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Chicago Personal Injury News Blog

Man who lost leg in construction zone crash wins $7 million from city

By Lisa Donovan Cook County Reporter May 29, 2011 A 61-year-old man who lost his leg in a horrific crash while working at a city of Chicago construction site was awarded nearly $7 million by a Cook County jury. Don Martinelli, an Ameritech employee, was marking underground phone cable locations near a road construction zone at Milwaukee and Leavitt in Bucktown in 2002 when a motorist struck him, leaving him pinned him against his work truck and leading to the amputation of his leg from above the knee. Martinelli, now retired and living in the Northwest suburbs, won a $20,000 insurance settlement from...

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Pella window class-action suit survives certification

Pella case includes consumers who have not suffered any financial damages but may in the future Ameet Sachdev Chicago Law May 10, 2011 Class-action lawsuits face stiff head winds in courts and the court of public opinion. But that doesn't stop class-action lawyers and judges from finding creative ways to cut through the currents, as illustrated by a federal case in Chicago that has survived layers of judicial scrutiny. The suit involves allegations of defective products sold by Pella Corp., an Iowa-based manufacturer of windows and doors. Consumers should take notice because their ability to challenge corporate wrongdoing through class-action suits has been diminished...

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Military museum’s model chopper hit woman, suit claims

CHICAGO — A Cook County husband and wife are suing the Russell Military Museum after the woman allegedly was struck by the spinning blades of a model helicopter during a live demonstration. On July 11, 2009, Agnieszka Wlodek was watching a live demonstration of “a flying, steel bodied, model military helicopter” at the museum, 43363 Old Route 41, Russell, when she was struck by the model’s rotating blades, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court. Wlodek, who remained in the designated viewing area during the display, was injured when the blades struck...

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Man uses sheets to escape nursing home, dies in fall

CHICAGO (STMW) - A man who tied sheets together and used them to try and lower himself out a window of a nursing home accidentally fell and died Wednesday morning in the Logan Square neighborhood on the Northwest Side. Ramon Crisantos, 57, who lived at the Woodbridge Nursing Pavilion at 2242 N. Kedzie Blvd., woke up early Wednesday and a nurse saw him begin his normal routine so the nurse began her daily duties, according to a Shakespeare District police lieutenant. But about 5:20 a.m. Wednesday, someone downstairs heard a noise and went to investigate....

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Gay man files complaint against Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rainbow PUSH

In a document filled with stunning allegations, Tommy R. Bennett has filed a complaint with the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations against the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., and the minister's Chicago-based organization, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, claiming, among other things, harassment and termination on the basis of Bennett's sexual orientation. Rev. Jackson has a long record of support for LGBT rights, including during his runs for U.S. president and his speech at the LGBT March on Washington in 1987. This is believed to be the first time an allegation has come forward claiming he was involved in sexual orientation...

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More fairness, balance needed in courts

Posted: Tuesday, April 12, Local personal injury lawyers scoffed last December when McLean County was named as a “jurisdiction to watch” in the American Tort Reform Association’s annual report on the country’s “judicial hellholes.” Three other counties in Illinois – Cook, Madison and St. Clair – have national reputations as lawsuit magnets and have continually made the “judicial hellholes” list over the past decade. But the people who put together the “judicial hellholes” report must be pretty prescient because just three months after being placed on the report’s “watch list,” McLean County just delivered an eye-opening $90 million verdict that people all...

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$24 million award upheld in fatal ’04 crash

By Bill Bird wbird@stmedianetwork.com Apr 5, 2011 OTTAWA — A near-$24 million wrongful death and personal injury award has been upheld, almost seven years to the day after a 10-vehicle traffic crash on Interstate 55 that killed two men from Naperville and Seneca and permanently injured a man from Aurora. A 3rd District Illinois Appellate Court panel on Wednesday upheld the record verdict rendered by a jury in Will County Circuit Court. It held three defendants liable for $23.75 million in the April 1, 2004, crash that killed Joseph G. Sperl of Naperville and Thomas Sanders of Seneca, and injured Aurora resident...

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Long-awaited patient safety data on hospitals is released by government

Hospital patient safety under a spotlight Medicare releases first report on hospital-acquired conditions By Judith Graham, Tribune reporter 7:56 p.m. CDT, April 10, 2011 Over strong objections from the hospital industry, the government has published data about things that can go wrong in hospitals — falls, objects left behind during surgeries, bloodstream or urinary infections associated with catheters, incompatible blood infusions, serious bed sores and more. The information is the first hospital-specific patient safety data to be released nationally by Medicare. Published last week, it comes from a review of hospital bills submitted for elderly and disabled patients between October 2008 and June 2010. All...

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Chicago family sues over baby’s death

Associated Press The parents of a baby who died after getting an incorrect dosage of nutrients in an IV are suing the suburban Chicago hospital where the infant was born. Lawyers for Fritzie and Cameron Burkett say the Chicago couple's six-week-old son, Genesis, died after mistakenly receiving about 60 times the prescribed dose of sodium chloride. Attorney Patrick Salvi says the boy's October 2010 death left the Burketts devastated. The child died at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge. Advocate Healthcare spokeswoman Kelly Jo Golson acknowledged that an "error" was made. She says their prayers are with the family. via Chicago family...

