Patricia Noonan Partner

     

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Patricia Noonan concentrates her practice on the defense of professional liability claims, with an emphasis on legal malpractice, dental malpractice and long-term care litigation. She also has experience in a variety of litigation areas and insurance coverage matters. Patricia has tried numerous cases through verdict and appeals in the Illinois appellate courts and the Illinois Supreme Court. Her insurance clients attribute her numerous successful outcomes in their cases to a creative and innovative approach and her tenacious pursuit of those outcomes.

Patricia actively presents and publishes in the field of legal malpractice. She served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Robert Chapman Buckley of the First District Illinois Appellate Court.

Representative Matters

Federal Court, Northern District of Illinois (concluded May 2018 by Agreed Consent Judgment and defense cost settlement). Defended attorney and law firm alleging legal malpractice and conspiracy to defraud seeking $3.2 million involving implementation of premium financed insurance in the estate planning.  Successfully negotiated a defense cost settlement on legal malpractice allegations and an Agreed Consent Judgment in favor of attorneys on all conspiracy and intentional misconduct allegations. 

Cook County, Commercial Calendar (concluded July 2016 by defense cost settlement). Defended law firm alleging legal malpractice in handling of client’s fraudulent transfer action in Florida federal district court and involuntary bankruptcy proceedings. Successfully obtained partial summary judgment and dismissal with prejudice on related malpractice claims. A defense cost settlement was reached on the remaining legal malpractice claim seeking $2 million in the loss of a privately held stock on eve of trial during the pendency of potentially dispositive motions in limine.

Cook County, Commercial Calendar, First District Appellate Court (concluded September 2015, circuit court’s summary judgment ruling affirmed). Defended appellate attorneys against claims of appellate and trial court malpractice, alleging the loss of an underlying tortious interference with bank lending contracts and the alleged loss of $7 million Chicago River property. Plaintiff demanded law firm’s $5 million policy limits and threatened attorney’s personal assets throughout the litigation. Successfully litigated motions for summary judgment on the outcome of the appeal, duties of the appellate attorneys in the trial court and the merits of the underlying case. First District Appellate Court affirmed summary judgment.

Cook County, Commercial Calendar (concluded November 2014 by voluntary dismissal with prejudice). Defended legal malpractice action alleging law firm negligently prepared a UCC-1 Financing Statement for its client Bank in a multimillion-dollar lending transaction, which allegedly caused the Bank to lose its secured priority status during the borrower’s bankruptcy proceedings. The circuit court originally denied a filed motion to dismiss the action as barred by public policy due to the collusive nature of the underlying settlement agreement between the client Bank and borrowers that included an agreement to jointly pursue a legal malpractice action against their attorneys. After taking depositions of the bankruptcy trustee and others, filed a joint motion to dismiss based on new evidence that the borrowers were the real party in interest and a Rule 137 motion for sanctions. The Plaintiff Bank proposed it would voluntarily dismiss the action in exchange for the law firm’s withdrawal of the motion for sanctions.

Pre-suit claim (concluded September 2014 by settlement). Defended attorney in pre-suit claims by commercial insurance carriers who settled a federal contract action for $175,000 after federal Judge Zagel issued sanctions against the insured and insured’s cumis counsel barring introduction of evidence in the action. Carriers demanded $360,000 for the paid settlement and incurred attorney’s fees. Raised numerous defenses to the threatened legal malpractice action, including the carriers’ lack of standing to bring the claim against cumis counsel. Threatened action settled for $50,000.

Recent Appeals
2015 IL App (1st) 142787. Circuit court’s summary judgment rulings in favor of Chicago law firm affirmed in legal malpractice action alleging loss of an underlying tortious interference with the Plaintiff companies’ lending contracts with a bank and alleging damages in excess of $7 million.

2015 IL App (1st) 123771-U. Appeal of a defense verdict in a dental malpractice action alleging the failure to diagnose oral cancer filed by a well-known journalist represented by Clifford law offices. Plaintiff asked $16 million from the jury. Reversal of defense verdict in Rule 23 Order, remand for a new trial with the exclusion of evidence from five treating physicians in Washington D.C. who examined Plaintiff in same time period. PLA denied May 2016.

2013 IL App (1st) 112763-U. Appeal of circuit court’s summary judgment rulings in favor of nursing home on spoliation of evidence action and lawyers on legal malpractice action on grounds that the underlying wrongful death action plead in third amended complaint was not meritorious. Appellate court found it lacked jurisdiction to hear appeal on grounds that a fourth amended complaint had been file-stamped in the circuit court prior to the circuit court’s summary judgment ruling on the third amended complaint.

387 Ill. App. 3d 1172 (2009). Appeal of a Plaintiff’s verdict in action alleging violation of Nursing Home Care Act and common law negligence. Plaintiff’s verdict affirmed.

221 Ill.2d 195 (2006); 356 Ill. App. 3d 264 (2005). Seminal decision in Illinois ruling that outcome of an appeal in an appellate malpractice action is a question of law for the trial judge. Illinois Appellate Court and Illinois Supreme Court affirmed summary judgment for law firm on grounds that the outcome of the appeal would not have been successful on issue involving the Tort Immunity Act in a $5 million personal injury verdict against municipality.

Recent Trials/Verdicts
Cook County February 2018. Defended dental malpractice action through trial verdict with the plaintiff requesting $206,000 from jury on allegations of dentist’s negligent placement of dental implants. Following a compromised jury verdict of $30, 147, the circuit court entered Judgment  Notwithstanding the Verdict in favor of dentist based on special interrogatories answered by the jury.

Cook County July 2016. Defended law firm alleging legal malpractice in handling of client’s fraudulent transfer action in Florida federal district court and involuntary bankruptcy proceedings in Florida. Defense cost settlement was reached on eve of trial with pending motion in limine to bar Plaintiff’s significant damage claim for $2 million in the loss of a privately held stock.

Cook County June 2015. Defended spoliation of evidence action against nursing home with underlying legal malpractice action alleging the loss of an underlying wrongful death medical malpractice action against physicians and nursing home. Following numerous evidence depositions of underlying treaters and Plaintiff’s medical expert and pending motions in limine, action settled for $270,000.

Cook County March 2015. Defended dental malpractice action through trial verdict, alleging dentist’s negligent placement of implants and restoration. Plaintiff’s verdict for $105,000. Plaintiff requested $565,000 from jury. High-low agreement entered $100,000−$250,000.

Cook County May 2013. Defended dental malpractice action through trial verdict, alleging dentist perforated sinus during wisdom tooth extraction. Plaintiff’s verdict for $95,000. Plaintiff requested pretrial $300,000.

Cook County September 2007. Defended medical malpractice action alleging failure to diagnose Plaintiff’s progressive neurological condition. Codefendant settled for $3 million the day before trial. Pending a motion in limine to bar Plaintiff’ expert’s opinions against Internist, Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed action against Internist on day of trial.

LaSalle County July 2004. Prosecuted a subrogation action through day three of trial on behalf of insurer of hotel in Peoria, involving property loss after sprinkler system malfunctioned. Obtained $350,000 settlement from defendant sprinkler company on trial day three, together with pretrial settlements against two other defendants totaling $510,000.

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois. Bifurcated bench trial before Judge Patrick Murphy on liability issues. Plaintiff alleged law firm, in underlying medical malpractice action, failed to name visiting nurses following Plaintiff’s discharge from hospital, resulting a defense verdict in favor of hospital and physicians. In legal malpractice action, Plaintiff demanded $6 million for lost verdict for personal injuries involving the amputation of the young plaintiff’s leg. Case settled after trial on liability for $2 million.