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stack of documentsAfter a plaintiff initiates a lawsuit, the matter typically proceeds to the discovery phase, during which the parties will request and produce information, evidence, and documents about the claim and the allegations. Although the process can be straightforward, there are often disputes and issues about whether a piece of evidence should be produced or not. As seasoned Chicago wrongful death lawyers, we have substantial experience navigating discovery issues. As a recent Illinois appellate opinion demonstrates, the resolution of discovery disputes can have serious consequences for a plaintiff’s claim.

In the case, the defendant claimed that certain documents that the plaintiff sought through discovery were confidential and should not be produced in discovery. According to the defendant, which was a hospital, the Illinois Medical Studies Act required the court to deny the plaintiff’s motion requesting that the court issue an order compelling production of the documents.

The plaintiff was admitted to the defendant’s hospital facility while she was 30 weeks pregnant. The baby was born on the same day but experienced a number of medical issues. She died shortly thereafter. The plaintiff initiated an inquiry into whether appropriate medical care was rendered, and an internal review process began. The review was coordinated by a designated liaison and involved commentary and analysis from other expert peer reviewers in the same specialty as the physician who treated the plaintiff and her baby.

back painWorkers’ compensation claims can be stressful and complicated, especially if you are attempting to navigate the process on your own. The following opinion demonstrates how an experienced and dedicated Illinois work injury lawyer can help you ensure that you receive the full amount of benefits you deserve from the beginning while avoiding unnecessary delays.

A claimant sought an adjustment of his claim pursuant to the Illinois workers’ compensation laws, asking for benefits for injuries that he suffered on June 2, 2008, and on March 23, 2009. The claims were consolidated and then decided during an arbitration. The arbitrator concluded that the claimant’s injuries occurred during the course and scope of his occupation on the two dates and awarded temporary total disability benefits to the claimant, as well as medical expenses. The arbitrator denied the claimant’s request for payment of his attorney’s fees and payment of penalties. Additionally, the arbitrator awarded the claimant wage differential benefits but rejected the claimant’s request regarding how the benefits should be calculated.

The claimant was working as a pastor at the time the injuries took place, and his employer was aware of this additional occupation. According to the claimant, the benefits should include his salary as a pastor for the purpose of calculating the amount of weekly benefits he was entitled to receive. The arbitrator rejected this reasoning, concluding that the claimant failed to prove that his employer knew he was being compensated for his work as a pastor at the time the injuries occurred.

bicycle against wallDangerous and defective products lead to some of the most serious injuries, often leaving a victim with life-long impacts and disabilities. In our increasingly globalized world, many of the products that we use on a daily basis come from foreign companies and manufacturers. As the following case demonstrates, bringing a product liability or negligence claim against a foreign defendant can be tricky, which is why it is critical to consult with a seasoned Chicago product liability attorney if you believe that you are owed compensation for an injury.

A plaintiff alleged that she suffered injuries as a result of using one of the defendant’s bicycles during a 468-mile ride event. According to her complaint, the front fork of the bicycle broke while the plaintiff was riding it, causing her to fall during the race in Iowa. The plaintiff alleged that the bike was manufactured by a Taiwanese company and sold throughout the United States by a Virginia-based company. The plaintiff purchased the bicycle from an authorized dealer in Illinois. Prior to the race, the plaintiff had taken the bicycle to a shop in Illinois.

The manufacturer was notified of service through the Illinois Secretary of State. The manufacturer responded to the plaintiff’s complaint, which included counts of negligence, strict liability, and breach of express warranty, by filing a motion to quash service. The defendant claimed that it was not required to register with the Illinois Secretary of State, rendering service on the Secretary ineffective. Also, the entity claimed that it had not transacted business in the state of Illinois, which it contended also invalidated the plaintiff’s attempt to effect service of process through the Illinois Secretary of State.

Empty Exam RoomMedical malpractice cases can be some of the most complex and detail-focused types of personal injury actions. As the following case illustrates, consulting with a knowledgeable Illinois medical malpractice lawyer can help you ensure that you protect your legal rights and interests throughout the course of the lawsuit.

According to the appellate court’s opinion, the plaintiff brought a lawsuit against a number of defendants, asserting causes of action for medical negligence, common law fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty. As the complaint stated, the plaintiff suffered brain damage following his attempted suicide while he was receiving inpatient care at one of the defendant’s establishments. The defendant hired a controlled medical expert pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 213(F)(3) to examine the plaintiff, and the expert determined that the injury did not occur in relation to the plaintiff’s suicide attempt at the establishment.

