Patterson
				E.
				Benjamin

Benjamin E. Patterson

Direct: 312.267.6204
Fax: 312.345.9608
bpatterson@hpslaw.com

Since HPS opened its doors in 2002, Benjamin Patterson has served as lead attorney on more than 30 medical malpractice jury trials; the vast majority of which have resulted in defense verdicts. Ben became licensed in Nevada in 2003 and was actively involved in the creation and management of the HPS Las Vegas office. Ben also became licensed in Florida in 2010 and led the creation of, and now manages, the firm's Tampa and Pensacola offices.

Over the last 20 years, Ben has represented a wide variety of clients in both state and federal court in several areas of defense litigation: medical malpractice, nursing home and long-term care litigation, product liability, premises liability, consumer fraud, civil rights and legal malpractice. He specializes in medical malpractice litigation, primarily in the defense of hospitals and healthcare institutions, representing many hospitals in Cook and DuPage counties.

He has also represented healthcare clients with a national presence. Many of his cases involve catastrophic injuries such as birth injuries, wrongful death, paralysis and brain injuries. He has handled cases across the spectrum of medical malpractice litigation: ER care, labor and delivery, organ transplants, pressure sores, hospital fires, spoliation of evidence, surgery, and numerous other areas of potential liability.

Ben aggressively defends hospitals against claims based upon apparent agency and in numerous instances has obtained summary judgment and directed verdict findings in favor of his hospital clients. Throughout his practice, Ben has gone up against the top plaintiff's attorneys in both Chicago and Las Vegas and obtained favorable results.

Professional Background

Ben was previously a member of the medical litigation department of Lord Bissell & Brook, LLP.

 

In 2015, Ben was board certified in Florida in the area of Civil Trial Law. Certification is The Florida Bar’s highest level of evaluation of the competency and experience of attorneys in the 24 areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida. Established in 1982 by the Florida Supreme Court, board certification helps consumers identify specialists in various areas of law. Currently, only 7% of eligible Florida Bar members, approximately 4,600 lawyers, are board certified.

 

Pingel v. Loyola University Medical Center

Chicago – Cook County – August 2011: alleged failure to adequately turn and reposition critically ill ICU patient resulting in sacral pressure sore. The 73-year-old patient developed a small (1 cm x 1 cm) Stage I sacral sore that progressed to a large (9 cm x. 6 cm) Stage IV sore in about two weeks. The patient required extensive rehab and debridement procedures. The patient’s daughter, a nurse and former Loyola employee, was critical of her mother’s nursing care. 

RESULTDefense verdict.

Woodworth v. Fort Walton Beach Medical Center

Florida – Okaloosa County – August 2011: alleged failure to adequately monitor ER patient resulting in the death of 38-year-old father of two children. According to the autopsy the patient died from cardiac tamponade. Plaintiff’s experts opined that the patient would have gradually deteriorated and the nurses must not have been adequately monitoring him before he was found unresponsive. At trial Ben had to overcome a “missing evidence” jury instruction (regarding “missing” cardiac rhythm strips in the 75 minutes before the patient was found) and criticisms from the treating doctors / former codefendants. Plaintiff asked the jury for in excess of $5 million in damages.

RESULTDefense verdict.

Monahan v. Edward Health Ventures

Joliet – Will County, Illinois – February 2011: alleged failure to diagnose and treat bacterial endocarditis resulting in a major stroke in a 22-year-old patient. Ben successfully defended a family practice physician against criticisms for not ordering earlier blood cultures. The defense, through a carefully constructed timeline and the testimony of five treating physicians, established that the plaintiff had only nonspecific symptoms and that the defendant doctor, despite a missing progress note during the critical time period, conscientiously worked up the correct diagnosis. Plaintiff asked the jury for in excess of $10 million damages. 

RESULTDefense verdict.

Ratz v. Edward Hospital

Joliet – Will County, Illinois – January 2011: alleged failure to timely diagnose and treat a PE in the emergency room resulting in the death of a 34-year-old mother of two. Ben successfully defended an ER doctor against allegations of a delay in obtaining a CT scan and starting Heparin. The defense countered that the ER physician timely evaluated the patient, ordered appropriate blood tests and diagnostic studies to rule out PE and timely instituted Heparin. Plaintiff asked the jury for $6.2 million. 

RESULTDefense verdict. The jury returned a defense verdict after just 25 minutes of deliberation.

