Woman accuses lawyers of pressuring her into settling suit over husband's death

By Annie Cosby | Nov 10, 2014


A woman is suing over claims she was pressured by her lawyers into settling her wrongful death claims for a fraction of the true settlement value.

Susan Chisum, as special administrator and representative of the estate of Robert Chisum, filed a lawsuit Oct. 29 in Cook County Circuit Court against Brian J. McKeen, McKeen & Associates, Joseph E. Kolar, and Baizer Kolar & Lewis, alleging legal malpractice.

According to the complaint, Robert was at a car dealership on Feb. 25, 2008, when he slipped on ice and hit his head. After reportedly negative CT scans at Highland Park Hospital, the complaint states he was discharged with a diagnosis of a concussion.

Chisum claims Robert experienced nausea, vomiting and trouble speaking on Feb. 27, 2008, before being found unresponsive. He was taken to Highland Park Hospital, and was then transferred to Evanston Hospital, where a CT scan showed a displacement of the brain and a subdural hematoma, according to the suit that notes he died Feb. 28, 2008.

Chisum retained the defendant law firms and lawyers to bring claims stemming from her husband's death and contends McKeen told her the case had a settlement value of $2 million, but would ask for $10 million if it went to trial.

Chism asserts the defendants, however, failed to name the car dealership where Robert was injured in the wrongful death lawsuit, despite having sent a letter of intent to the dealership.

Among other acts of alleged malpractice, Chism claims the defendants forced her to participate in a mediation on Oct. 31, 2012. She says she felt coerced into settling her claims for $650,000.

Chisum is seeking more than $2 million in damages and is represented by attorney Jefferey Ogden Katz of The Patterson Law Firm in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court case number: 2014L011216.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt and it represents only one side of the story.

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