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43 Million

Total Cases Won

3,500 +

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Successful cases

26 Million

Total Personal Injury Cases Won

17 Million

Total Work Injury Cases Won

wet city sidewalkIn a recent opinion from the Illinois Court of Appeals for the Fourth District, the plaintiff filed an action against the City of Danville (“the City”), alleging that she suffered injuries as a result of a trip and fall accident that occurred on a sidewalk area maintained by the City. According to her complaint, the plaintiff was shopping on one afternoon in 2012. When returning to her parked vehicle after leaving a store in the downtown district, she used a sidewalk to get to her vehicle, which was parked roughly five storefronts away. Then, the plaintiff walked at an angle as she approached the curb where her vehicle was parked. As she did so, she alleges that she stepped into roughly of an inch of water pooling on the sidewalk and to the right side of a lamppost embedded in the sidewalk. As she stepped into the water, the plaintiff claims that her left shoe struck an object that caused her to lose her balance. She then fell forward, striking her chin on the sidewalk.

The plaintiff received nine stitches in her chin to close the wound. Her complaint also alleged that she suffered severe bruising to her left foot, face, and arms. During the fall, two of her teeth were chipped, and she required dental work to address this injury. She also claimed to have suffered a partially dislodged crown that was also treated by a dentist.

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empty signature lineAccording to recent reports, a 52-year-old woman lost her life at a nursing home following a nursing assistant’s refusal to provide resuscitation and care. According to the records, the woman had not signed a DNR, or Do Not Resuscitate order. This is a legal document that instructs a medical facility to not engage in certain resuscitation methods in the event that the signor becomes incapacitated. If the patient has not signed a DNR, the presumption is that the medical staff should exercise all available methods to resuscitate the patient.

The background of the incident is as follows. The patient was staying at the nursing home facility, located in Highland Park, Illinois, following a recent bout of pneumonia. The patient intended to stay at the nursing home for only a few weeks while she received physical therapy and other recuperative care. The patient had a number of conditions that complicated her recovery, including kidney failure and diabetes.

During her stay, the patient suffered from a bacterial infection known as Elizabethkingia. At one point, the patient coded, which means her heart ceased beating. A nursing assistant who was present referred to the patient’s file but misread the information and falsely believed that the patient had executed a DNR agreement. Based on this false reading of the patient’s chart, the nursing assistant did not call for help or notify any other medical staff members that the patient had coded. After 30 minutes, a staff member realized that the nursing assistant had misread the patient’s file and promptly called 911. Unfortunately, the patient had already passed and could not be revived.

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monochrome ticking clockIn a recent opinion from the First District of the Illinois Appellate Court, the plaintiff appealed an order dismissing a complaint she filed in November 2013, alleging that the defendant was liable for negligence, civil battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The dismissal was based on the lower court’s finding that the plaintiff’s claim was barred by the statute of limitations.

In her complaint, the plaintiff alleged that she suffered damages as a result of sexual abuse perpetrated by the defendant, beginning when she was 16 years old. The defendant alleged that the abuse occurred at overnight church camps where the defendant was a church leader and in charge of the church’s youth group program. More specifically, the plaintiff contended that in the summer of 1996, when she was 16 years of age, the plaintiff had conversations with the defendant about pursuing a mentor-mentee relationship. According to her complaint, the plaintiff was seeking spiritual guidance and mentorship in these conversations. Soon after these conversations, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant began engaging in inappropriate physical contact and other uninvited advances. The complaint lists multiple specific instances of sexual abuse and contends that the incidences ceased around 1999, when the plaintiff was 20 years of age.

The plaintiff’s complaint states that the plaintiff did not report the incidences to anyone, fearing the repercussions that might occur. The defendant had also threatened to commit suicide in the event the plaintiff reported the incidences or shared them with anyone. In 1999, the plaintiff reported experiencing anxiety, nightmares, sadness, and other emotional conditions related to the abuse.

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people shaking handsIn a recent opinion, an Illinois appellate court considered whether an insurance company had a duty to provide coverage to the plaintiff, its insured, related to a motor vehicle accident in light of the fact that the plaintiff violated the cooperation clause in the insurance policy. More specifically, the insurer claimed that the plaintiff failed to appear at a mandatory arbitration proceeding related to the underlying personal injury litigation and the insurance subrogation claim. This resulted in an order from the arbitration judge debarring the plaintiff from rejecting any unfavorable arbitration award.

