Bradley M. Cosgrove, partner at Clifford Law Offices, obtained a record $3.157 million verdict late Thursday evening in Rockford in a medical malpractice case involving a 65-year-old man who had his left leg amputated as a result of a doctor’s negligence.
The seven-man, five-woman jury returned the verdict after less than five hours of deliberations following a two-week trial in the Winnebago County courthouse.
Donald Johnson, 65, a former lieutenant with the Loves Park Police Department, was admitted to Rockford Memorial Hospital on Aug. 10, 2010, with complaints of dizziness, weakness and suspected upper GI bleeding. He had a history of peripheral vascular disease in his lower extremities.
Dr. Mark Zarnke of Rockford was consulted to evaluate leg wounds on Johnson’s lower left extremity. Despite medical tests revealing Johnson had only 41 percent blood flow to his left leg, on Aug. 12, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. Dr. Zarnke applied a Unna Boot to treat the leg wounds. The boot remained on for five days. The plaintiff contended at trial that the application of the Umma Boot was contraindicated due to Johnson’s decreased blood flow to his left leg. When the boot was removed, his left leg exhibited necrotic skin tissue, which required debridement, a below-the-knee amputation and later an above-the-knee amputation.
Plaintiff further contended that Dr. Zarnke, a general surgeon, failed to offer surgical options to the patient to revascularize the leg and did not consult a vascular surgeon to treat the patient.
"We are pleased that the jury was able to sort through the complicated medical testimony and uncover the truth as to what caused Mr. Johnson’s leg amputation," Cosgrove said following the verdict that came down just before 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 22. "Although the verdict cannot bring back his leg, Mr. Johnson is very satisfied with the result and believes that justice was served by the verdict."
The Illinois Jury Verdict Reporter has confirmed that this is a record verdict in Winnebago County for a leg amputation.
Marta Kowalczyk Davidson, an associate at Clifford Law Offices, second-chaired the trial.
Cosgrove has had a series of successful significant verdicts since joining Clifford Law Offices less than two years ago after serving as a partner at a previous litigation boutique firm. He has received more than $22 million in verdicts alone for his clients in just the past 14 months.
For further information, please contact Brad Cosgrove at 312-899-9090 or Clifford Law Offices’ Communications at 847-721-0909.
Case No.: 11 L 2626 (Winnebago County)
Attorneys for the Defendant Dr. Mark Zarnke and Surgical Associates of Northern Illinois:
Doug Pomatto and Kathleen Stockwell (of counsel)