The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

February 2010 Archives

Intimate partners sometimes like to make videos of their more tender moments for their own personal viewing; with both partners consenting of course. But it's another matter altogether when it's done without the other partner's permission, an incident that prompted one Chicago woman to seek the counsel of an Illinois injury lawyer.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported on the woman known only as "Jane Doe" filed a personal injury suit against her former boyfriend.

She claims that she dated the man in 2008 but she had no knowledge a sex tape was made until another one of the man's former girlfriends sent her a CD of the recording, according to the article. The other woman reportedly told Ms. Doe that she found additional sex tapes in his home as well. 

All Irene Show wanted was a change in hair color, just like countless other American women. Instead, she claims the Clairol Nice n' Easy product burned her skin instead, according to a Chicago Now article (which provides a copy of the lawsuit). Ms. Show is suing Clairol parent company Procter & Gamble, as well as the grocery store where she claims to have bought the hair dye.

The alleged incident took place on March 30, 2009, according to Ms. Show's complaint, drafted by Illlinois injury attorney Michael A. Hume.

Ms. Show claims she suffered chemical burns to her face during her use of the hair coloring product, allegedly causing "a severe shock to her nervous system, and bruises, contusions and lacerations to her body, and became sick and disabled." Furthermore, she claims, the injuries will continue to cause her pain, disfigurement and costly hospitalization into the foreseeable future.  

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Joshua Molina, 21, and wife Amy Alanis, 20, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the alleged driver of a vehicle that slammed into their car; killing the couple's 13-month-old son and two family friends.

Chicago accident attorney Tim Cavanagh, representing Molina and Alanis, told reporters that his clients still are in too much shock over the Feb. 1 crash. But he spoke to reporters on their behalf:

"This is way beyond a simple, ordinary mistake. This is what we call reckless conduct, defined as conscious disregard for the safety of others. This guy had no regard for the safety of others - particularly these guys in the back seat."

Those are the claims Cavanagh's clients have made against the unnamed defendant, who faces no criminal charges. The Cook County State's Attorney's office is still reviewing the case, according to the Sun-Times.

St. Charles resident Ed Izenstark claims the gas pedal of a rented Toyota Corolla became stuck on Dec. 26 resulting in an injury crash, as reported by Chicago Now (a copy of the complaint is available via the above link). He's suing Toyota for strict liability and negligence, and the car rental company Hertz for negligence.

While Toyota's gas pedal problems have been well-covered by the media, resulting in an estimated 19 fatalities and culminating in a massive recall estimated to cost $2 billion, a CNN article suggests that legal settlements could cost Toyota even more.

The Chicago Sun Times reports that Candice Williams, who was an honor roll student at Crete-Monee High School and pregnant at the time, claims her fetus died as a result of a security guard's violent actions in 2008. Security guard Marilyn Reid and the Village of Crete are named as defendants. 

Ms. Williams claims that after a workout with her track team on April 3, 2008, she was sitting on a bench inside the school waiting for a bus. Ms. Reid and another guard told her and some other students to leave the building. She says she walked toward the exit, but waited for her friends at the vestibule.

Ms. Reid again reportedly told her to go outside, but Ms. Williams allegedly said she was pregnant and it was too cold outside. A teacher told the guards that Ms. Williams was trespassing, but Ms. Williams refused to leave and off-duty police officers were called to the scene:

"The next thing I remember my face and chest was slammed against the wall of the vestibule and I was out the door," Ms. Williams said in the deposition. "I recall telling them [the police officers] I was pregnant." 

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the surviving family members of 10-year-old fifth grader Aquan Lewis, who committed suicide by hanging himself in a bathroom at his elementary school last year, have sued Evanston Skokie School District 65 for wrongful death.

Todd A. Smith, the Illinois injury attorney representing the family, claims that the district was responsible for the boy's safety and well-being during school hours. The suit alleges that the school district's administrators and teachers failed to locate Aquan Lewis after he went missing; he was allegedly found by a student 30 minutes later.

Chicago injury attorneys representing Natasha Williams say that the off-duty police officer who shot and killed her son, Corey Harris Jr., had acted recklessly and that the city is liable. Williams filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city for last September's shooting, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Harris, who was 17 years old, was a father and a star basketball player at Dyett High School. He was shot on Sept. 11, 2009, following a foot chase in Chicago's Park Manor neighborhood.

The off-duty cop, who was not named in articles about the incident, does not dispute the fact that he shot and killed Harris. But details surrounding the shooting certainly are in dispute.

Popular review site Yelp has quickly gained a critical mass of users, who use it to determine the best pizza in town or whether to have their oil changed by the mechanic down the street. Reviewers at the site tend to be relatively frank in their comments but one Chicago business believes a reviewer went too far and is suing, according to an article in the Chicago Bar-Tender.

Plaintiff Urban Out Sitters Inc. provides pet services, including boarding, walking and in-house care.

The defendant "willfully and maliciously" posted defamatory statements on Yelp and Craigslist "insinuating that Plaintiff 'beat and hit dogs' and that Plaintiff's past clients 'had experiences that traumatized their pets,'" according to the complaint.

Free speech certainly is protected in most instances, but one important fact distinguishes this case.

In a ruling that likely will please most Illinois injury attorneys, the state Supreme Court struck down an Illinois medical malpractice law that caps damages at $500,000 in cases against doctors and $1 million in cases against hospitals, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Attorneys, employers, health care industry executives and other interested parties had been eagerly anticipating the ruling, in which state Justices decided that the 2005 law violates the separation of powers (PDF, Illinois Supreme Court).  

Other states, including California, passed similar laws capping malpractice lawsuit damages several years ago. But Chief Justice Thomas Fitzgerald, writing for the majority, dismissed precedent from other states in his written opinion:

"That 'everybody is doing it' is hardly a litmus test for the constitutionality of the statute."

Cook County jail inmate Ricky Robinson claims that he slipped and fell on water from his overflowing toilet, according to the complaint prepared by Chicago injury lawyer Fred I. Benjamin.

Does this sound familiar?

Mr. Robinson may be in good (or should we say bad?) company since prisoners have been accused of intentionally flooding jail cells by plugging up the toilet for years now. According to the Oakland Tribune, the goal of most inmates is usually to "cause a ruckus." While it could be to cause a ruckus, it typically costs taxpayer money in order to fix the problem.

Sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests have been well-documented, including an investigative series by The Boston Globe. Perhaps the bigger scandal was the church's alleged cover-up of the crimes, such as accused priests being transferred to churches in other neighborhoods.

But it stands to reason that perhaps not all of the abuse accusations are true.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Chicago priest Chester J. Pryzbylo insists that accusations of sex abuse filed by a former altar boy Peter are false, and he has filed a defamation lawsuit. A three-and-a-half-year investigation of Galica's claims by the Department of Child and Family Services resulted in its dismissal of the claims by December 2009.

Negative campaign ads are nothing new and unfortunately have become a staple of most elections. But Cook County Board presidential candidate Dorothy Brown says an ad by rival Terrence O'Brien goes too far.

She's suing O'Brien for defamation because of a television ad that he had run claiming that she had forced employees to give her cash gifts.

The television commercial claims that Ms. Brown, currently a Circuit Court Clerk, "forced employees to give her cash gifts." The Chicago Tribune ran a story more than a year ago suggesting that Ms. Brown accepted cash gifts from employees as "a relic of Illinois' political patronage system."