Cook v. Sunrise Hospital (Retrial)

Las Vegas – Clark County – October 2010: This was a retrial from the case tried to a 6-2 defense verdict in March 2006 (see below). At this trial the orthopedic surgeon who criticized the nursing staff invoked the 5th Amendment and refused to testify. The surgeon is now a convicted felon and was part of the so-called Las Vegas “Medical Mafia.” Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury for $6 million. 

RESULTDefense verdict 8-0.

Navarete v. Linden Oaks Hospital

Wheaton - DuPage County, Illinois – November 2009: alleged institutional negligence case stemming from sexual relations between a 17-year-old psychiatric patient and an employed mental health counselor. Plaintiff’s advanced several theories of institutional negligence against the defendant psychiatric hospital, including negligent hiring and negligent supervision. Prior to trial the court granted summary judgment on the negligent hiring counts and barred evidence of the counselor’s felony drug conviction. Plaintiff alleged that the sexual encounters caused an aggravation of her pre-existing emotional and psychological problems, including PTSD, depression and low self-esteem. Plaintiff asked the jury for $3 million.

RESULTDefense verdict.

Van Thyne v. Loyola University Medical Center

Chicago - Cook County – April 2009: alleged wrongful death of a 6-year-old boy with severe physical and mental delays due to cerebral palsy. The child presented to a clinic on a Friday and Saturday and was seen by two separate hospital-employed pediatricians. The child had severely abnormal vital signs that included a fever of 105.7º, a heart rate of 200 beats per minute, a respiratory rate of 52 breaths per minute and an oxygen saturation of 92%. The doctors diagnosed pneumonia and elected to treat the child on an out-patient basis rather than hospitalization. Plaintiff’s experts opined that the child should have been hospitalized. On Sunday the child died at home apparently as the result of an acute aspiration event. Plaintiff’s pre-trial demand was $6 million and the defense offered $500,000 before trial.

RESULTDefense verdict.

Golz v. Memorial Hospital of Carbondale

Chicago - Cook County – February 2009: alleged wrongful death of a 60-year-old woman on Mother’s Day following an ER visit. The patient presented to the ER complaining of abdominal pain and headache, and the ER physician ordered numerous tests, including blood cultures. The patient was discharged from the ER with a diagnosis of febrile syndrome and mild dehydration. The next morning the preliminary blood culture results came back positive for gram negative rods. Pursuant to hospital policy, the preliminary lab results were placed by the nurses into a file folder on the ER physician’s desk but they were not reviewed by a physician for over twelve hours. By then the patient had developed septic shock and ultimately died of sepsis. The ER physician (who was dismissed as a defendant) testified that she should have been immediately notified of the preliminary blood culture results. The Hospital offered $750,000 before trial and the Plaintiff’s demand was $3.5 million.

RESULTPlaintiff’s verdict $2.7 million (Parties reached high-low settlement agreement resulting in Hospital having to pay $2.2 million)

Vargas v. Chicago Grant Hospital

Chicago - Cook County – May 2008: alleged failure to prevent a suicide attempt of a 42-year-old psych patient who jumped out of a five-story window of a locked psychiatric unit. The patient was on suicide precautions at the time and was able to gain access to a hammer and screwdriver from an activities cabinet that he then used to break open a locked window and jump. He landed on the roof two stories below and sustained crushing fractures to both ankles which allegedly rendered him totally disabled. The psych nurse continued to place her initials in the suicide precautions monitoring log for over an hour after the patient had already jumped and was fired for her fraudulent charting.

RESULTDefense verdict (Jury found nursing negligence but concluded the plaintiff was more than 50% responsible for his own injuries).

Chung v. Central DuPage Hospital

Chicago - Cook County – March 2008: alleged failure to diagnose and timely perform surgery to address a small bowel obstruction in a 5–year-old patient. Plaintiff alleged the approximately 6-hour delay taking the patient to surgery caused bowel necrosis and resulting short-gut syndrome. Plaintiff alleged that the codefendant surgeon was an apparent agent of Central DuPage Hospital. At trial Ben defended the codefendant surgeon as to both standard of care and causation, and he also put forward a defense to the apparent agency allegations. Plaintiff asked the jury for approximately $9 million.

RESULTDefense verdict.

