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WilliamsMcCarthy LLP Attorney James Devine Wins Defense Verdict in Negligence Case

ROCKFORD, Ill. (June 15, 2022) – James Devine recently obtained a defense verdict in McHenry County in a negligence case. The plaintiff in the case suffered a serious ankle injury and alleged that Mr. Devine’s client was legally responsible for his injury. Mr. Devine argued there was no evidence to support the claim of negligence.

The plaintiff was injured while working at Merriehill Farm, a farm dedicated to breeding and raising Dutch harness horses, particularly Morgan horses. The plaintiff was shaving a horse that had been sedated when he was kicked during the procedure.  The plaintiff sustained a trimalleolar fracture of his right ankle. He incurred medical bills totaling about $45,000 and was off work for several months.

The plaintiff claimed that the individual who sedated the horse was negligent and therefore responsible for his injury. However, the horse had been given a sedative based upon information provided by a veterinarian, the horse’s weight, and long-standing custom and practice at the farm.

Mr. Devine acknowledged that the accident was unfortunate and that the plaintiff indeed sustained a serious injury, but argued there was no evidence to support the claim that this injury was the result of negligence.

The court granted Mr. Devine’s Motion for Directed Verdict at the conclusion of the plaintiff’s case, as the court concluded that there was not even a scintilla of evidence to support the claim of negligence.

About WilliamsMcCarthy LLP

WilliamsMcCarthy LLP is a full-service Illinois-based law firm offering a broad array of legal services. Founded in 1932, its practice focus is in the areas of business law, commercial litigation, employment, health care, real estate, wills and trusts, insurance law, personal injury, and intellectual property law. Additional information can be found at

James P. Devine is a partner at WilliamsMcCarthy LLP and has over 30 years of experience representing insurance companies and self-insureds in the defense of common law litigation in state and federal courts in northern Illinois. He can be reached at 815-987-8909 or

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