The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

October 2012 Archives

Halloween Hell: Top Five Dangers to Your Children

Halloween's a hell of a holiday. Kids get candy. Adults get drunk. Everyone dresses up like an idiot. Sales of Mike Myers movies skyrocket.

(Fun tip: Busta Rhymes' Halloween: Resurrection is by far the greatest of the series.)

Still, many label Halloween as the most dangerous holiday for children. Read onward to find out why.

Boy Declared Dead, Then Alive: Malpractice or Lazarus Phenomenon?

Sheena Lane and Pink Dorsey have been to hell and back in the truest sense of the expression. They are the parents of 8-year-old Jaylen, who was declared dead by the Mercy Hospital and Medical Center staff after his heart completely stopped before being brought into the hospital.

Hours later, he was alive again, without any additional help from the hospital staff, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Ex-Cop That Beat Bartender Claims Self-Defense in Civil Suit

Earlier this week, we talked about a possible resolution of a long-pending lawsuit against the Chicago PD for releasing a mentally ill woman into a dangerous neighborhood, where she was subsequently attacked. That incident happened in 2006 and the case is still pending. That's not the only long-delayed Chicago PD case that is drawing to a close.

Ex-officer Anthony Abbate's infamous beating of a female bartender in 2007 also resulted in a lawsuit against both Abbate and the Chicago Police Department. The trial is currently ongoing. The claims against Abatte are probably a foregone conclusion, as the following tape is pretty clear:

Eilman Case Headed Towards Settlement or More Delays?

The City of Chicago is finally looking to settle, six years after the police enabled an attack that left Christina Eilman permanently mentally and physically disabled. Most Chicagoans are probably familiar with Eilman’s case by now. She caused a disturbance at Midway airport in 2006 after suffering a bipolar breakdown. Officers arrested her and eventually released her in one of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods. She was kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and then fell from a seventh-story window, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Why might the officers be at fault? Though it seems many officers determined her to be a run-of-the-mill malcontent, others thought that she might need mental health care. Her stepfather warned the department that she was bipolar over the phone. They apparently thought it was a prank. Her mother also warned them. Her statements were never passed on.

Recall: Banana Boat Prevents Sunburn, Catches You on Fire?

Sunburns are no joking matter. Not only do they hurt, and make you look more red than a British phone booth, but they can cause skin cancer. Fortunately, the careful application of sunblock can reduce the likelihood of sunburn and cancer from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Unfortunately, it also seems that Banana Boat’s sunblock can catch you on fire, reports Reuters.

Legal U: Go Suck on a Lemon Law

Even in the age of mass production and mechanization of most of the auto manufacturing process, once in a while, there is a dud. Sometimes, the damn thing just doesn’t work. Call it a curse, a hex, or a defect.

Better yet, call it a Lemon.

Illinois’ Lemon Law, officially known as the New Vehicle Buyer Protection Act, protects purchasers of new cars for a period of eighteen months after the purchase date. If certain criteria are met, the buyer can exchange the car for a comparable new model or sell it back minus an allowance for mileage driven. Of course, not all vehicles qualify. Passenger vehicles, motor vehicles weighing less than 8,000 pounds, vehicles purchased by fire departments, and recreational vehicles are covered. Used vehicles are not.

Lawsuit Filed Over Northwestern Hospital's Spoiled Semen

Imagine being told that treatment for your medical condition means that you will no longer be able to have children. There is a glimmer of hope, however. Frozen sperm harvested before the treatment could allow you to someday have children via the miracle of cryogenic preservation at the hospital’s sperm bank and in vitro fertilization.

And then the freezer broke at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, reports the Chicago Tribune. On April 21-22, one of the cryogenic storage tanks went offline. In addition, the alarm failed to alert technicians. The end result was catastrophic for the plaintiff in this case, known in court filings as John Anonymous, as his stored semen is no longer viable.

Guy With Broken Leg, Back Pain, Gets Record $4.16 Mill Verdict, Will it Stand?

Four point one six million dollars! Even when read slowly, that’s an almost unimaginable sum for most of us. Former garage door technician Joshua Jaeger, 29, better get used to it. He just set the record for largest non-medical malpractice verdict in DuPage County, reports the Chicago Tribune.