Watson v. Edward Hospital 

Joliet - Will County, Illinois – June 2007: alleged wrongful death of 56-year-old man five hours after presenting to ER for back pain. Plaintiff allege that while in ER the patient received too much morphine over too short a time period and was not properly monitored by the nursing staff for signs of respiratory depression. Wife claimed that her husband could barely walk when he left the ER. He was found dead on the couch approximately five hours later, and the autopsy pathologist concluded that the cause of death was “opiate toxicity.” The defense disputed the cause of death and argued that rather than dying after a gradual respiratory depression the patient died from a sudden and unpredictable obstructive sleep apnea. Plaintiff asked the jury for $6 million.

RESULTDefense verdict.

Sbarboro v. Dr. Raghu Vollala 

Chicago - Cook County – May 2007: alleged failure to timely diagnose and treat a dissecting aortic aneurysm resulting in death of 49-year-old man who presented to the ER complaining of chest pain radiating to the back. Plaintiff criticized both the ER doctor and the admitting internist for continuing work-up to rule out an MI after several cardiac enzymes came back negative and the patient continued to make complaints consistent with an aortic dissection. The defense acknowledged in retrospect the symptoms were caused by an aortic dissection but countered that the patient did not have the typical signs and symptoms associated with a dissection and that it was reasonable to suspect an MI give the patient’s family history. Plaintiff asked the jury for $8 million.

RESULTDefense verdict

Brown v. Edward Hospital

Joliet - Will County – January 2007: alleged failure to monitor post-spine fusion surgical patient (41YO) while on PCA pump resulting in hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Plaintiff alleged that med/surg nurse failed to monitor and record patient’s respiratory rate despite standing PCA order to do so resulting in permanent brain damage. Plaintiff further alleged that when patient was given the drug Narcan to reverse the effects of the Morphine he experienced explosive diarrhea that was not properly cleaned up resulting in a deep wound infection and failed back syndrome requiring multiple additional surgeries. Plaintiff asked the jury for $18 million.

RESULTDefense verdict

Cook v. Sunrise Hospital 

Las Vegas – Clark County – March 2006: 48-year-old woman suffered below-the-knee amputation following spinal fusion surgery. Both the orthopedic surgeon and vascular surgeon testified that they asked for a C-arm during the surgery but was told it was not available. The surgeons were originally named as defendants than were dropped after they gave their depositions and criticized the hospital. The surgeons claimed that because of the unavailable C-arm they were unable to visualize the patient’s vasculature below the knee and unable to diagnose a massive blood clot. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury for $8.5 million.

RESULTDefense Verdict.

Benson v. Michael Reese Hospital (co-chair with David Hall) 

Chicago - Cook County – January 2006: alleged failure by resident and ICU nurse to appropriately monitor post neuro-surgical patient. Approximately 24 hours after surgery to evacuate a subdural hematoma the patient (32-year-old male) was found unresponsive and it was determined he had experienced a brain stem stroke resulting in profound neurological injuries. Plaintiff alleged that the ICU resident failed to adequately monitor and report to the attending the amount of CSF drainage from the head drain resulting in a gradually increasing intracranial pressure. Plaintiff further alleged that the ICU nurse failed to report various vital signs falling outside of the parameters set forth in a physician order. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury for $27 million.

RESULTDefense verdict.  

Longnecker v. Loyola University Medical Center 

Chicago - Cook County – December 2005: alleged wrongful death of 58-year-old following heart transplant surgery. Plaintiff alleged that the donor heart selected by Loyola was diseased and should have been rejected. The transplant surgeon noted in his operative note that he visibly observed significant left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) and coronary artery disease (CAD) upon inspection of the heart when it arrived at Loyola, but by then his only option was to go forward with the surgery. The autopsy confirmed significant LVH and CAD. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury for $11 million.

RESULTPlaintiff’s verdict $2.7 millionSubsequently overturned by trial judge granting JNOV. Thereafter JNOV reversed by appellate court.   

Garry v. Sunrise Hospital 

Las Vegas – Clark County – May 2005: 57-year-old woman suffered below-the-knee amputation following spinal fusion surgery. Plaintiff alleged that the PACU nursing staff failed to adequately monitor the patient’s distal pulses despite a physician order to do so. Plaintiff claimed that the distal pulses were not monitored for a 12-hour period and as a result the patient experienced irreversible ischemia of the left lower extremity. The (now defunct) Nevada Medical Dental Screening Panel found “reasonable probability” of malpractice as the PACU nursing staff and plaintiff’s counsel repeatedly made reference to this finding during the trial. Defense contended that the PACU nurses did check the distal pulses, even though the assessments were not documented. Defense also argued that the patient’s complication was due primarily to the diseased microvasculature in her leg caused by years of heavy smoking. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury for over $6 million.

