June 2010 News: The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

June 2010 Archives

Claiming negligence, Goodyear and Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America Ltd. sued two Chicago injury attorneys, according to Rubber News. They claim that negligence on the part of the two lawyers cost them what they believed would be an easy victory in a product liability case.

In that case, Michael and Darla Green were riding their Harley-Davidson motorcycle from Illinois to Yellowstone National Park in the summer of 2007. A friend warned the couple that their rear tire looked low on air and that she could smell burning rubber from their bike, according to undisputed facts related to the case.

However, the couple reportedly kept on riding until the tire suddenly deflated in Missouri and resulted in a crash.

The Chicago Tribune reported on yet another food poisoning lawsuit against fast food chain Subway. Alicea Bush-Bailey, a 46-year-old Bolingbrook resident, claims she got sick after eating a sandwich from her local Subway restaurant. This Subway lawsuit is one of many recent ones filed against the chain.

Alicea Bush-Bailey's complaint, prepared by her Illinois injury attorney and filed in Will County court, claims the restaurant chain failed to prevent a salmonella outbreak. The suit reportedly doesn't indicate a dollar amount for damages but she claims the sandwich put her in the emergency room.

At least 97 people reported getting sick after eating at Subway restaurants in 28 counties, according to the Illinois Dept. of Public Health.

Patti Blagojevich, wife of embattled ex-governor Rod Blagojevich, has dropped her defamation lawsuit against former Chicago Christian Industrial League (CCIL) director Richard Roberts, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The two parties reached a pre-trial settlement, according to Chicago injury lawyers representing Patti Blagojevich.

She had accused Richard Roberts of making defamatory remarks when he claimed she inappropriately took an email list from the organization when she was fired last January.

Details of the settlement were kept under wraps, as is usually the case.

The violent act of rape certainly is a crime against the social fabric as a whole, which is how criminal law prosecutes cases. But as with other acts of violence, individual rape victims should be able to file suit and collect substantial damages for their unspeakable injuries.

Jeff Dion, director of the National Crime Victim Bar Association, explained the importance of civil remedies for crime victims in a Slate article: 

"The criminal case is about paying your debt to society. The civil case is about [perpetrators] paying their debt to the victim."

Only that doesn't happen as often as one might think for something so serious as rape, according to the article.

A panel of Illinois appellate court judges ruled that an Ottawa newspaper published by Ottawa Publishing must release the names of commentators on its Web site alleged to have made defamatory statements, the Chicago Tribune reported. 

With the help of an Illinois injury attorney, Ottawa couple Donald and Janet Maxon filed a motion urging Ottawa Publishing to release the names of two commentators they claim made defamatory statements about them.

The anonymous commentators allegedly accused the couple of bribing members of the Ottawa Plan Commission, according to court records. Donald and Janet Maxon sought to add rooms to their home in order to start up a bed-and-breakfast.

Always a tough defender during his stint on the legendary Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls team, Scottie Pippen held his own against opposing counsel as the trial for his legal malpractice suit continued, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. 

After opposing counsel for defendant Pedersen & Houpt grilled Scottie Pippen, asking him if he feels responsible for reading contracts before signing them, he offered this curt reply:

"Yes, I do now that I realize I can't trust the people who were working for me."

Ouch. Looks like the retired NBA Hall of Fame inductee can still bring it.

An Aurora couple accused of being swingers was awarded $54,000 in damages by a Will County Judge, according to the Chicago Tribune. And by "swingers," we don't mean 40s-era jazz enthusiasts but married couples that enjoy swapping partners for sexual encounters with other married couples.

Donald Howard and Tia Howard filed a defamation lawsuit against neighbor Amy Day last year. She was found liable for sending defamatory emails to their other neighbors and to the staff of their children's elementary school, claiming the couple were swingers and enjoyed "nude hot tub parties."

When Chicago's Fox News affiliate did a special investigation on so-called "lazy" Illinois judges, according to Courthouse News Service, it included video footage of a home they said belonged to Cook County Judge James Ryan

The reporter pointed to the car in the driveway, suggesting that the judge was already home from work in the middle of the afternoon.

But there was just one problem with their reporting: It was neither James Ryan's home nor his car. Now Fox News is facing a $7 million lawsuit for defamation after the faulty news report cost him his judicial position.

General Motors is taking the heat off Toyota after it announced a recall of roughly 1.5 million cars and trucks (2006 to 2009 model years), The New York Times reported. The besieged automaker cited a fire hazard related to its heated washer-fluid system.

If this sounds like déjà-vu, it's because GM recalled about two-thirds of the newly affected vehicles in 2008 for the same problem. But recent reports of short-circuiting and overheating in vehicles that received new wiring prompted the new recall.

GM said it received reports of five fires, but no injuries or crashes. Still, anyone who believes they were injured by an affected vehicle may want to contact an Illinois injury attorney.

National Public Radio's web site published an Associated Press article about  the recall of roughly 1.7 million Maytag dishwashers by parent company Whirlpool Corp. The Consumer Product Safety Commission's announcement of the recall last Thursday cited 12 reports of fires and dishwasher damage resulting from electrical failures.

No injuries have been reported, according to the CPSC, but there was one report of "extensive kitchen damage."

Seven brands of dishwashers with plastic tubs sold nationwide between February 2006 and April 2010 are affected by the recall: Maytag, Amana, Jenn-Air, Admiral, Magic Chef, Performa by Maytag and Crosley. They cost between $250 and $900 and come in a variety of colors and finishes, including black, white and stainless steel.

Even though cruising Chicago's urban grid in the back of a taxi cab comes with its share of risks, as does automobile travel in general, that's just part of living in the big city. But the Chicago Sun-Times reports on the inadequate insurance coverage of taxi companies in the event of an injury from a taxi crash.

Simply stated, an unintended consequence of Chicago's actions to break up the cab monopolies in 1998 is what many critics say is a too-low insurance compensation limit.

While the $350,000 ceiling on insurance payouts for passengers injured in a taxi crash might seem high enough at first glance, it's chump change for some of the most serious accidents.

A 59-year-old woman who was a patient at Weiss Memorial Hospital filed a lawsuit claiming that 49-year-old nurse James Whittington injected her with morphine and sexually assaulted her, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Neither the plaintiff nor her Illinois injury attorney were named or quoted in the article.

The woman was admitted to the hospital for chest pains in February 2009; she was examined and admitted for further testing. But the nurse allegedly took advantage of her in the secluded room where she was admitted.

Liability for saying or writing something untrue and hurtful about someone else is nothing new and dates back to 1500s England, according to FindLaw. But since the Internet and specifically social networks such as Facebook have made written communications much more prevalent, so have instances of online defamation.

Fox Chicago published an article about online rumors and lies, including tips on how to protect yourself. The bottom line is that if someone says something untrue and potentially damaging about you online, it's probably in your best interests to contact an Illinois injury lawyer.