Adams vs. Ramada O'Hare Hotel , 02 L3029 (Court Cook County, IL., Law Div.)
In this extraordinary trial, the plaintiff was a 65 year-old grandmother who looked and sounded like June Cleaver from Leave it to Beaver. Mr. Standa represented the defendant Ramada Hotels, and Ramada admitted negligence. In fact, Ramada admitted it had not repaired a frayed lamp cord, and admitted Mrs. Adams had stepped on it and received an electric shock. It appeared that the only issue was how much the jury would give Mrs. Adams. She had eleven years of medical bills, and she asked for $800,000 in damages. The case was tried before a Cook County jury, and Cook County is known as the Land That Plaintiffs Love. So Ramada Hotels, a well-known deep pocket corporation, appeared to be in deep trouble.
Nevertheless, Mr. Standa discovered records showing Mrs. Adams had no symptoms and no complaints for 48 hours after the incident, and that her symptoms were virtually the same as her pre-existing history, including left leg pain, numbness and tingling, psychological problems, memory loss, cognitive impairments, and fatigue. Indeed, Mrs. Adams was impeached with medical records from her physical therapist, which were in the plaintiffs own handwriting, and refuted her unqualified assertion that she was 100% healed and totally symptom free for over a month prior to stepping on the lamp cord.
In addition, Mr. Standa discovered that her doctor was making movies in Hollywood and had been disciplined by the Texas Board of Medical Examiners, a fact that Mrs. Adam's own lawyers were not aware of. Mr. Standa then called a prominent neuropsychologist who testified that the plaintiff was malingering or suffering from somatoform disorder, which caused her to consciously or subconsciously attribute her symptoms to the lamp cord incident.
After 10 days of trial, the jury started its deliberations a few minutes before noon. Shortly after 1 p.m., the jury came back with the verdict. They rejected the Plaintiff's request for $800,000. Mr. Standa had achieved a not guilty verdict based on his causation defense, for his client Ramada Hotel and its insurance carrier, AIG.