RESULTDefense verdict.

Gaugler v. Sunrise Hospital

Las Vegas – Clark County – July 2004: alleged nursing negligence in connection with a fall and hip fracture and the development of decubitous ulcers. Plaintiff alleged that the nurses failed to implement adequate fall and skin risk precautions. Plaintiff suffered a hip fracture and facial contusion. Following the surgical repair of the hip fracture, the patient developed pressure sores on his coccyx and both heels. Plaintiff’s pre-trial settlement demand was $800,000. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury for over $2 million.

RESULTPlaintiff’s verdict $220,000.

Winick v. Sunrise Hospital

Las Vegas – Clark County – April 2004: alleged permanent nerve damage caused by nursing staff’s failure to timely recognize and manage a groin hematoma following cardiac catheterization. At trial Ben had to overcome the fact that the attending cardiologist co-defendant criticized the nursing staff for failing to notify him sooner about the hematoma. After the co-defendant criticized the nurses he was dismissed from the case during trial. Plaintiff was a successful stock broker who claimed he could no longer work. His damage claim was based primarily upon subjective complaints of sexual dysfunction and economic damages. Plaintiff asked jury for $4.7 million.

RESULTDefense verdict.  

Moore v. Sunrise Hospital

Las Vegas – Clark County – January 2004: admitted liability case where nurse initiated tube feedings into a misplaced Dobbhoff feeding tube that was in the patient’s lung. The plaintiff, a retired Methodist minister employed as a relief pastor at the hospital, suffered respiratory distress and had to be placed on a ventilator for twelve days in the ICU. Plaintiff alleged permanent lung and vocal cord damage. Defense admitted liability but contested the nature/extent of the plaintiff’s injuries. Plaintiff’s pre-trial demand was $400,000 and plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury for $500,000. The hospital’s pre-trial offer was $100,000. 

RESULTPlaintiff’s verdict $100,000.

Karas v. Resurrection Medical Center

Chicago - Cook County – October 2003: alleged wrongful death of 49-year-old woman due to a misplaced pacemaker lead and inadequate monitoring of the patient’s cardiac function following the pacemaker placement. Within one year of the pacemaker’s insertion, the patient died suddenly due to heart failure. After obtaining summary judgment on the direct nursing negligence allegations prior to trial, Ben defended the hospital at trial solely on the theory of apparent agency. Plaintiff asked the jury for $7 million. 

RESULTDirected verdict for hospital on apparent agency theory.

Corcoran v. Resurrection Medical Center

Chicago - Cook County – September 2003: Premises liability action involving a patient who slipped and fell at the hospital sustaining a spiral fracture of the hip. Plaintiff claims that she rang for the nurses several times and when they did not respond, she ambulated to the hallway unassisted and slipped and fell on a food substance in the hallway. Plaintiff alleged that the hospital negligently failed to clean the hallway thereby causing a dangerous condition on the premises. Plaintiff had to undergo three surgeries and extensive physical therapy in connection with the hip fracture. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury for $600,000. 

RESULTDefense verdict.

Heastie v. Olympia Fields Medical Center (2nd chair with Michael Prangle)

Chicago - Cook County – July 2003: alleged nursing negligence in connection with an intoxicated patient who set himself on fire while in four-point restraints. Patient had multiple prior visits to the ER for alcohol intoxication. The nursing staff failed to perform a contraband search to remove a lighter in the patient’s pocket prior to placing him in restraints. The patient apparently set his restraints on fire causing severe burns over 25% of his body, including his hands, arms, abdomen, groin and penis. The incident received significant media attention and resulted in the firing of two of the nurses involved in the restraint procedure. Plaintiff’s pre-trial demand was $8 million. 

RESULTDefense verdict.

Samudio v. Central DuPage Hospital

Chicago - Cook County – April 2003: alleged failure to diagnose and treat a parasitic infection leading to claimed brain damage of 30-year-old man. Ben defended two hospital-employed family practice physicians who treated the plaintiff for a seizure disorder. At trial there were multiple medical experts in the areas of infectious disease, neurosurgery, neuropsychology, radiology and neurology. 

