The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

July 2010 Archives

Former US Dept. of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod, who was fired from her position after a heavily edited video appeared to support a position of anti-white racism, said she is suing for defamation, Vanity Fair's VF Daily blog reported.

Defamation is a civil tort used when someone publicly maligns your reputation through false or misleading information, according to FindLaw. Speak with an Illinois injury attorney if you believe you may have been defamed.

Defendant Andrew Breitbart posted a video from a speech she gave to the NAACP that, due to heavy edits, appeared as if she were condoning racist behavior against white farmers. All politics aside, it's clear from the unedited video that she was actually condemning racism as she discussed her personal growth from working with poor white farmers.

The use of asbestos has been banned in the United States for about two decades, according to FindLaw, due to its tendency to cause an especially malignant form of lung cancer and other illnesses. But asbestos-related lawsuits persist to this day because it often takes decades for those exposed to develop an illness.

In fact, there are countless Chicago injury lawyers who actually specialize in such cases of asbestos illnesses.

The dark history of the industrial use of asbestos for its flame-resistant qualities by manufacturers of building materials was recounted in a McLean County case that recently ended in a mistrial, the St. Clair Record reported. Ultimately, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision after three days of intense deliberations.

Perdue Chicken Nuggets Recalled

About 91,872 pounds of Perdue chicken nuggets sold at Wal-Mart were recalled, according to the Chicago Tribune's Problem Solver consumer news blog. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's food Safety and Inspection Service announced the recall last Monday.

But since there were no reports of injury as of yet, it appears likely that it won't result in more work for Chicago injury lawyers.

More than one consumer complained that they found small pieces of blue plastic in the frozen chicken nuggets. The affected products were made on June 9 and shipped only to Wal-Mart, according to the Associated Press (via the Tribune).

CNN reported that sports reporter Erin Andrews, who was pursued by stalker Michael David Barrett and eventually taped with a tiny "keyhole" camera, has sued at least two Chicago hotels for negligence.

She also has sued Michael Barrett, who pleaded guilty to stalking, claiming invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Named defendants include Marriott International Inc. and Radisson Hotels International Inc., both of which Erin Andrews claims gave Michael Barrett privileged information about her whereabouts. Her lawsuit claims negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy by the hotels.

An unnamed Chicago father wants to know just how friendly the skies where Southwest Airlines flies really are, as he claims in a lawsuit that an older female passenger offered his 14-year-old son sex and drugs on the plane, according to the Chicago Tribune.

According to the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court earlier this week, the incident happened two years ago while the plane was somewhere between Chicago and Orlando, Florida. The teenager allegedly asked for a different seat several times but "was emphatically told no."

While Chicago injury lawyers have been busy handling the numerous food poisoning suits against area Subway restaurants, as covered by this blog, advocates are pressing US Senators to pass a food safety bill that was approved by the House last year, the Washington Post reported.

Critics of the status quo claim the food industry is one of the country's least-regulated industries with the potential to harm or kill people, often through bacterial contamination. The illnesses linked to several suburban Chicago Subway restaurants are largely blamed on salmonella contamination.

Although an arrest warrant was issued for ex-Bulls player and Chicago native Eddy Curry last month for failing to appear at a court hearing, the Associated Press reported that both parties have agreed to vacate the warrant. He was reprimanded for failing to pay the damages of a lawsuit he lost last year.

Eddy Curry's Chicago injury lawyer, Mark Belongia, said his client and the prevailing plaintiff in the suit have agreed to a payment plan and that he already has made the first installment.

She won't be the first to sue MTV over its outrageously raunchy reality television series "Jersey Shore," but Illinois resident Carrie Malec claims the show's producers and cast members regularly provoke conflict in order to boost ratings, Asbury Park Press reported.

Perhaps true reality just wouldn't be entertaining enough for TV?

Chicago injury lawyer Blake Horwitz, representing the plaintiff, filed his client's civil action for assault in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois, claiming a pattern of "criminal activity." She is seeking more than $75,000 damages.

A man claiming he was molested numerous times while in elementary and high school by convicted sexual predator Daniel McCormick filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Daniel McCormack was defrocked by the Roman Catholic Church after his conviction on multiple counts of sexual abuse. Now his former employer, the Archdiocese of Chicago, will face the anonymous alleged victim and his Illinois injury attorney.

Defibrillators have become more and more commonplace, as reductions in size and cost (as well as greater ease of use) have allowed more of the potentially life-saving devices to be deployed in public places. Defibrillators are used to shock patients who are in the throes of a heart attack.

But like all products, sometimes manufacturing or design errors cause problems. According to the Food and Drug Administration, Medtronic has recalled about 43,000 of its defibrillators due to a potential battery problem, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

In a scenario that has become more and more common, a Chicago-based concrete company sued would-be customer Helen Maslona after she posted a scathing review on the popular Angie's List Web site, CBS News reported. 

She gave the company an "F" grade on Angie's List after the company refused to give her an estimate, claiming her home was outside its service area. Michael Fitzgerald, owner of All Fields of Concrete Construction, shot back with a $10,000 lawsuit claiming defamation.

Felony criminal charges against Samantha Tumpach may have been dropped after it became clear she was not trying to create a bootleg of the hit movie "Twilight Saga: New Moon," but the Chicago Tribune reported that Samantha Tumpach is now suing Muvico Theaters.

To recap, the 22-year-old was arrested after theater employees told police they caught her taping the movie with a handheld camcorder, which carries stiff penalties intended to thwart piracy. Samantha Tumpach insisted she was only taping the pre-movie festivities of her sister's birthday party, including the singing of "Happy Birthday" before the movie began.