After 11 Years, Tomasik Kotin Kasserman Saves Young Woman's Case and Secures Jury Verdict

Attorney Loren LegorretaAttorney Phil TerrazzinoJasmine Shogren

January 14, 2022 - In 2010, Jasmine Shogren was a 16-year-old teenager in the beginning of what was to be a successful modeling career. Unfortunately, she suffered from a deviated septum, which is a common nasal condition which caused her congestion and affected her sleep.

On July 16th of that year, Jasmine sought care from Dr. Steven Horwitz who performed what should have been a rather routine surgical procedure known as a septoplasty and turbinate reduction. If done properly, this procedure would have corrected Jasmine’s nasal issues. Instead, Dr. Horwitz removed too much tissue from Jasmine’s nose, resulting in a quarter size hole in her septum. As a result, Jasmine will forever suffer from difficulty breathing and daily nasal crustations.

Jasmine’s mom hired an attorney to pursue a medical negligence lawsuit on Jasmine’s behalf. In 2016, that attorney voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit one week before trial. Under Illinois law, that lawsuit must be refiled within one year of its dismissal or it is forever barred. Jasmine’s first lawyer had no intention of refiling the case. As a result, on the eve of the deadline in 2017, Jasmine was forced to refile the case herself. This is known as a pro se lawsuit.

It is extremely rare and exceedingly difficult for a non-lawyer plaintiff to succeed in prosecuting and presenting any lawsuit to a jury without assistance of counsel. For such a person to successfully try a medical malpractice case would be nearly impossible. Fortunately, Jasmine did not have to take on this task. Jasmine was referred to Tomasik Kotin Kasserman, and in December 2021, 11 ½ years after her botched surgery, Jasmine finally got her day in court.

Tomasik Kotin Kasserman partner, Phil Terrazzino, and associate, Loren Legorreta, tried Jasmine’s case to a Cook County jury in front of Judge Patricia Sheahan. Dr. Horwitz and his lawyers argued that he did not remove too much tissue, that this outcome can happen without any negligence, and that Jasmine’s condition now is no worse than it was before the surgery. But Jasmine, now a mature 28-year-old woman, was able to refute their defense and tell the jury, in extraordinary detail, how every day is a struggle from the moment she awakes until she goes to bed at night.

On December 17, 2021, the jury of 7 men and 5 women returned a verdict of $188,000.00. Of that number, $120,000.00 was earmarked to compensate Jasmine for her loss of a normal life.

“Jasmine was malpracticed by her surgeon when she was a child and then abandoned by her first lawyer years later,” said Legorreta. “She should be credited for having the guts to refile the case herself, and my firm should be credited for taking on such an old and unprepared case. Most law firms would have declined.”

Said Terrazzino, “When you look at Jasmine, she appears fine. She’s a hard working woman who will not let her permanent injury stop her from leading her life. But she opened up to the jury, and we are thankful that the 12 men and women understood her.”

There will be no appeal of the judgment. The verdict has been paid in full, and Jasmine feels that justice has finally been done.

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