The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

June 2011 Archives

In what is likely to be the first of many lawsuits, Alexandra Curtis, an Evanston woman, is suing the John Davis Trucking Company for injuries she received in the Nevada train accident that killed at least six people.

According to the Associated Press, Curtis, 38, was an Amtrak attendant on the train bound from Chicago to California. As the train raced across the Nevada desert, John Davis Trucking driver Lawrence Valli allegedly ran a railroad crossing gate and smashed his tractor trailer into the train.

Valli was killed in the accident along with five people aboard the Amtrak train. Curtis suffered an injured back and elbow, and she says that she suffers post-traumatic stress disorder, reports the AP.

Stephen Dewart Sues City After Getting Hit by Drunk Driver

Stephen Dewart is bringing a lawsuit against the City of Chicago for personal injuries he sustained last month when a Chicago city worker, Dwight Washington, ran him over on a city sidewalk.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Dewart, 27, was posing for wedding photos in the Gold Coast neighborhood, when Dwight Washington, a streets and sanitation worker, lost control of his truck and plowed into a group of people on the sidewalk.

Dewart was one of eight people hit and the Sun-Times reports that he suffered a spinal fracture, broken fibula, broken tibia, along with several other injuries. Dewart was hospitalized for six days and is reportedly still wheelchair bound.

Illinois AG Madigan Sues Heart Check America for Fraud

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed a lawsuit against Heart Check America accusing the company of fraud. In her lawsuit, the Attorney General alleges that Heart Check America engaged in deceptive business practices by manipulating thousands of patients into buying pricey, and oftentimes unnecessary, medical body scans.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Heart Check America is a medical imaging company that makes its money by convincing customers to buy 10-year medical screening contracts costing up to $7,000 each.

However, hundreds of Heart Check America customers filed complaints with the Attorney General’s office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Better Business Bureau accusing the company of fraudulent practices like giving inaccurate tests and giving tests of no medical significance.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has issued a product warning urging consumers to immediately stop using fuel gels in firepots after a spate of injuries have been reported nationwide. These firepots and outdoor candles have primarily been used for decorative purposes, though several recent reports have described the firepots as potential "napalm bombs" when consumers tried to refill or re-light the pots with the fuel gel.

In her product warning, Attorney General Madigan said, "Fuel gels can be extremely dangerous, and yet most people are unaware of the burn risks they pose." Madigan urged consumers to stop using the fuel gels while the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) investigates the safety of the products.

Chicago Judge to Consider Whether Greg Mortenson a Fraud

Readers of Greg Mortenson's bestselling books about building schools in Afghanistan have now filed a second personal injury lawsuit against the author in a Chicago federal court. As with the first lawsuit, the plaintiffs are basically claiming that Mortenson defrauded readers by portraying his books as nonfiction, when in fact many of the passages in the book were made up. The lawsuit charges that Mortenson, "captured the hearts and minds of Plaintiffs and book lovers nationwide, duping them into buying 'Three Cups of Tea.'"

According to the Daily Beast, Mortenson had been a celebrated philanthropist who earned millions from his books describing his purported adventures in Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, "60 Minutes" and fellow author Jon Krakauer have since questioned the veracity of Mortenson's memoirs.

Charles Oakley, former Chicago Bull and legendary tough guy, has sued the Las Vegas casino Aria claiming that an assault at the casino led to a painful back injury that may prevent him from coaching.

As an assistant for the Charlotte Bobcats, Oakley had to be physically carried from the bench before a game in March due to the back injury reports The Washington Post. Oakley missed the team's remaining 13 games with the injury.

According to the Post, the 47-year old Oakley still has trouble moving and recently notified Bobcats management to consider replacing him due to his injuries.

Chicago Bus Crash Injures 20 near the Loop

A tour bus and another vehicle collided on the Dan Ryan Expressway in downtown Chicago sending 20 people to the hospital. There were no serious injuries reported among the 20 taken to area hospitals, and the damage to both vehicles involved in the accident has been described as minor, reports Reuters.

The riders on this bus should consider themselves lucky as this Chicago bus crash is just the latest in a string of accidents involving common carriers like trains and buses, many of which have had deadly results.

Train Accident Injures 12 at Chicago's Union Station

A Metra train and an Amtrak train collided at Chicago’s Union Station injuring 12 people and shutting down the station during the morning rush hour. The Chicago Tribune reports that none of the injuries are serious.

According to the Tribune, investigators are looking into a possible switching error as the cause of the inbound Metra train from Aurora hitting the engine of an Amtrak train. Both trains were reported to be traveling at slow speeds of about 5 mph.

Larry Pryzbyla Killed in Memorial Day Fireworks Accident

Larry Pryzbyla was killed on Memorial Day following a fireworks accident in the western suburb of Addison. The 47-year old Pryzbyla suffered a fatal injury after igniting the fireworks and was dead on the scene when police arrived, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Police are still investigating the accident to piece together what happened.

Fireworks, and injuries from fireworks, are usually associated with the July 4th holiday, however, fireworks at any time of year are very dangerous and cause injuries.