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WM’s Frank Morrissey Secures $1.7 Million Settlement for Psychiatric Unit Fight Injury

CHICAGO — Francis P. Morrissey, a partner with Wise Morrissey, LLC, reached a $1.7 million settlement on June 10, 2015, for his client in a medical malpractice and premises liability case arising from a fight involving two patients in a psychiatric unit.

Morrissey’s client, Christy Gerst, is the guardian of Youra Benofamil, 65, a disabled person who was injured eight years ago in St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois.

Suffering from severe depression, Benofamil voluntarily admitted himself to the hospital’s psychiatric department. While in the unit, another patient with a long history of mental illness began arguing with Benofamil in the common area. The argument escalated into a fight and Benofamil was struck in the head multiple times. A subdural hematoma and brain injury resulted.

Benofamil will need to reside in an assisted living center for the rest of his life. An annuity purchased by the defendant will pay out more than $2.4 million in benefits.

Morrissey argued on behalf of his client that the hospital failed to provide a safe environment for its psychiatric patients. The hospital contended that the fight between the patients was unforeseeable and that the other patient was an intervening cause of the injury.

Since 2009, Morrissey has been recognized as an Illinois Super Lawyer. He also has been named a Leading Lawyer by his Illinois peers in both general personal injury law and professional malpractice. For more information about Frank Morrisey, please view his professional credentials.