Chicago Lawyer Names Power Rogers & Smith as Top Finisher in its 2012 Settlement Survey
Power Rogers & Smith tops the list for highest number of settlement dollars again in 2012, according to the Chicago Lawyer Annual Settlement Survey.* This is the third consecutive year in which Power Rogers & Smith has earned the #1 spot. In fact, Power Rogers & Smith has been ranked first in the Chicago Lawyer Annual Settlement Survey in 7 of the last 13 years, exceeding the qualifying settlements of its closest competitor by over $350 Million since the year 2000.
Joseph A. Power, Jr. and Larry R. Rogers, Sr., founding partners of Power Rogers & Smith, and Steven E. Garstki of Stoller & Garstki earned the highest individual settlement of 2012 for their client Juan Diaz. Mr. Diaz was rendered a quadriplegic when a semitrailer truck driver slammed into the back of Mr. Diaz’s van at a speed upwards of 60 miles per hour. The incident occurred in June of 2008, and on the eve of trial several years later, the defendant driver and trucking company admitted liability for the crash and the parties went to trial solely for a determination of damages. During trial, the parties agreed on a high-low settlement arrangement that created a $25 Million floor and a $50 Million ceiling. Ultimately, the jury returned a verdict of $23 Million, moving the award to a settlement of $25 Million. Power commented, “Juan sustained monumental injuries in this crash and the settlement will ensure that he receives the medical attention that he requires for the rest of his life.”
Todd A. Smith, founding partner of Power Rogers & Smith, and Brian LaCien, had the fourth-highest individual settlement of 2012, when they settled a case on behalf of Gabriella Cedillo for $18.5 Million. Ms. Cedillo suffered severe brain damage when she was serving as an extra during the filming of Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon.” The injury occurred when Ms. Cedillo was driving on one side of a divided highway when a stunt, moving toward her on the opposite side of the highway, failed sending a cable and large metal bracket careening into the opposing lane, smashing through Ms. Cedillo’s windshield and into her head. After moths spent in the hospital and in rehabilitation, Ms. Cedillo is able to walk, talk and feed herself, but the brain damage associated with her head injury causes her to experience constant emotional highs and lows, to hallucinate and hear voices.
*All settlements included in the Chicago Lawyer 2012 Chart were published in the Jury Verdict Reporter or Chicago Daily Law Bulletin between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. The chart only includes settlements that exceed $2 Million.