In 2006, an Elmhurst city employee lifted Jaeger sixteen feet on a platform in order to enable Jaeger to inspect a broken spring on a city garage door at the public works garage. The platform broke, Jaeger fell, and now he has chronic pain. He suffered a broken femur (leg bone) which has since healed and soft tissue injuries to his back in the fall. He can’t work as a repairman, as he is unable to lift more than seventy pounds and cannot climb ladders.

Recall Roundup: Hondas, Toyotas, Not Nissan, Oh My!

Do you remember when the American auto industry nearly collapsed due to decades of making inferior products? Has the gap finally been closed yet? The two largest Japanese auto manufacturers have announced a series of recalls in the last few weeks that cover millions of vehicles. That's also good news for Nissan, as they were the the only manufacturer of the Japanese big three not to recall a car in October.

Toyota's recall is the largest in recent memory, as it covers 7.4 million cars globally, including 2.5 million in the United States, reports Consumer Reports. The recall involves a window switch that apparently didn't get enough grease at the factory. The increased friction can eventually lead to sticky switches, smoke, and even fire. The recalled units include the following:

Starbucks v. Starbarks: Trademark Infringement by Doggie Day Care?

Starbucks made the coffee in this blogger's cup. It's also probably currently in the cups of about a hundred million people across the globe. Within walking distance of this computer, there are five Starbucks locations. The name "Starbucks" is as almost as well-known as McDonald's and Coca-Cola.

So why are they targeting a doggie day care in the village of Algonquin? The local small business chose a too-familiar name: Starbarks, reports the Daily Herald. A single-letter difference differentiates the coffee behemoth from the diminutive doggie day care.

Also take a look at the logo:

Meningitis-Tainted Steroid Injections Shipped to Chicago

Meningitis-tainted steroid injections, typically used to alleviate back pain, made their way to Chicago, reports The Associated Press.

The compounding pharmacy-produced injections are suspected of causing a meningitis outbreak that has claimed five lives, sickened at least 35, and could affect thousands of others. So far, meningitis cases have been reported in six states: Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Florida, North Carolina and Indiana. However, shipments were made to 23 states in all.

According to the AP, the dirty drugs were formulated at a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts, the New England Compounding Center. These types of pharmacies typically produce unique combinations or dosages of drugs that aren't available commercially. For example, they might provide a pain reliever in a lozenge (cough drop) form instead of a pill.

Round Lake Schools Sued Over Student's Strip Search for Pot

Former Round Lake Middle School Principal Ryan Hawkins and current Assistant Principal Ray Porten, along with the rural school district, are facing a $1.2 million lawsuit over an alleged illegal strip-search of a 13-year-old student, reports the Chicago Tribune. The two administrators, along with an unknown third school employee, were acting on a tip from another student, who claimed to hear the boy and his friend state that they had marijuana.

The three administrators pulled the boy out of class and took him into a conference room, where they searched his shoes, then had him lift his shirt and pull down his pants and underwear. They also had him lift his genitals "to allow visual inspection." The entire search took place in a conference room with uncovered windows.

Finding no weed tucked in the boy's tuchus, the intrepid investigators then decided to search his locker and other belongings. The search still turned up nothing -- except, of course, a lawsuit.

Expletive Happens: Be Prepared for the Inevitable Car Accident

We know. You're a very excellent driver. There's no way you'd ever be at fault for an accident. Even still, there are idiots out there. You've met them before. They are the ones who block your commute every morning. Being prepared for when one of those idiots eventually hits you (it will happen) is important, and can save you from both having to pay money and perhaps having to spend time in jail.

Jail time? Jail time? Why yes, jail time. If you are in an accident, and not taken to a hospital, you are required to stop at the scene of the accident. If you take off before the police arrive or fail to exchange information, you can (and probably will) be charged with a hit-and-run, even if it's the other driver's fault.

A hit and run can be a felony offense in Illinois if someone is injured, or a severe misdemeanor if only property damage occurs. Either charge can result in more time than you'd like to spend behind bars. It doesn't matter who was at fault in the accident, or that the meeting you were rushing to couldn't be postponed. Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime.