The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

November 2010 Archives

Former Stone Park police officer George Nissen, 47, settled a medical malpractice lawsuit with the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center for $16.2 million, according to the suburban Proviso Herald. The Melrose Park resident also will receive $1.5 million from a nursing agency that was named as a defendant in his suit.

The settlement, approved by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, must now get final approval from the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Artichokes are unique vegetables, with tasty and tender "hearts" underneath a forbidding, spiky exterior. Think of it as the spiny lobster of the vegetable world: You must use caution to get through the tough outer portions but the reward is well worth the effort.

Family physician Arturo Carvajal apparently didn't get the memo about artichokes. He ordered the diabolical delicacy at Houston's restaurant in Miami but sued because he wasn't warned of its dangers, as reported by the Miami New Times.

Carnival's ill-fated Splendor cruise ship took its 4,500 passengers on what many dubbed the "cruise from hell," as described in a CBS News article and other news articles. A fire broke out and subsequently killed power to the large boat, which was left adrift 200 miles off the Pacific coast near San Diego.

All of the passengers eventually were rescued without any injuries to speak of. But while many of them have pursued lawsuits, a prominent maritime attorney wrote on his law blog that without injury there is no basis for a personal injury case, USA today reported.

Chicago-based drink company Phusion Projects, responsible for the alcoholic energy drink Four Loko that has earned the nickname “blackout in a can,” is the target of at least one lawsuit, The Orlando Sentinel reported. Jason Keiran spent a day drinking Four Loko before shooting himself in the head. The current suit claims that part of the impetus for the suicide was the resutls of the negative effects of the alcohol energy drink.

The young man’s father, Joseph Keiran, names Phusion Projects, the third party company that brews the drink and the Tallahassee retailer where his son purchased the drinks as defendants in the suit. Meanwhile, the US Food and Drug Administration is poised to ban Four Loko and similar drinks.

Ashli Hite filed a wrongful death lawsuit against 47-year-old Anthony Matthews, who two years ago fatally shot her mother, La Deana Hite, according to The Joliet Herald News. Anthony Matthews, La Deana Hite and Jeanette Morgan were smoking crack cocaine when Anthony Matthews reportedly accused the two women of stealing his drugs.

The incident took place at La Deana Hite’s house, where Ashli Hite also lives. La Deana Hite reportedly ran into her daughter’s room to hide from the gunman, who first shot Jeanette Morgan in the stomach and then kicked in Ashli Hite’s bedroom door and fatally shot her mother.

Chris Brown settled with photographer Robert Rosen, who sued him in May 2009 after the singer’s bodyguards allegedly beat him up, according to the Associated Press (via MSNBC). The lawsuit was dropped as a condition of the settlement, so the details of the incident are a little sketchy.

Chris Brown’s bodyguards allegedly chased Robert Rosen, after he took photos of the popular singer, and beat him up. He had sued for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment.

Neither of the two parties’ attorneys would provide comments to reporters after the settlement.

A Colorado jury ordered retailer Walmart to cough up $15 million in damages for injuries 41-year-old trucker Holly Averyt sustained at at a Greeley, Colorado Walmart three years ago, according to the Greeley Tribune. Averyt's attorney, Gregory Gold said he thought it was one of the largest such awards:

"It's the highest slip-and-fall verdict that I know of, maybe even in the country."

In the wake of Gabriela V. Cedillo's lawsuit for a serious injury sustained on the set of the movie "Transformers 3," a welder who worked on special effects for the movie claims he also was injured as a result of negligence, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Welder William Kennedy claims he suffered a "severe and permanent" injury to his arm on July 25 as a result of turning on a grinder. He said a temporary control panel where he was working was "negligently wired" for 220 volts and that he wasn't warned before plugging in the 110-volt grinder.

The run-up to last week's midterm election saw some of the most negative campaigning in recent memory, generating countless defamation lawsuits against politicians for attack ads. But even after the election, some of the lawsuits remain. 

It appears as if Illinois wrapped up election day without a candidate suing his or her rival, at least for defamation. But a defamation lawsuit brought by Massachusetts state Sen. Harriette L. Chandler against Republican rival William J. Higgins Sr. is still active in the wake of the election, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported.

The plaintiff actually won her election, so you can't just chalk it up to sour grapes.

Chicago police officers Lynn Mueris and Jason Vanna filed a defamation lawsuit against police Superintendent Jody Weis, claiming the city's top cop falsely accused them of using excessive force against a handcuffed teenager, the Chicago Tribune reported.

While the Tribune referred to it a "libel" suit, the Chicago Sun-Times called it a "slander" suit; either way, it's still a defamation suit. See the Related Resources section below to learn how they differ.

Parents everywhere might wish they could sue their toddlers for infliction of emotional distress. But in all seriousness, a New York judge ruled last week that two New York toddlers may in fact be sued for negligence, Time reported. The 4-year-olds accidentally ran their bicycles into 87-year-old Claire Menagh, breaking her hip.

She died from unrelated causes just three months later and now the two children are the targets of a negligence suit.

Juliet Breitman and Jacob Kohn commenced with a bicycle race in Manhattan in April 2009, under their parents' supervision of course. Their bikes had training wheels, according to the article.

There are so many Illinois injury attorneys in the metro Chicago area that there's no reason to feel "stuck" with one who doesn't meet your needs. And despite the widely held belief that clients can't fire their attorneys, Chicago Now's Real Law Blog explains how that just isn't true.

Michael Helfand, the attorney who writes the regular blog, said attorneys tell their clients this lie quite often, saying "it happens all the time in
workers' compensation and personal injury claims and often in criminal cases too."

It happens all the time? That's surely up for debate; but you should know that the attorney is there to represent your interests and works for you. If he or she fails to meet reasonable standards, feel free to shop for another lawyer.