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Strauss and Skarpiak Turn a Double Play in Federal Court

September 27, 2019
Featuring Peter J. Strauss and Chad M. Skarpiak
CMV trial attorneys Peter Strauss and Chad Skarpiak recently won two defense verdicts in back-to-back federal jury trials in Chicago, before Judge Kennelly. In both cases, a prisoner brought a Section 1983 claim against correctional health care providers, alleging that providers violated his civil rights because they were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs.

In the first trial, the patient claimed that he suffered bilateral bicep ruptures with resultant pain, limited range of motion, strength in his arms and shoulders after a physician at the prison allegedly ignored the severity of his condition, inappropriately discontinued physical therapy, and failed to provide him with appropriate treatment. CMV contested the severity of the patient’s complaints and proved that the physician correctly assessed the patient and provided him with proper care. The patient asked for both compensatory and punitive damages against the physician. After two hours of deliberation, the jury returned with a verdict in favor of the physician.

In the second trial, the patient claimed that he suffered prolonged ear pain with jaw popping, and hearing loss. The patient also asserted that one of his ears was further injured during an altercation, causing additional pain and swelling to that ear. At trial, the patient claimed that a physician’s assistant and a physician deliberately ignored his ear complaints and failed to provide appropriate treatment. CMV contested the accuracy and timing of patient’s complaints and proved that the medical personnel appropriately treated his ear complaints. Judge Kennelly granted a directed verdict on behalf of the physician’s assistant prior to the case’s submission to the jury. The patient sought compensatory and punitive damages. After 25 minutes of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the physician.