The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

June 2012 Archives

Cerevisaphiles Complain About Beer Stein Bait and Switch

Cerevisaphile (Cer-a-vehs-a-file) aficionado of beers and ales, 2.a devotee to the decoction of barley infused with hops and fermented, imbiber of beer on the highest order, bordering on devotion, who pursues the very finest in malted beverages. The etymology of the word derives from the Latin term for beer - Cerevisia.

A group of cerevisaphiles, or beer enthusiasts, sued in federal court after a bait and switch left a bitter taste in their mouths, reports the Courthouse News Service.

New China Wok Tossed Woman Through Glass Door Over Sauce Packets

There is a common refrain of complaint amongst us full-figured types: Why, oh why, do fast-food and casual dining places only give you one packet of sauce? If a customer just ordered 20 chicken nuggets, shouldn't it be obvious that more than one Sweet and Sour packet is required to enjoy the full flavor and tastiness that is in those processed poultry treats?

Most of the time, such requests are met with either rolled eyes or a demand for $0.10 per packet. New China Wok, at least according to Tiawanda Shears, instead decided to beat the crap out of her and throw her through a glass door, reports Courthouse News Service.

But did she get her sauce packets?

Did Harvey Police Officer Use Excessive Force, Cause Miscarriage?

Kwamesha Sharp, 17, claims that she was attacked by the Harvey Police Department. She had just left a doctor's appointment and was heading to a friend's house. When she arrived, there was a commotion. When she tried to figure out what was happening, an officer tackled her, reports ABC 7.

Normally, this would fly under the radar. Cops tackle people all of the time. Usually, there's little or no damage, beyond hurt feelings. Unfortunately, Sharp was pregnant with her second child.

Vicente Cardenas' Tragic Death: Res Ipsa Loquitor?

Though we talked about the tragic death of 4-year-old Vicente Cardenas earlier this week when discussing pool safety, at the time, there wasn’t enough information to even began to speculate on the legal implications of his accidental death. Now, after a few more days, a tragic tale has emerged of an unsupervised child who didn’t know how to swim and the series of safeguards that failed to protect him.

The family, desperate for answers, is planning to file a lawsuit in the coming days, reports ABC 7. There are lots of questions surrounding Vicente’s death. How does a 4-year-old get into a pool without a life jacket? How does that same child end up in the fetal position under five feet of water? And how do numerous lifeguards and chaperones all fail to notice and prevent the little boy’s death?

ConAgra's Hebrew National Not Kosher, Says Former Employee

Hebrew National’s products are marked with a “Triangle K” symbol, which certifies the products as kosher as “defined by the most stringent Jews who follow Orthodox Jewish law.” A handful of consumers, along with former employees, contend in a class action lawsuit filed last month that the mark, and marketing, are a lie, reports Reuters.

According to JTA, the suit alleges:

  • Knives used in the slaughtering process were nicked. Kosher requires a clean cut.
  • Organ meat was not consistently inspected after slaughter, as required for kashrut.
  • The blood of slaughtered animals was not consistently removed within 72 hours, as required by kosher law.
  • Managers took certificates issued to trained slaughterers and replaced their names with individuals who had not been trained.
  • Kosher meat was not consistently kept separate from non-kosher meat.

Summer's In Session: Pool Safety

In light of a last week's tragedy, when 4-year-old Vicente Cardenas passed away after drowning in a public pool, it is important to remember to practice pool safety, whether at a public or private pool.

Though the toddler's death is still under investigation, he was found in five feet of water, surrounded by lifeguards and staff from his day-care center, reports the Chicago Tribune. It is unclear if any of the children had life jackets.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends the following steps for parents to keep their children safe:

Hospital Does Drug Study on Patients Without Them Knowing

There are a lot of safeguards in place to protect study participants. Before a drug study can actually go forward, it usually has to be presented to an Institutional Review Board (IRB), who checks the study against FDA regulations. The FDA also reviews studies that meet certain guidelines.

After those two agencies sign off, the patient still has to give informed consent and sign a waiver. Oak Brook-based Advocate Health Care kinda skipped all of that, reports the Chicago Tribune.

South Park's 'What What (In the Butt) Parody Ruled Fair Use

In 2008, South Park released another of their typically absurd, yet sophomorically humorous takes on a contemporary social issue: viral internet videos. The storyline boiled down to Canada going on strike over not receiving any part of the money made from these videos. Meanwhile, nine-year-old Butters is convinced by classmates to make a viral video, entitled “What What (In the Butt)”.

Yep. And it’s exactly what you’d imagine. According to Courthouse News, the odd video satirizes another video and, as Judge Cudahy put it, is a “paean to anal sex.”

Despite a Positive Yelp! Rating, Avoid Cook County Jail

Cook County Department of Corrections has, to put it mildly, a colorful history.

According to Yelp!, it's a pretty fine place. It has two profiles, due to naming variations, but the reviews average to about four out of five stars.

Some of the highlights include a full description of the booking process, along with some truly insightful advice from a repeat visitor, to complaints about the quality of the cuisine.

But it's not always sunny in the Cook County Department of Corrections.

Pretty Pleading: Victims Record Cop, Get Arrested, and Sue

What’s a tort in a tort? A supertort?

Quick vocabulary lesson: a tort is an action that you can sue over, such as battery, slander, or false imprisonment. A tortfeasor is someone who commits a tort.

According to the Courthouse News Service, Benjamin Perez and Bobby Milton were hanging out with friends when another friend rolled by on a motorcycle. The two-wheeled friend was heading south on Chicago Avenue.

Captain Kevin Navarro was headed north, in the southbound lane, in a marked Police SUV. Boom.

'Widowmaker' Dead Tree Crushes Camper

In the summer of 2011, Elizabeth Burns and 12 other minors went on a camping trip with Two Wilderness Ventures. She died after a tree collapsed and fell on her, and now her family wants to hold Wilderness Ventures liable, reports Courthouse News Service.

According to the complaint, the defendant knew or should have known about the ongoing pine beetle infestation that had killed 40 to 50 percent of the trees in the area. The plague had left the trees dead, needle-less, and de-barked. The U.S. Forest Service had warned visitors that the trees could fall at any time without notice.

$180 Million Verdict in ConAgra Silo Explosion

It all started with a chemical reaction, reports the Chicago Tribune. The reaction lit part of the grain. The fire smoldered, and pressure built, and no one said a word. The only indication of a problem, to the three-man cleaning crew, was a funny smell and a little smoke.

It went on for six weeks before John W. Jentz, Robert Schmidt, and Justin Becker were sent in to clean the silo. No one warned them.

Woman Sued for DUI, Assisted Suicide?

The facts of this tragic crash read like a law school exam. Enrique Lituma was kneeling in the middle of a busy street at 3:30 am on Christmas Eve, 2011. Christine Ahn was allegedly driving drunk. The car in front of her managed to avoid him. She didn't, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

The Cook County medical examiner, for reasons unknown or unreported, ruled the death a suicide. The police report, however, does not mention suicide, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Another Decade, Another Chicago Panhandling Lawsuit

Less than nine years ago, the City of Chicago settled a lawsuit between homeless panhandlers and the city for $500,000, reports the Asssociated Press. The suit centered around a law that outright prohibited panhandling and its effect on protected commercial speech.

The city apparently did not learn its lesson, however. Though the previous ban was repealed and replaced with what are arguably reasonable restrictions, such as a ban of panhandling near ATMs, the law is just more than words on a page. There are laws and law enforcement officers.