The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

December 2011 Archives

Dead Man Liable for Flying Body Parts

In a weird case, an Illinois appeals court ruled that a man who was struck and killed by a speeding Metra train could be liable for the injuries caused by his flying body parts after he died.

In 2008, Hiroyuki Joho was running in the rain to catch a Metra train, reports the Chicago Tribune. He was running with an umbrella covering his head and apparently did not see a train coming at him as he crossed the tracks.

Motorist Killed in Fatal Palatine Train Accident

Michael Levgard of Palatine decided to drive around lowered railroad crossing gates in the Chicago suburbs. While he saw one stopped train, he failed to see another speeding through.

Levgard was struck and killed by the passenger train, and his vehicle was dragged a quarter mile up the tracks, reports the Chicago Tribune.

So Negligent, Chuck Dai Could Go to Jail?

Chuck Dai was allegedly so negligent in maintaining the abandoned laundry building he owned, that he could go to jail for the deadly fire that broke out on his premises resulting in the death of two Chicago firefighters.

Usually, someone only faces civil penalties like fines for violating building codes and other civil codes. However, prosecutors are charging Dai with criminal contempt for not maintaining his building, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Willie Gault Fraud? Former Bear Caught in SEC Investigation

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleges Willie Gault fraud. Gault was a great athlete, winning a Super Bowl with the 1985 Chicago Bears and running on the US Olympic track team. But Gault was apparently not a very good businessman, as the SEC charged Gault and five other men at Heart Tronics for taking part in a scam to artificially prop up the stock price of their medical device company.

For his defense, Gault may plead ignorance, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Too bad being ignorant may not be a defense.

Diana Paz Drunk When Released to Her Death

In September, we wrote about the death of Diana Paz. The 25-year-old Chicago woman was arrested for a DUI and was later released by Illinois State police at a gas station. As the woman walked home, she was struck and killed by a motorist.

Her family filed a discovery lawsuit against the police to learn about the circumstances of her arrest and release. This week, it was revealed that Paz's blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit when she was killed.

7 Tips for a Safe Christmas

Every year you'll see on TV how a Christmas tree fire or a spark from Christmas lights destroyed a family home during the holiday season.

To be safe for the holiday season, you'll want to keep in mind these following seven tips for having a safe Christmas, as provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Tim Pittas Killed by Salt Spreader

As the snow and ice starts to hit the Chicago-area, people shoveling their driveways, removing said snow and ice, and even spreading salt should be aware of the dangers of these tasks.

A salt spreading death was reported earlier this week in Hanover Township. Tim Pittas was killed when he fell on a salt spreading tool, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. The 26-year-old suburban man worked for his family business that provided professional snow removal services and he was apparently removing pavement salt from a truck when he fell onto an ice augar.

What Not to Do After a Chicago Car Accident: Mom Goes Nuts

We wrote before about what you should do following a Chicago car accident. Many of the steps were common-sense steps like stay at the scene of the accident, make sure everyone is okay, and call the police if necessary.

A Naperville woman clearly did not read that post as she reactedjust about as poorly as you could following a car accident and now faces criminal charges and perhaps civil penalties as well.

Top 7 Baby Product Recalls

Unfortunately, baby products are some of the most dangerous products that you can buy. Combine shoddily built goods with an infant’s curiosity, and you get a recipe for disaster.

In Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s annual Safe Shopping Guide, the AG highlighted several baby product recalls. These include the following:

Tom Lakin Sex Abuse Lawsuit to Proceed

After a five-year stay, the sexual abuse civil claim against disgraced Illinois attorney Tom Lakin will proceed as a St. Clair County judge gave it the go-ahead.

The plaintiff had claimed that he was sexually abused by Lakin when he was just 15 years old, reports the Chicago Tribune. But as there was a concurrent federal criminal case against Lakin for holding cocaine-fueled sex parties at his home with minors, the civil case was put on hold.

Lisa Madigan Releases Annual Safe Shopping Guide

In her annual Safe Shopping Guide, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan released pictures and descriptions of the 91 children's products recalled between January 1, 2011 and October 31, 2011.

While Illinois retailers were required to remove these products from store shelves, those hunting for holiday bargains may still find these dangerous items on the Internet, in second-hand stores, and through other outlets. For this reason, Madigan urged shoppers to double check that the products they buy for their children are safe.

Judge Compares Lawyer to Ostrich -- Hurtful, but Defamatory?

Judge Richard Posner is one of the best known law professors and judges in the country. Along with his fame, comes a bit of notoriety too, as the judge has been known to tongue-lash unprepared lawyers who’ve come before him, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

And Posner certainly didn’t disappoint when Dallas-based attorney David McKeand apparently forgot to cite a case that Posner felt was the most recent, on-point decision dealing with a jurisdiction matter the court was considering.

DCFS to Blame for Christopher Valdez's Death?

Four-year-old Christopher Valdez was found brutally beaten to death on his birthday last Friday. His mother, Crystal Valdez, and her boyfriend, Cesar Ruiz, have been charged with murder for the little boy’s death.

But as further facts are unveiled, people may also be pointing fingers at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for possibly playing a role in the boy’s death.