Tell us about some particularly meaningful or memorable cases you’ve worked on.
Waukegan, IL medical malpractice attorney Scott Gibson talks about a couple very memorable cases he worked on and the impact they had on him as a lawyer.
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Well, we’ve had so many memorable cases, but one that leaps to mind, just the beginning, is there was a young Vietnamese child. She was only six and a half years old and she and her family went to one of the major amusement parks here in Illinois and tragically she was in the children’s section and her mother and grandmother were waiting for her. It was designed very poorly, so that the person who put the children into the ride was alone with the child and tragically she was sexually assaulted. We were able to find evidence that three children over a six-week period were sexually assaulted in the same manner. The child was absolutely precious and her family couldn’t be more supportive, immigrants from actually Vietnam and just a wonderful family. What’s so important and memorable about that case is we took on a $20 billion worldwide corporation that owned that amusement park and amusement parks and other investments around the globe. They fought. They were not fair. They tried to hide certain information and through a lot of hard work, and diligence, and going to California to get records we found that the person who did this, the ride operator, had actually been accused of sexually assaulting a child at another one of this company’s amusement parks out in California. The company had just buried it and fired him and then allowed him to be re-hired in Illinois. So it was a tragedy, but out of that tragedy we were able to secure a very significant, multi-million-dollar result, which I’m proud to say for her family and for her has been put away into a special trust that will take care of her education and many of her future needs. So that’s a case that will never leave us.
Another case that comes to mind is a handicapped adult. This gentleman was in his mid-40s. He had been handicapped all of his life, since birth. He was functioning. He had gone to high school with special needs and he had a very supportive, but elderly husband – excuse me, father and mother, who took care of him. He had a part-time job. He was a maintenance man at a construction company and one day, on Friday after the end of the shift his boss, as typical, brought out some beer and they drank some beer. He wasn’t intoxicated, but he was walking home. As he was walking home on Friday night about 6:00 he got jumped, and mugged, and hit in the head and he ended up staggering home, bloodied, and incoherent. His mother immediately called 911 and he was rushed to one of the local hospitals in Lake County. When he got there, because he was somewhat incoherent, he did smell of beer, and the doctors, I would have to say, did not spend a lot of time with him. They looked at him, did not do any real care and sent him home saying he was fine. A day and a half later he was brought back by another emergency ambulance. Another doctor took a look at him much more carefully and brought in a neurosurgeon and tragically they found that the first set of doctors had missed a very severe skull fracture with brain damage from the man being hit over the head. It resulted in near death, emergency brain surgery, and unfortunately, our client was more severely brain damaged due to part of his brain having to be surgically removed. We sued the physicians in the emergency room and the hospital, the first set of doctors and nurses, because they did not appropriately diagnose or get the tests that were needed and that case resulted in a very significant, multi-million-dollar result, which has, thankfully, provided for our client with a trust. His parents have now died and he’s being taken care of by a caretaker.
One of the results of this, out of this tragedy, is because we were successful in that case it’s also a great benefit to society, Social Security, or our taxpayers dollars do not have to take care of him. He’s taken care of by the trust from the case. So that’s a case that, again, we’ll always remember.