The medical defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, which the lower court granted. It concluded that a patient-physician relationship did not exist between the plaintiff and the defendants, including the controlled expert, and that as a result, the defendants did not owe the plaintiff a duty of care. The plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file a second amended complaint, and the lower court denied the motion. The plaintiff appealed. To support their argument, the defendants included an affidavit from the doctor, indicating that he was retained as an expert witness by the defendant.

spiral wooden staircaseOne of the most common types of premises liability cases that we handle as Chicago personal injury attorneys are cases involving faulty or dangerous staircases. In a recent Illinois Court of Appeal opinion, the plaintiff alleged that she suffered injuries when she fell down a staircase comprised of 15 wooden steps. The plaintiff alleged that her injuries occurred because the staircase did not contain a handrail on both sides of the stairs. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the property owners, alleging that they failed to meet their duty of care in ensuring that the staircase was safe and that they failed to provide adequate warnings about the staircase’s alleged danger. As far as injuries, the plaintiff suffered a fracture that required surgery and incurred a total of $240,000 in medical costs, according to her complaint.

During the discovery phase of the trial, the plaintiff testified that she could not identify or recall what caused her to lose her balance and fall down the staircase. The plaintiff testified instead that she recalled “flying through the air trying to get my grip or balance myself” but that there wasn’t anything for her to grab. The plaintiff also testified that she believed she would have been able to regain her balance had there been a handrail for her to grab. The plaintiff presented a building inspector as a witness who inspected the stairway. He provided an expert opinion indicating that the lack of adequate handrails violated Chicago’s Municipal Code 13-160-320(a) and 13-160-320(b).

The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, stating that the fact that the plaintiff did not know what caused her fall precluded her from proving that her injuries were a result of the defendant’s alleged negligence. The plaintiff refuted this, stating that her testimony regarding the impact of the inadequate handrails created a question of material fact rendering summary judgment inappropriate. The lower court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

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Gold shopping cartsGoing up against big corporations and businesses can be intimidating, especially if you are entitled to compensation for painful injuries that you sustained as a result of their negligence. At Therman Law Offices, our Chicago premises liability lawyers represent slip and fall accident victims and aren’t afraid to provide the tenacious and assertive legal representation that a powerful defendant may require.

Slip and fall cases are common in a bustling state like Illinois. A recent Illinois appellate court opinion considered the liability of a large national retailer for a customer’s slip and fall injuries. In her complaint, the plaintiff alleged that she slipped and fell on a pool of liquid that had accumulated on the retail establishment’s floor. The plaintiff asserted a claim for basic negligence and a claim based on the Illinois Premises Liability Act. The defendant denied the allegations in the complaint and asserted an affirmative defense, contending that it could not be held liable for the plaintiff’s injuries because she slipped on what it described as “a natural accumulation of ice, snow or rainwater.”

The litigation proceeded to discovery, and the record included evidence suggesting that it was snowing on the day the incident occurred, that the shopping carts stored outside were covered in ice and snow, and that the defendant’s employees brought these carts into the store, where the water and melting ice accumulated.

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cracked city sidewalkAs seasoned Chicago personal injury lawyers, we have assisted many Illinois residents with seeking compensation after suffering injuries due to someone else’s carelessness. One of the most common types of claims that we handle is a slip and fall case. Although these actions may seem straightforward, they can become rather complicated. In a recent Illinois Court of Appeal opinion, the plaintiff suffered injuries when she tripped and fell on a sidewalk in front of a restaurant. The plaintiff brought a personal injury action against the restaurant, alleging that she sustained injuries as a result of an uneven sidewalk in front of the restaurant. The husband joined the lawsuit, asserting a claim for loss of consortium. The plaintiffs also sued the City of Chicago.

During the discovery phase of the litigation, the plaintiffs filed a motion to compel discovery from the City on a variety of issues. The plaintiffs sought customer service records regarding the property, licensing documents from the City, a stipulation that the City had no pending plans to repair the sidewalk, a list of all of the employees who worked at the restaurant, all permitting documents regarding the property, any citations that the restaurant received in the years prior to the incident, and other documents. The City produced reports regarding complaints associated with the sidewalk but declined to produce any additional documents. The trial court denied the plaintiff’s motion to compel, and the court did not include a hearing transcript or other information regarding the arguments that the parties submitted at the motion hearing.

