Victory on Claims of Excessive Force Against Task Force Members

Tom Weiler and John Masters successfully defended four members of the DuPage County Tactical Narcotics Team (TNT) from federal Sec. 1983 claims of excessive force. In a four day trial before U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, Tom and John represented two Lisle and two Woodridge police officers assigned to the TNT. Two of the officers were dismissed at the close of the plaintiff’s case on a motion for a directed finding, while the remaining two officers were cleared by a federal jury. All were part of an undercover operation to arrest a known drug dealer in DuPage County. Claims of failure to intervene were also dismissed at the close of the plaintiff’s case.

Radiologist not guilty of failing to diagnose lung cancer in a 40-year-old male which resulted in his death and, who was survived by a wife and 4 children

John Langhenry and Melissa Gordon successfully defended a radiologist who was accused of failing to diagnose a hilar mass in 40-year-old male with no history of smoking in an x-ray taken in follow-up to an earlier diagnosis of pneumonia, for which a follow-up study should have been ordered.  Several years later, the plaintiff was diagnosed with lung cancer caused by a mass in the hilar region, which ultimately led to his death.  The defense argued that the radiologist properly interpreted the chest x-ray and, that there was no mass present on the x-ray and, as a result, no follow-up was required. Plaintiff sought over $10 million in damages.

Neurologist and practice were found not guilty after patient suffered a stroke 12 days after being diagnosed with BPPV by the neurologist

John Langhenry and Melissa Gordon successfully defendant a medical practice group for a neurologist’s alleged failure to diagnose transient ischemic attacks (TIA’s) and/or perform a stroke work-up and/or start anticoagulation to prevent the stroke suffered by the plaintiff 12 days after being seen by the neurologist.   The plaintiff argued that his bouts of dizziness were actually transient ischemic attacks caused by emboli from an asymptomatic DVT that broke off and traveled to plaintiff’s brain through an undiagnosed PFO.  The plaintiff argued that if the neurologist had performed a proper evaluation, the PFO would have been discovered and anticoagulation would have been started, which would have prevented the stroke.   The defense successfully argued that based upon the history, MRI results and examination, the neurologist properly diagnosed the plaintiff with BPPV and the stroke was unrelated to the symptoms experienced 12 days earlier.

Jury found it was appropriate for a physician to place a patient with multiple medical problems in a non-telemetry bed, where patient subsequently died from a sudden arrhythmia

John Langhenry and Melissa Gordon successfully defended an internist where the plaintiff argued that because of the decedent’s multiple medical problems, including diabetes, hypothyroidism, an EKG that showed abnormalities but, was consistent with prior EKG’s for this patient, in conjunction with the prescription of IV narcotics, should have been on a telemetry bed that would have measured her cardiac and oxymetric status and would have alerted the nurses when the patient experienced a fatal cardiac arrest.  Mr. Langhenry and Ms. Gordon established that there was nothing during the admission that suggested that the decedent was having any worsening cardiac issues or any difficulties that required that she be placed on a monitored bed.  The defense further demonstrated, even if the decedent had been on a monitored bed, it is unlikely that she would have survived the fatal cardiac arrest.

Radiologist not guilty of failing to diagnose a lunate fracture

John Langhenry and Melissa Gordon successfully defended a radiologist who interpreted x-ray films as negative for fracture after the plaintiff fell from a ladder.  Approximately 6 months later, the plaintiff was diagnosed with a lunate fracture.  The plaintiff argued that the radiologist failed to properly interpret the x-ray films, thereby failing to diagnose the lunate fracture.  As a result, the plaintiff asserted that he had to undergo more significant surgery and months of painful and unnecessary physical therapy.  The defense argued that the fracture was not diagnosable on the x-rays, and that approximately 20% of these injuries are missed on plain films.  The defense also argued that, based upon the nature of the injury, the surgery would have been the same, regardless of when it was diagnosed.

Jury found in favor of Internist in an alleged failure to diagnose breast cancer

John Langhenry and Melissa Gordon successfully defended an internist who allegedly failed to diagnose breast cancer in a 47-year-old patient.  The plaintiff saw the defendant for two years.  At the time of the first visit, the plaintiff told the physician that she had breast implants.   The physician advised the plaintiff that she does not evaluate or assess breast implants and referred the plaintiff to a surgeon for breast care.  During the next two years, the plaintiff made one complaint regarding her breasts.  At that time, the defendant examined the plaintiff’s breasts and again referred her to the surgeon for evaluation.   The surgeon recommended removal of the breast implants, which the plaintiff declined.  Subsequently, the plaintiff was diagnosed with breast cancer.  The defense argued that the internist complied with the standard of care by advising the plaintiff that she does not evaluate breast implants and referred the patient to the surgeon for further evaluation.

Psychiatrist not guilty when hospitalized patient commits suicide while on unsupervised pass

John Langhenry successfully defended a psychiatrist when a psychiatric patient was admitted after expressing death wishes.  Patient was allowed an unsupervised 11-hour pass from the hospital and hanged self.  Defendant contended that the pass was allowed after the patient demonstrated improved health and denied suicidal thoughts.

Verdict in favor of construction company property owner for alleged negligence in concealing hole

John Langhenry successfully defended a construction company when a plaintiff sustained displaced tibia and fibula fractures with open reduction and hip cast for 9 months as well as femur and ankle fractures.  The defense argued that plaintiff’s own negligence caused his injuries.

Verdict in favor of Radiologist for alleged failure to diagnose bowel perforation

John Langhenry successfully defended a radiologist who performed a barium enema and lower G.I. for allegedly failing to diagnose a bowel perforation.  Plaintiff underwent emergency laparotomy surgery to repair the perforation and flush the barium with subsequent colostomy.  The defense argued that the plaintiff’s presentation and complaints to the radiologist did not warrant further investigation for a suspected perforation.

Verdict in favor of Psychiatrist for admitting teen to psychiatric facility for over 3 months allegedly against his will

John Langhenry successfully defended a psychiatrist who admitted a 17-year-old patient to a psychiatric facility for 114 days with a diagnosis of behavior disorder.  Plaintiff alleged that the psychiatrist did not fully inform the patient or his parents of his rights.  Defendant denied the allegations and maintained that the admission was appropriate.