The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

March 2012 Archives

In May 2011, Dwight Washington, a former laborer for the Department of Streets and Sanitation, plowed through a crowd of people on State Street in his pickup truck. Eight people were injured in the crash, including a toddler.

Washington, who was drunk and on duty at the time of the accident, was recently sentenced to a prison term of nine years, the Chicago Tribune reports. Now, Jennifer Anton, one of the eight injured, has filed a civil suit against Washington and the City of Chicago, Washington's employer, according to ABC News.

Ever since 1992, when Stella Lieback, a 79-year-old woman from New Mexico, sued McDonald’s after she scalded herself with a cup of the chain’s coffee, “hot coffee” lawsuits have become the stuff of American legal lore. The writers of Seinfeld lampooned them, politicians seeking tort reform pointed to them as frivolous, and HBO produced a documentary on the subject, aptly titled Hot Coffee.

Lieback’s suit against McDonald’s was ultimately settled out of court, and the fast food giant has since been free of hot coffee claimants. Until now. Not one, but two new lawsuits were filed by Chicago residents last week against McDonald’s for injuries caused by the chain’s lava-like brew, Chicago Business reports.

Bed Bug Infestation: Chicago in Top 15 Cities

What's bugging Chicago?

Could it be the weirdly warm weather? The Bruce Weber mess at Illinois? Perhaps it is the inclusion of the city in the list of the Top 15 Most Infested Cities. That's right, we are talking bed bugs, and Chicago's got 'em.

The list of the top 15 most bed bug infested cities ranks Chicago at number 5 according to the Chicago Tribune. Not surprisingly, other major cities are the top contenders including Detroit at number 3, Philly at number 2 and of course, to no one's surprise, New York at number 1. New York is always showing off.

Family of Drunk Woman Sues Police over Death

In December, we wrote that the family of Diana Paz was likely to sue the police for the 25-year-old woman’s death, and last week the lawsuit was finally filed.

Diana Paz had been out drinking in September when she was pulled over by a police for driving the wrong way down the street in the early morning hours. Paz was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and taken to the Westchester Police Department, reports the Chicago Tribune. The police held Paz for a couples hours before she posted bond and was released.

Illinois AG Lisa Madigan Goes After Mo' Money Tax Preparers

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a Mo' Money fraud lawsuit against the national tax preparation company. In the suit, Madigan claims that Mo' Money swindled its customers by promising fast refunds, while instead charging them hidden fees and mistake-riddled tax returns.

As usual, the poor get poorer as disreputable companies like Mo' Money allegedly targeted low-income customers' vulnerability with promises of instant refunds and fast cash, said the Attorney General in her press release. But after getting their hooks into the customers, Mo' Money charged customers a bevy of hidden costs and fees -- as much as $700 per person -- before the customers ever saw a penny in refunds.

Family to Get $6 Million for University Park Railroad Death

Performer and dance instructor Katie Lunn never saw the train coming when her car was struck at a University Park train crossing. Witnesses to the accident, including an Illinois state attorney, say that the train crossing gate did not go down, lights did not flash, and there were no other warnings of an approaching train.

In a wrongful death lawsuit brought against the Illinois Central Railroad Company, the railroad company agreed to settle the University Park railroad death with Lunn’s family for $6 million, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Her directorial debut is off to a rocky start. Angelina Jolie's film "In the Land of Blood and Honey" about the Balkan War grossed only $300,000 at the box office. It also resulted in an Angelina Jolie copyright lawsuit.

Croatian journalist James Braddock, also known as Josip J. Knezevic, claimed that Jolie stole the idea from his book, reports the Chicago Tribune. He says that he met with the film's producer three times in 2008 to discuss turning his book into a movie, before Jolie eventually came out with the film.

Strangely, Braddock's lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Chicago and Jolie is now seeking to have the case moved to California.

Man with Dementia Killed in Oak Park Nursing Home Beating

A man with dementia was killed on Valentine’s Day at the Oak Park Healthcare Center. The family of 80-year-old Anibal Calderon has now filed a wrongful death lawsuit for the Oak Park nursing home beating.

It’s not clear what started the deadly fight, but Calderon was beat to death by another patient at the nursing home, an unidentified 66-year-man allegedly with a violent criminal background, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Are Hands Free Devices Any Safer?

The proposed Evanston cell phone ban has brought up the debate about whether use of a hands free cell phone device while driving is actually safer. The bill would ban all cell phone use while driving including the use of hands free devices.

Proponents of the proposal claim that motorists are just as likely to get into a car accident while driving regardless of whether they use a hands free device, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. According to some studies, drivers are four times more likely to get into an accident while talking on their cell phones, and this number does not go down even if a hands free device is used.

Firefighter Dies In Fiery Car Accident Near Industrial Park

One can only imagine what was going on at 2:00 a.m. along an industrial road in New Lenox Township when two cars — driving side-by-side — didn’t realize that the road had come to an end, and crashed through a chain link fence into an oil pipe.

The pipe burst into flames upon impact and Posen firefighter Zachary Orel and a New Lenox man, Bart Lenz, were killed in the fiery inferno, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Determining liability for the accident will likely depend upon Illinois contributory negligence laws.

Michael Jordan China Lawsuit a Go After All

Earlier this week it seemed that the Michael Jordan China lawsuit was down for the count after a Beijing court reportedly was unwilling to take on his trademark infringement case against sporting goods company Qiaodan, reports the Huffington Post.

However, an unidentified Chinese court apparently has agreed to step up and take on the case.