The defendants both moved for summary judgment soon thereafter. The City alleged that it did not owe a duty to the plaintiff because the sidewalk defect was negligible and that there was no evidence in the record that the City had knowledge or should have had knowledge of the defect. The lower court granted both the City’s and the restaurant’s motions for summary judgment, indicating that the plaintiffs failed to provide evidence indicating that the City had actual or constructive notice of the sidewalk’s alleged defects. The plaintiffs filed a motion seeking a reconsideration of the lower court’s rulings on the motions and a motion to reopen discovery on the issue of notice in the alternative. The lower court denied both motions.

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asbestos cancer warningAs dedicated and seasoned Illinois work injury attorneys, we have seen numerous examples of how an employee can suffer serious injuries as a result of his or her occupation and job duties. One of the most widely discussed examples is situations in which the employee is exposed to asbestos and later develops mesothelioma, a dangerous and potentially fatal medical condition.

In a recent appellate opinion, the decedent spent the majority of his working life finishing drywall. Throughout this career, he utilized a variety of brands of joint compounds that contained asbestos. In 2013, the decedent’s physicians informed him that he developed mesothelioma. The decedent filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers of the joint compounds that he used during his career. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2014, and his wife became the plaintiff in the litigation. By the time the matter proceeded to trial, only one defendant remained in the proceeding, with the other defendants having been dismissed or entering into settlement agreements.

At some point during trial, the lower court entered a directed verdict in favor of the defendant, finding that no witness could identify how frequently the decedent had used the defendant’s products during his lengthy career. The appellate court referred to case precedent regarding frequency of use matters in asbestos cases, which require a plaintiff to show that the worker worked in an area where the defendant’s product was used frequently and that the employee worked sufficiently close to the area to render him exposed to the product.

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empty railroad tracksWhen it comes to navigating the Illinois workers’ compensation system, it can be confusing to understand your rights and how you should proceed after suffering a work-related injury. At Therman Law Offices, our seasoned team of lawyers have handled a wide variety of job-related accidents and are ready to assist you.

In a recent Illinois court opinion, an injured worker sued his employer, a railroad company, claiming that he was injured as a result of his employer’s negligence. According to his complaint, the plaintiff was working as a railroad track switch lever operator when he suffered a spinal injury. At the time the injury occurred, the plaintiff was unaware that the employer had installed a new type of device. This lack of knowledge is what led him to suffer the back injury.

The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff, concluding that there was a causal link between the employer’s conduct and the resulting injuries. The jury also concluded that the plaintiff was partially at fault for the injuries that he sustained and reduced the final judgment by the percent of the plaintiff’s negligence. The ultimate verdict in the plaintiff’s favor amounted to $37,500. Following trial, the parties entered into a dispute regarding how the judgment should be satisfied. The plaintiff’s lawyers claimed that the final award should be used to satisfy the fees and costs they incurred in the litigation. The defendant, however, alleged that the judgment should be used to repay the railroad money that it provided to the plaintiff regarding his injury before the litigation was initiated. The lower court agreed with the defendant and entered an order reflecting the same. The plaintiff appealed.

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yellow taxi cabsAn Illinois appellate court recently issued an opinion reviewing a lower court’s ruling in a civil action involving allegations of sexual assault. Although any type of unexpected injury can be painful, stressful, and disruptive, incidents involving sexual assault are particularly damaging. This case also demonstrates how an experienced Illinois sexual assault attorney can assist you with seeking the damages that you deserve after a devastating experience while ensuring that you navigate the legal process correctly.

In her complaint, the plaintiff alleged that she was sexually assaulted by a taxicab driver who was providing her with transportation to the airport. In her complaint, the plaintiff included the driver, the taxicab dispatch company, and the company that leased a taxicab to the driver as defendants. The plaintiff appealed the matter after the lower court granted the dispatch company’s and the leasing company’s motions for summary judgment. The plaintiff also alleged that the lower court committed a reversible error by not allowing her to offer “newly discovered” evidence, which included an application for a license filled out by the driver.

The plaintiff appealed the matter after the lower court granted the dispatch company’s and the leasing company’s motions for summary judgment. The plaintiff also alleged that the lower court committed a reversible error by not allowing her to offer “newly discovered” evidence, which included an application for a license filled out by the driver.

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