Recent Case Results: Tell us about a recent case result that you are particularly proud of.
Chicago, IL personal injury attorney Ronald Kalish discusses a case he took on that stands out to him and its value to his career.
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One case that comes to mind that I am particularly proud of that our firm handled involved a case against a very large medical device manufacturer. The case went to trial against a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson involving a middle-aged man who had chronic back pain. And the surgeon used some screws and rods and fixation devices to fix his back.
Well, after the surgery occurred, within weeks or months, his pain was much worse. The surgeon took x-rays and determined that this hardware that the surgeon was putting in the back was coming loose before the patient could heal. And it wasn’t until two or three surgeries that the surgeon realized what was happening, that these screws that he was putting in were loosening.
Well, we filed a lawsuit against this subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson. And they fought us tooth and nail. It wasn’t until through very diligent discovery that we discovered documents in their own possession that revealed that they, the company, the designers of this device, knew that they had this problem with these screws that were loosening.
I think the jury really grabbed onto the fact that their position was, well, it doesn’t happen that often. And so in the thousands and thousands of times that surgeons use our device, these screws only come loose – I don’t know what the number was, but it was a very small percentage of the overall use of the product. I think the jury really grabbed onto that and rendered a very substantial verdict for our client and sent a message to medical device manufacturers that you, when you design a product, under the law you have to design a product that is not unreasonably dangerous. And if the purpose of the screws and the hardware are to stay fixated once the surgeon puts them in, they are never supposed to come loose. Not once, not ten times, not a hundred times. Never.
And I think that was a very rewarding result when the jury returned a verdict in the many millions of dollars for our client who, because of this necessity to have multiple back surgeries in order to finally get his back fused, was very rewarding.