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Chrystal Kolinski vs. Sean Kobin


Injuries claimed: Caustic chemical injuries to mouth, esophagus and stomach

Court: Milwaukee County Circuit Court

Case name: Chrystal Kolinski vs. Sean Kobin

Case number: 05-CV-10176

Judge: Thomas R. Cooper

Verdict & settlement: Verdict in favor of plaintiff

Award: $2,395,137

Special damages: $394,735

Date of incident: Nov. 8, 2005

Disposition date: Judgment docketed on Jan. 14, 2009

Original filing date: Nov. 17, 2005

Plaintiffs attorney (firm): Paul J. Scoptur, Aiken & Scoptur, SC, Milwaukee

Defendants attorney (firm): Patrick C. Miller, Miller & Ogorchock, SC, Milwaukee (from Dec. 30, 2005 – Feb. 6, 2006); Michael F. Hart, Kohler & Hart, LLP, Milwaukee; Sean Kobin, pro se

Insurance carrier: None

Plaintiffs expert witnesses: Dr. Kulwinder Dua, Medical College of Wisconsin

Plaintiff counsel’s summary of the facts: On Nov. 8, 2005, defendant, Sean Kobin, met the plaintiff, Chrystal Kolinski, at her place of employment and requested that she drink a harmless mixture in exchange for $20. The liquid that was provided to her was a combination of water and the caustic component found in concentrated drain cleaners: sodium hydroxide. Kobin intentionally provided a harmful chemical to Chrystal Kolinski, with the intention of causing pain and suffering to her for his sexual gratification. Kolinski relied upon Kobin’s assurances that the liquid was safe and non-toxic. After taking a drink of the fluid, Kolinski was lying on the ground in severe pain and vomiting blood, and the defendant videotaped the incident. As a result of ingesting the sodium hydroxide that was provided to her by Kobin, Kolinski suffered severe burns to her lips, mouth, esophagus and stomach.

Emergency personnel were called, and she was transported via ambulance to St. Michael’s Hospital. She arrived complaining of abdominal, chest and esophogeal pain. Tests done found that she suffered caustic chemical injuries to her mouth, esophagus, stomach and digestive tract. She also suffered dehydration, had erosive gastric ulceration, oropharyngeal ulcers and ulceration of the esophageal lining. She also had severe airway swelling, and a tracheotomy tray was kept at her bedside for use at a moment’s notice. A week following the injury, Kolinski was transferred to Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital. Kolinski was an inpatient at Froedtert from Nov. 15 – 29, 2005, and also Jan. 18 – Feb. 5, 2006. She has undergone numerous surgical procedures, and since the injury, has had 32 dilatations of her esophagus alone. Her doctor has indicated that her corrosive injuries are permanent and that she has a higher likelihood to develop esophageal cancer as a result of her injuries.

Pre-trial motions: Motion for summary judgment

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