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9191 Broadway
Merrillville, IN, 46410
United States

219-769-1313

Burke Costanza & Carberry LLP your smart choice for lawyers in Northwest Indiana. Our full-service law firm has offices in Merrillville and Valparaiso Indiana as well as one in Chicago Illinois. At BCC, our lawyers pride themselves on being able to provide a wide range of legal services to our clients, who benefit from the depth and experience we provide from top to bottom.

The main practice groups at Burke Costanza & Carberry LLP are: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Commercial Services, Civil Litigation, and Business and Personal Services.

Our attorneys represent businesses and government entities in the following areas: Business Planning, Commercial Law, Construction, Labor & Employment, Governmental Entities, Healthcare, Labor, Pension Profit-sharing & Employee Benefits, Real Estate, Taxation, and Worker's Compensation.

Our lawyers also represent individuals in matters such as Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Immigration, Family Law, Probate Administration, Real Estate, and Taxation.

Burke Costanza & Carberry LLP is a well-rounded firm with strong roots in Northwest Indiana that is focused primarily on our lawyers providing clients with the highest quality legal service in a broad range of practice areas.

Litigation Blog

Bifurcating Civil Rights Lawsuits Saves Taxpayers' Money

Alfredo Estrada

John Bushemi and Alfredo Estrada successfully won an order for bifurcation while defending a 4th Amendment civil rights lawsuit filed against the Lake County Sheriff’s Department in Price v. Lake County.  The bifurcation requires Plaintiffs who alleged false arrest and excess force violations to first prove whether any constitutional rights were violated by arresting officers before having the right to trial against the Lake County Sheriff’s Department on what are known as Monell government policy claims.  Thus, the trial is separated into two parts so that litigating the case on the Monell government policy claim is stayed and cancelled unless Plaintiffs prove their constitutional rights were violated.  A primary purpose of bifurcation is to avoid significant costs in defending against the Monell government policy claims.  Civil rights lawsuits are frequently filed against local governments and their employees and the vast majority of them are dismissed as groundless only after significant cost of defense for taxpayers.

Many factors are weighed by courts in deciding whether bifurcation is proper, but in the instant case, significant cost savings to Lake County taxpayers played a key role.  The court stated “Bifurcating the Monell claims against the Sheriff’s Department will ….avoid spending taxpayer money to unnecessarily defend against Monell claims if Plaintiffs are unable to prove” that their constitutional rights were violated by an arresting officer.

“Bifurcation is a tactical weapon of great value to local governments because it avoids the needless cost of a second trial against county government if the Plaintiffs’ claims against arresting officers are proved groundless” attorney Estrada concluded.  The Opinion and Order in the Price case is published at leagle.com. 

Alfredo Estrada is a former steelworker and a life-long resident of Northwest Indiana. He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Valparaiso University School of Law.  His practice focuses on municipal defense, civil litigation, business law, and immigration. 

Successful Defense of a Neurosurgeon

Robert F. Parker

Bob Parker and Mike Bolde successfully defended a neurosurgeon in a medical malpractice case arising out of the death of a patient who suffered a fatal heart attack in the recovery room following spinal surgery. The claim was that the defendant failed to properly conduct a pre-operative evaluation to assess the patient's fitness for the extensive surgery. After a seven-day trial, a Lake County jury deliberated 3-1/2 hours before returning a unanimous defense verdict.

Million Dollar Recovery

Robert F. Parker

Burke Costanza & Carberry partner Robert F. Parker recently recovered a settlement of almost $1.1 million for a Crown Point man who was injured during gallbladder surgery.

What was supposed to be a routine outpatient procedure to remove the patient’s gallbladder – one of the most common surgical procedures performed in the United States – turned into a lengthy hospital stay, including transfer to a Chicago hospital where a complicated repair surgery was performed to reconstruct the patient’s biliary tract.

In the subsequent medical malpractice lawsuit, Parker recovered the maximum amount allowable by Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Act from the surgeon who performed the original procedure, and an additional $900,000 from the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund, the agency at the Department of Insurance that provides compensation to patients who are victims of medical malpractice in Indiana.

Interestingly enough, the patient had been to three other attorneys who declined to take his case before he was referred to BCC.

Settlement Won In Tavern Liability Case

John P. Bushemi

John P. Bushemi won settlement of a tavern liquor liability case for a Merrillville man who suffered serious injuries as a passenger in a car crash.  The passenger’s settlement exceeding $1,000,000 was paid by the insurance company for a local tavern where the intoxicated driver was served alcoholic beverages prior to the crash.  Evidence indicated that the bartender served two (2) beers to the visibly intoxicated driver prior to him leaving the bar.  Witnesses reported the driver later was traveling at a high rate of speed, weaving in and out of traffic and drove off the roadway and crashed into a tree.  Tests showed the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .247- three (3) times the legal limit in Indiana.  The passenger suffered a traumatic brain injury, fractured pelvis, hip socket and jaw and a ruptured bladder.  Medical expenses exceeded $800,000 in the case. 

Indiana’s “Dram Shop Law” provides that bars, taverns, clubs and others who furnish alcoholic beverages to a visibly intoxicated person are liable for deaths, injuries, and damages caused by the intoxicated person.  Attorney Bushemi stated: “The state legislative policy is that businesses that serve alcoholic beverages are accountable for the consequences of serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person.  The public has a legal right to be free from the hazards of serving alcohol to intoxicated persons.”  Indiana’s statute imposes liability for furnishing “one more drink” to a visibly intoxicated person who causes harm.  Attorney Bushemi is available for consultation on tavern liability cases.

Successful Defense Of An Ophthalmologist

Robert F. Parker

Congratulations to BCC partner Bob Parker and associate Mike Bolde for their successful defense of an ophthalmologist in a medical malpractice case. The week long trial in Elkhart County, IN included testimony by experts from New Jersey, Illinois, Texas, Arizona, and California, and ended with a unanimous jury verdict in favor of our client.

The case involved a claim by a young woman who suffered a complete loss of vision in one eye, and contended that it resulted from the ophthalmologist's failure to promptly diagnose and treat a rare and devastating eye disease.