The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

September 2010 Archives

School bullying was once considered merely a rite of passage for an untold number of kids; but that all changed in the wake of school shootings and suicides often attributed to ridicule and harassment from classmates. Lawsuits against schools by parents of bullied children for failing to stop this behavior are not unusual.

Recently, parents Bruce and Renee Young filed suit against St. Ailbe, claiming the South Side Catholic school did nothing to stop a bully who eventually attacked and injured their son, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Abbott Laboratories recalled 5 million cans of Similac-branded, powdered infant formula two days ago due to the presence of a small beetle in some its products, according to CNN. But parents trying to call the company's phone hotline or access the Similac recall Web site were mostly greeted with a busy signal or Web site connection problems, according to a follow-up CNN article.

CNN reporters experienced similar technical problems when making repeated attempts to call or access the site, although Abbott spokespeople insist they have since fixed the problems. 

Chicago parents or caretakers who believe their child or a child in their care has been injured by the formula included in the Similac recall may consider calling a Chicago injury lawyer for legal advice. But as with any recall where safety is involved, especially for a baby, it's best to seek medical attention first.

Harlen Akins was awarded $40,000 by a jury in his assault and battery lawsuit against Detroit musician Kid Rock, as reported by the Toronto Sun and elsewhere. The plaintiff, with the help of his Illinois injury attorney, was able to convince a jury that Kid Rock was liable for a drunken Waffle House brawl in the Atlanta area that left him injured.

So why is Robert Ritchie (Kid Rock's real name) actually pleased with the outcome of his case?

Katherine Jackson, whose son Michael Jackson abruptly died last year of a drug overdose, sued concert promoter AEG for allegedly failing to provide the pop singer with appropriate medical care before his death, the BBC reported. The suit was filed last week in Los Angeles Superior Court; it did not specify damages.

Although the suit was filed in LA, this and other legal actions pursued in the wake of Michael Jackson's untimely death are likely being closely watched by Chicago injury lawyers.

Katherine Jackson is suing on behalf of her late son's children, of whom she is the legal guardian. She claims eldest son Prince Jackson suffered severe emotional distress after witnessing the period right before his death.

Instead of questioning or arresting reputed members of the Elgin Latin Kings street gang, Elgin Police officers simply handed each suspected gang member a summons to appear in civil court, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Elgin Police Sgt. Jim Lalley said they were a little confused:

"Most of them didn't understand. They were left behind holding a piece of paper, and they had no idea what it was."

Kane County State's Attorney John Barsanti and law enforcement personnel are trying to curb the Chicago area's rampant gang activity through the federal courts. While many gang members have criminal defense attorneys on speed dial, now they'll have to get acquainted with Chicago injury lawyers.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced earlier this week that it has expanded its voluntary recall of fixed side cribs manufactured by Simplicity, as reported by WPTV News in West Palm Beach, Florida and elsewhere.

The original recall of the fixed side cribs was announced in April but now includes the Sorelle "Prescott" brand of cribs, which are nearly identical in design.

Consider contacting an Illinois injury attorney if your child has suffered an injury as a result of a recalled crib's malfunction.

The Chicago Daily Herald reported that the family of 68-year-old Arlene Marshall, who was accidentally killed in St. Charles on Aug. 6 after being struck by a dump truck, has sued for wrongful death. Authorities decided not to file criminal charges against the driver or his employer after viewing surveillance video footage.

While the family's Chicago accident attorney was not cited in the article, a quoted portion of the civil complaint claims that Arlene Marshall's three surviving brothers suffer "pecuniary injuries, including but not limited to loss of society, companionship, guidance, attention, advice, training, instruction, grief and sorrow."

A judge will review the case on Nov. 18. The family's wrongful death lawsuit alleges negligence on behalf of the driver, Juan R. Fuentes, claiming he failed to yield to the pedestrian and that he was careless in his driving. 

One of the most important functions of a free press is to shed light on the murky corners of politics and to ensure a more informed voting public. But Florida Democratic primary loser Jeff Greene believes two state newspapers defamed him and has filed a $500 million lawsuit, according to NBC Miami. 

The Miami Herald and the St. Petersburg Times were named as defendants in his libel case, which claims they published stories "knowingly based on false information" in a "plan to assassinate his character."

An American Medical Association report on malpractice suits pointed out that 61 percent of doctors 55 and older have been sued at least once, as reported on the AMA's Web site. The report also finds that men are twice as likely as women to be sued and doctors in specialty practices are sued more often than those in multispecialty practices.

Former AMA President Dr. J. James Rohack, MD, said he believes the data supports the view that reforms are needed at the federal and state levels to reign in the high volume of medical malpractice suits:

"This litigious climate hurts patients' access to physician care at a time when the nation is working to reduce unnecessary health care costs."

Sometimes bad things just happen, without explanation and lacking any assignment of blame. But Milwaukee mother Mina Tropea-Zieser, whose daughter was killed while walking along a county highway, refuses to accept that the driver was not criminally responsible, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  

Police were unable to find evidence of any criminal wrongdoing and a blood test showed that the driver had some alcohol in her system but was not legally over the limit.

Chicago resident Gabriela Cedillo was seriously injured when she was struck by a severed cable on the set of the film "Transformers 3," Associated Content reported. She was an extra on the set and her friends said she had aspirations of becoming an actress.

Blaine Baker, another extra in the scene who witnessed the incident, said the tow cable "whipped around and sliced through the woman's car and sliced through her skull, apparently."

Although these types of accidents typically trigger lawsuits, there was no indication whether or not Gabriela Cedillo's family members had been in contact with an Illinois injury attorney. And since the accident took place in northwest Indiana, she might have to contact and Indiana injury attorney anyway.

While the Internet has given tens of millions of individuals the ability to play journalist through blogging, the key difference is that professional reporters have fact-checkers, strict editorial standards, an editing process and the liability backing of their organizations.

Bloggers mostly just have opinions, although some have proven to be worthy citizen journalists and have broken important news stories. But what bloggers don't have is the liability protection of a news organization, as a Los Angeles Times article makes clear.

That's why Chicago injury lawyers would tell their blogging clients to be careful what they post, since it could come back to haunt them in the form of a defamation lawsuit.

If you haven't yet sworn off eggs in the wake of the massive, nationwide recall, perhaps this will. The New York Times reported on the results of the US Food and Drug Administration's reports of "flies, maggots, scurrying rodents and overflowing manure pits" among some of the affected Iowa egg farms.

That means the egg producers likely will face government sanction, perhaps fines. And those who have been sickened by the eggs may have more leverage in bringing injury suits against the companies; but you might want to ask Chicago injury lawyers.

The FDA documents provide wretch-inducing details of what may have caused the salmonella outbreak in several of the farms owned by two major egg producers.