromal tumor which had previously been diagnosed. Plaintiff went to Defendant for a liver biopsy and resection. Plaintiff suffered post-operative bleeding which was not recognized or diagnosed and therefore not treated, resulting in his death (survived by wife, two adult children and one minor child).
Plaintiff was admitted to a rehabilitation facility following spinal cord decompression surgery. The patient was receiving post-operative antibiotics, including Gentamicin. Defendants failed to properly monitor Plaintiff's Gentamicin levels causing him to develop severe ototoxicicity.
Pretrial settlement of a pending case for a paraplegic whose spinal abscess went undiagnosed and untreated for several days.
Plaintiff sustained ruptured spleen, fractured ribs and clavicle. Plaintiff’s 8 month old son suffered traumatic brain injury with severe developmental regression, gross and fine motor impairments, hypertonia, multiple skull and rib fractures from multiple-vehicle accident.
This case involved an automobile accident with a truck and was a record breaking settlement in Grundy County, Illinois
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
American Association of Justice
Chicago Bar Association
Illinois State Bar Association
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
South Suburban Bar Association
The TLPJ Foundation (Trial Lawyers for Public Justice)
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 including the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Loyola University Medical Center, Evangelical Health Care Systems, the Illinois State Bar Association, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Loyola University Chicago College of Law, the Chicago Bar Association and the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.