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Clifford Law Offices Obtains $1.1 Million Verdict in First Civil Trial in Winnebago County since the Beginning of the Pandemic

Keith A. Hebeisen and Sarah F. King, partners at Clifford Law Offices, obtained a $1.1 million verdict on June 4, 2021 on behalf of the estate of a 75-year-old man who died following a negligent cardiac catheterization procedure performed at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center in Rockford in December, 2017. This was the first Winnebago County civil jury verdict in 16 months for a case that had been on hold for eight months due to the pandemic. The four-woman-eight-man jury deliberated three hours before reaching its verdict after a week-long trial.

Lawrence Powder of Rockford, Illinois, underwent a procedure at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center on Dec. 30, 2107, performed by Dr. Jan Skowronski, then an employee of OSF Multi-Specialty Group. The jury found that Dr. Skowronski was negligent in performing an uncommon imaging procedure known as an OCT that resulted in a fatal large tear of one of Mr. Powder’s arteries. A month after this incident Dr. Skowronski left Rockford and moved to Alabama. Circuit Court Judge Fabiano presided over the trial.

“I was impressed by the measures that Judge Fabiano, Chief Judge Eugene Doherty and the court personnel of Winnebago undertook to make sure that all safety precautions were in place so that this trial could go forward,” Hebeisen said. “Mr. Powder’s family was afforded the justice they deserved and these jurors took their duty very seriously. We must continue to make every effort to ensure that all those who have been wrongfully injured get their day in court without any further delay.”

Following the verdict, King said, “To ensure the safety of our jury, everyone wore masks in the courtroom when not questioning witnesses and social distancing was practiced. Each juror had an individual screen to view the displayed evidence. Clifford Law Offices is proud to have pioneered this effort to show that trials can take place safely once again.”

The defendant was represented by Jared Barenbaum and Jenny Ewing of the Rockford office of Hinshaw Culbertson.

Case No. 2018 L 251

For further information, please contact Clifford Law Offices Communications Partner Pamela Sakowicz Menaker at 847-721-0909 (cell).

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