The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

April 2012 Archives

After more than 2 years in legal limbo, Christina Eilman’s suit against the Chicago Police Department can finally move forward, the Chicago Tribune reports.

On Thursday, a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the mentally ill California woman can sue the Chicago Police Department for releasing her into a high-crime area where she was raped and critically injured in 2006. In 2010, before the trial could start, the city’s lawyers filed an appeal claiming that the police had no duty to take care of Eilman. It took the appellate court over two years to issue its decision.

Yet another civil suit alleging police misconduct has emerged. On Tuesday, a paraplegic man filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming Chicago police officers beat him and knocked him out of his wheelchair, the Chicago Tribune reports.

According to the lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, 32-year-old Reginald Edwards was eating and recharging his wheelchair at a Dunkin’ Donuts on Adams St. when an employee demanded he leave. After Edwards refused, police officers became involved.

Last week, Dennis Adkins filed a lawsuit in federal court in Chicago against Walmart and Nestle Purina. In the suit, Adkins claims that a tainted dog treat produced by Nestle Purina and sold by Walmart killed his 9-year-old Pomeranian, Cleopatra, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Adkins’ product liability suit seeks more than $5 million in damages from the manufacturer and the retailer. While product liability and wrongful death suits are staples of personal injury law, it’s not every day that such suits are brought on behalf of a pet.

The estate of James Tyree, former owner of the Chicago Sun-Times, has reached a $10 million settlement with the University of Chicago Medical Center over a wrongful death claim, the Chicago Tribune reports.

In March 2011, Tyree died during a routine procedure at the medical center. His estate claimed that his death was partly due to the negligence of the hospital’s staff.

When most people think about “Good Samaritan” laws, they’re reminded of the final episode of Seinfeld, in which Jerry and the gang are incarcerated for laughing at, rather than helping, a man who’s being robbed at gunpoint. While most states have Good Samaritan laws, they serve an entirely different purpose than the law in the Seinfeld finale.

In fact, the legal concept depicted in the Seinfeld episode isn’t a Good Samaritan law at all but the duty to rescue. Generally, there is no duty to rescue - meaning you’re in no way legally obligated to aid someone in need of help. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule.

In October, city lawyers will likely face two lawsuits that allege some of the most notorious Chicago police misconduct in recent memory, the Chicago Tribune reports. One such suit is that of Christina Eilman, a mentally ill woman who was raped and left permanently disabled after police dropped her off in a high-crime area.

The other suit was brought by Karolina Obrycka, a bartender who alleges that off-duty Officer Anthony Abbate beat her. Both civil suits are currently scheduled to commence in October, creating a perfect storm for city attorneys.

The parents of Markus Cherry, a 2-month-old child who died three days after taking infant-formula Tylenol, have brought a product liability suit in Cook County against McNeil PPC and its parent company Johnson & Johnson, CBS News reports.

Two weeks after Cherry’s death, the drug company issued a recall of the concentrated Tylenol Infants Drops following an FDA study that uncovered bacteria contamination in the drugs.

Last Thursday, lawyers for Christina Eilman, a permanently disabled woman, requested that parts of Eilman’s stalled lawsuit against the city of Chicago commence while they wait for appellate judges to rule on an appeal filed over two years ago, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Two weeks before the trial was to commence in March 2010, the city appealed a ruling that retained police officers as defendants, in an alleged attempt to stall. The matter was forwarded to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, but it’s been 18 months since oral arguments and the appellate court still hasn’t ruled on the matter.

On Wednesday, a newborn baby, who was declared dead and placed in a coffin, was found to be alive in a refrigerated morgue in Buenos Aires. The infant, Luz Milagros, had spent 12 hours in the coffin after the Perrando hospital workers gave her up for dead, The Associated Press reports.

The infant’s mother, Analia Bouter, insisted on seeing the body of her daughter before leaving the hospital. When the drawer holding the infant was opened, the mother could hear her daughter whimper. Bouter and many others are now asking how a hospital could make such a grievous mistake.

22-year-old Rekia Boyd died a day after she was shot in the back of the head on the West Side. Detective Dante Servin, an off-duty cop, is Boyd’s alleged killer.

Now, Boyd’s family has filed a wrongful death suit in Cook County Circuit Court against Servin and the city of Chicago for the shooting, the Chicago Tribune reports. In the filings, Boyd’s family contends that the officer opened fire on Boyd without legal justification.

Last Friday, a 34-year-old man filed a lawsuit against Northwestern Memorial Hospital for accidentally injecting him with a green dye normally used to color clothing during a procedure, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Elijah Goodwin claims that the mistake has caused him permanent lung damage, and that he has developed a seizure disorder as a result. His attorney says that his client will be on prescription drugs for the rest of life to counter the effects.

Advocate Lutheran General Hospital has agreed to pay $8.25 million to settle a wrongful death suit brought by the parents of an infant who died as a result of errors committed by the hospital’s staff, the Chicago Tribune Reports. The settlement is the largest of its type in state history, according to the couple’s attorneys.

In 2010, Fritzie Burkett gave birth to her son, Genesis, four months premature. The Burketts placed the boy in the hospital’s care, where he remained for the next six weeks. Then, on Oct. 15, Genesis suddenly died following a heart operation that had taken place without any complications.

A woman is suing the village of Melrose Park, after she was allegedly roughed up by a Melrose Park police officer while re-enacting an altercation. Tanya Gill filed a civil suit against the village on Tuesday, alleging excessive use of force, false arrest, and battery, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Gill claims she was assaulted at a Melrose Park bar on Monday night by a drunken patron. She called the police, but when they arrived one of the officers allegedly physically handled Gill in a manner that would be more appropriate for a dangerous criminal.

Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade’s nephew, Darin Johnson, was shot in the leg in a South Side convenience store last Thursday. Six hooded men shot at the store, killing one and injuring four others, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Friday night, during the Heat’s game against Toronto, Wade wrote “Praying for Darin” on his sneaker as a sign of solidarity. If the shooters are apprehended, Johnson may wish to bring a personal injury suit against his assailants for battery.

Last Tuesday, the family of Melissa Dorner, a 21-year-old who was raped and murdered in her Edgewater apartment, was awarded a $10 million verdict, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Roberto Ramirez, Dorner's killer, is currently serving a prison sentence for the murder, which occurred 7 years ago.

While the jury found that Ramirez was most accountable for the murder, it also ascribed some blame to Wilmette Real Estate and Management Co., the company managing Dorner's apartment complex, for failing to address concerns about Ramirez that had arose prior to the incident. The $10 million verdict has been a comfort for Dorner's family, but collecting it may be a challenge.