Following the close of the insurance company’s claim, the defendants filed a motion for judgment in their favor, which the lower court granted. It based its opinion on a finding that despite the insurer’s prima facie showing that the insured failed to cooperate, the insurer failed to provide adequate evidence demonstrating that it suffered substantial prejudice as a result of the insured’s non-cooperation. An appeal followed.

Before delving into its analysis, the appellate court reviewed the rules applicable to court-annexed arbitration. According to Illinois law, certain types of lawsuits are subject to a mandatory arbitration proceeding before a three-person arbitration panel. The panel has the authority to make an award following the arbitration hearing and to dispose of the claims. In general, the award is not binding, and any party at the hearing can file a notice rejecting the award within 30 days and take the matter to trial. While a party represented by legal counsel at the hearing does not waive the right to reject the award if he or she does not appear, the court has discretion to debar the party from rejecting the award if the party’s absence amounted to a failure “to participate in good faith and in a meaningful manner.”

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cars in accidentIn a recent opinion from the Fourth District Appellate Court of Illinois, the plaintiff alleged that he suffered injuries as a result of another motorist’s negligence during a collision that occurred in January 2014. In November 2015, the plaintiff filed a motion seeking to adjudicate liens for medical expenses that had been paid related to the plaintiff’s injuries from the accident. In the motion, the plaintiff alleged that according to the common fund doctrine, the lienholders were required to reduce their liens by one-third and to assume a pro rata portion of the costs associated with the litigation. The plaintiff eventually settled with one of the lienholders. Regarding the second lienholder, the trial court denied the plaintiff’s motion.

In May 2016, after the plaintiff and the defendant in the negligence lawsuit entered into a settlement, the defendant filed a motion to enforce the settlement agreement and to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice. The court granted the motion, and in July 2015, the trial court entered an amended judgment. The plaintiff promptly filed an appeal regarding the lower court’s denial of his motion to adjudicate the second lienholder’s liens. More specifically, the plaintiff argued that the lower court erred in concluding that the common fund doctrine did not apply to the liens, due to payments it made to the plaintiff pursuant to the medical payments coverage portion of the plaintiff’s insurance policy.

The appellate court began its analysis by reviewing the record. First, it noted that the lienholder’s lien was based on payments it made pursuant to the medical coverage clause in the plaintiff’s policy. It also noted that during the litigation, the lienholder had waived its right to subrogation for the $50,000 settlement between the plaintiff and the defendant. The record showed, however, that the lienholder preserved the right to take $27,463.04 as an offset for the medical payments in the event the matter went to arbitration, along with a $50,000 credit that was paid under the defendant’s insurance policy. The appellate court also noted that the parties were still adjudicating the issue of underinsured motorist coverage.

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yellow taxi drivingAn Illinois appellate court for the Fourth Division recently rendered a holding in a dispute involving a motor vehicle collision. The facts of the case are as follows. The defendant was a cab company operating in Chicago. On the date of the accident, one of the defendant’s drivers was parked in a cabstand across the street from where the plaintiff was having dinner with a client. After dinner, the plaintiff got into the driver’s cab and instructed him to take him to his home in a southwest area of Chicago.

During the ride home, the driver lost control of the minivan on a clover leaf exit ramp. The vehicle went airborne approximately 32 feet, struck the ground, and skidded into a grassy drainage area, where it slammed into a concrete retention wall. The plaintiff’s complaint alleged that as a result of the accident that ensued, the plaintiff suffered severe traumatic brain injuries.

There was conflicting testimony offered regarding whether the driver was exceeding the speed limit at the time he lost control. The posted speed limit on the highway was 55 miles per hour, and the speed limit on the clover leaf exit was 25 miles per hour. The plaintiff’s accident reconstructionist testified that the van was traveling 60 to 70 miles per hour on the highway and decelerated to only 58 miles per hour on the clover leaf. The defendant’s expert testified that the driver was likely traveling 53 or 54 miles per hour on the clover leaf.