RESULTDefense verdict.

Jones v. Michael Reese Hospital (2nd chair with Michael Prangle)

Chicago - Cook County – January 2003: alleged failure to timely diagnose an arterial infection that ultimately lead to an above the knee amputation. Following a cardiac catheterization procedure the patient developed swelling and pain in the right thigh and groin. Plaintiff alleged that the attendings, interns, residents, fellows and nurses failed to diagnose an infected pseudo aneurysm and abscess. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury for $17 million. The hospital’s pre-trial offer was $1 million.

RESULTPlaintiff’s verdict $3.5 millionBecause all of the co-defendants reached settlement agreements while the jury was out, the hospital had a $2.8 million setoff. Thus the hospital ultimately had to pay $700,000.

Kawamoto v. Hoffman Estates Medical Center

Chicago - Cook County – September 2002: alleged unnecessary surgery to remove a nonexistence kidney stone in a 48-year-old woman. Plaintiff alleged that the nursing staff negligently failed to strain the plaintiff’s urine in violation of a physician’s order. Because of the alleged nursing negligence plaintiff underwent an unnecessary procedure to remove a nonexistence stone. Plaintiff claimed that as a result of the surgery she experienced painful urination, abdominal pain and emotional distress.

RESULTDefense verdict.

Lorence v. Central DuPage Hospital (2nd chair with David Hall)

Chicago - Cook County – November 2000: alleged wrongful death of 18-month-old child the day after a clinic visit. Plaintiff alleged that the family practice doctors failed to recognize and treat severe dehydration. On Christmas morning, one day after the clinic visit, the toddler was found dead in her crib. The defense disputed the cause of death and both sides had pathology experts. Defense had to overcome the death certificate which supported plaintiff’s theory. Plaintiff’s counsel asked for $5 million.

RESULTDefense verdict.  

Doyle v. Resurrection Medical Center (2nd chair)

Chicago - Cook County – December 1999: alleged wrongful death of 73-year-old patient following hip replacement surgery. Plaintiff alleged that the nursing staff failed to monitor and diagnose severe hypoxia and provide supplemental oxygen causing coma and death. Plaintiff relied primarily on a post-op pulse oximetry reading of 57%. Defense contended that the pulse oximetry reading must have been an error and disputed the cause of death. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury for $2 million. 

RESULTDefense verdict.

Carter v. Blow-Knox Mfr. (2nd chair)

Chicago - Cook County – September 1996: product liability action involving alleged wrongful death of 57-year-old construction worker who was crushed by a road widener. Plaintiff alleged that the hydrostatic transmission failed thereby allowing the parking brake to let loose and the machine pinned the plaintiff’s decedent against a chain link fence. Plaintiff was survived by his wife and five children. Plaintiff’s pre-trial demand was $2.5 million. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury for $6.5 million. 

RESULTHung jury (11-1 for plaintiff).

Gaffney v. City of Chicago (2nd chair)

Chicago - Cook County – May 1996: negligent entrustment action contending that a Chicago Police officer failed to lock his service revolver thereby allowing his 14-yeard-old son to gain access to the weapon. His son then went to a party and fatally shot a 13-year-old. Plaintiff alleged that the officer had a duty to lock his weapon away and/or place a trigger lock. Plaintiff further contended that the officer’s negligence was committed within the scope of his employment. This was Ben’s first jury trial. Just two years out of law school, Ben gave the opening statement in a packed courtroom that included reporters. The trial received front-page media attention in both the Chicago Sun Times and Chicago Tribune. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury for $12 million.

RESULTPlaintiff’s verdict for $1.5 million.

Locations

Chicago, Illinois
200 South Wacker Drive
Suite 3300
312.345.9600
Tampa, Florida
3507 East Frontage Road
Suite 140
813.282.0800
Pensacola, Florida
3 West Garden Street
Suite 714
850.462.9520

As a member of the catastrophic trial team  Benjamin E. Patterson is available to practice in all of our offices and across the country, on a case by case basis.

Education

Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., High Honors, Order of the Coif (1993)

The Ohio State University, B.A./B.S., Evans Scholar (1989)

bar admissions

Illinois (1993)

Nevada (2003)

Florida (2010)

Courts

Illinois Supreme Court (1993)

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (1993)

Nevada Supreme Court (2003)

Florida Supreme Court

Professional and Community Organizations

Illinois State Bar Association