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people playing footballIn a recent decision from an Illinois appellate court in the Second Division, the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against a number of defendants, alleging that the defendants were negligent in their failure to diagnose their son’s head trauma symptoms following a high school football game. The plaintiffs filed the action as individuals and as plenary co-guardians of their son, a disabled person.

The plaintiffs specifically alleged that the defendants failed to assess their son for head trauma symptoms immediately after he suffered “a significant blow to the head,” failed to evaluate their son for a concussion until the end of the game, and failed to identify the signs of brain trauma that their son was exhibiting.

The defendants moved to dismiss the complaint on the basis that the complaint sounded in healing arts malpractice and that the plaintiffs were required to comply with certain sections of the Illinois code. Although the trial court denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss, it certified three questions to the Illinois Supreme Court.

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yellow forklift truckAn Illinois appellate court for the Second District recently issued an opinion regarding a work-related negligence dispute. The facts of the action are as follows. The plaintiff was an employee of a company that provides both permanent and temporary employees to its clients. After the company places one of its employees with a client, the company assumes that the client will provide all supervision, direction, and control of the employee’s work with the client. The company notifies its employees that once they have been placed, they should expect to receive such direction from the client.

In December 2011, a business that provided industrial storage shelving installation services signed a national contract with the company, in which the company agreed to provide temporary employees to the plaintiff. It included terms describing the company’s policies regarding the provision of direction and control for those employees.

After this contract was signed, the plaintiff, who was an employee of the company, was directed to work for the shelving business. When the plaintiff arrived at the shelving business’ premises, he and five other employees were directed to assemble and install industrial shelving at a warehouse. In testimony, the plaintiff stated that he did not see any direct supervisors from the shelving company directing the employees’ work and that instead he took instructions from the permanent employees at the shelving business.

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Bank of ElevatorsIn a recent case, an Illinois appellate court in the Sixth Division considered the potential liability of an elevator contractor who was responsible for inspecting an elevator and who was employed by the City of Chicago’s Bureau of Elevators. According to the plaintiffs’ complaint, the husband and the inspector were working as elevator servicepersons in Chicago in March 2015. While performing an inspection of elevators located inside an apartment building, the inspector ordered the husband to climb into the pit of an elevator shaft and to test components of the elevator. While the husband was inside the elevator, the inspector caused it to descend, striking the husband.

The husband filed a claim against the inspector and other defendants, including the City of Chicago, and his wife filed a claim for loss of consortium. Shortly after they filed the complaint, the husband died. Roughly two months later, the City of Chicago, a defendant in the action, brought a motion to dismiss, alleging that the action was barred according to sections 2-105 and 2-207 of the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act (the Act).

Section 2-105 states:  “A local public entity is not liable for injury caused by its failure to make an inspection, or by reason of making an inadequate or negligent inspection, of any property, other than its own, to determine whether the property complies with or violates any enactment or contains or constitutes a hazard to health or safety.”

In moving to dismiss based on these provisions, the inspector stated that the lawsuit was improper based on the husband’s allegations that he was injured as a result of an improperly conducted inspection performed by a City of Chicago inspector.

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hanging file foldersIn a recent case from the Illinois Court of Appeals, Second District, the court was faced with deciding whether documents produced by a nursing home facility were discoverable in a lawsuit alleging that the decedent suffered injuries while in the defendant’s care. The facts of the case were as follows. The plaintiff filed a complaint on behalf of the decedent, alleging that the decedent suffered injuries as a result of a fall while in the care of the defendant. As part of the litigation process, the plaintiff served discovery requests on the defendant, seeking all of the reports created regarding the fall incident. The defendant refused to produce these reports, claiming that they were privileged according to the Quality Assurance Act and the Medical Studies Act because the reports were “prepared for the Facility’s Quality Assurance Committee.”

In response to the denial, the plaintiff filed a motion to compel the defendant to produce the reports. In the motion, the plaintiff argued that the reports were not prepared for the purpose of quality control and that they were not prepared by an internal quality control committee. The defendant opposed the motion and offered a copy of the reports to the judge presiding over the matter for an in camera review. In this process, only the judge is able to review the sought-after documents so that he or she can determine whether the production of the documents would result in some harm or prejudice to the producing party.

The defendant also provided an affidavit from one of the defendant’s employees who was working at the time the defendant fell. The affidavit claimed that the reports were prepared for quality assurance purposes.

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