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Judge administers another beatdown to P2P lawyer, severs cases

By Nate Anderson Multiple federal judges in Chicago have absolutely ripped the tactics of the state's only attorney filing mass P2P file-sharing lawsuits in recent weeks. Now, two new rulings directly contradict a ruling from Judge Beryl Howell, an RIAA lobbyist-turned-federal-judge in Washington, DC, who said that mass subpoenas against alleged file-swappers were proper. Last week, Judge Blanche Manning of the Northern District of Illinois "severed" two of the P2P suits filed by local attorney John Steele, cutting them down from 1,800 combined defendants to just two. The judge, acting sua sponte (of her own accord, without ruling on a motion), told...

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More deaths identified at North Side nursing facility for disabled kids

More deaths identified at North Side nursing facility for disabled kids Equip for Equality investigation details pattern of neglect at Alden Village North, now slated for shutdown by state By Sam Roe, Tribune reporter A federally backed watchdog group says it has identified at least five more deaths involving poor care at a troubled Chicago nursing facility for disabled children and young adults, as well as a pattern of the home destroying evidence of medication errors. The group, Equip for Equality, found that illnesses at Alden Village North were improperly treated, doctors failed to return pages, lab results were ignored and internal investigations into...

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Going beyond saying you’re sorry

More hospitals using quick remediation strategies following medical errors By Maureen McKinney When preventable medical errors occur, most hospitals rely—many times begrudgingly—on the usual deny-and-defend approach. They shut down nearly all communication, turn the matter over to attorneys and often relegate patients and their families to legal battles that can drag on for years. It's an approach that's isolating and frustrating for patients and clinicians alike. But in recent years, a few hospitals have seen real success in circumventing the usual policies and instead opting for full transparency, quick remediation and improvement of the systems that caused the error. via Going beyond saying you're...

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Federal court reprimands Chicago lawyer

Ameet Sachdev Chicago Law The federal court of appeals in Chicago reprimanded a lawyer for unprofessional behavior during a lawsuit and fined him $5,000. In an opinion released Tuesday, the court cited Michael Greco, 47, who has a private practice in Chicago, for repeatedly missing filing deadlines and ignoring phone calls from court officials. Judge Frank Easterbrook, who wrote the opinion, described Greco's conduct in harsh terms. "The events recounted in this opinion show that Greco is a menace to his clients and a scofflaw with respect to appellate procedure," wrote Easterbrook, one of the best-known...

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Larry Beinhart: Class Warfare III — Losing Your Right to Fight Back

The courts are a way to make bad behavior -- injurious, even murderous, acts -- cost enough to make a corporation stop. Without lawsuits we wouldn't know that tobacco companies knew that cigarettes caused cancer even while they advertised them as healthy; that Firestone tires, combined with Ford SUVs, made them roll over; that the Catholic Church harbored and protected hundreds of pedophile priests; that Vioxx damaged people's hearts and killed them. Big business hates lawsuits. They hate being made accountable. They hate having to pay. So what can they do about it? They hire PR companies to spread stories -- frequently less...

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Common bicycle collision not counted in Illinois

Advocacy group says untracked collisions are most common Jon Hilkevitch Traffic laws were recently strengthened in Illinois to create safety buffers for bicyclists who share streets with drivers, but state transportation officials are rejecting pleas from cycling advocates to keep records on what they consider the most common type of vehicle-bike accident. It involves, surprisingly, vehicles that are not moving. That's one of the reasons the Illinois Department of Transportation said it does not track accidents in which a vehicle door is flung open in the path of a bicyclist, even though serious injuries and at least one...

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Family sues restaurant over seventh-grader’s fatal food allergy

Family sues restaurant over seventh-grader's fatal food allergy Chinese food at school's end-of-year party had peanuts or peanut oil, lab says March 18, 2011|By Joel Hood, TRIBUNE REPORTER The family of a Chicago Public Schools seventh-grader who died last year after an allergic reaction to peanuts at a school party has filed a wrongful-death suit against the Chinese restaurant that provided the meal, claiming the student's teacher told the restaurant to avoid peanut products. Gil Ross, an attorney for the family of Katelyn Carlson, 13, said CPS officials told them they had been aware of Carlson's severe peanut allergy even though that information was...

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Autopsy shows Tyree died of accidental air embolism

CHICAGO — The Cook County medical examiner’s office said Friday the death of James Tyree, chairman of the company that owns the Lake County News-Sun, was an accident. Tyree, 53, died Wednesday after suffering for months from stomach cancer. But the medical examiner’s office said an autopsy Friday revealed that he died from an air embolism and dialysis catheter removal. It called his death an accident. via Autopsy shows Tyree died of accidental air embolism - Lake County News-Sun....

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Troubled Chicago nursing home may lose Medicaid funding

March 16, 2011|By David Jackson and Gary Marx, Tribune reporters Chris Walker, Chicago Tribune Federal authorities are moving this week to terminate Medicaid funding to the troubled Wincrest Nursing Center on the city's North Side after state and federal inspections documented residents engaged in bloody fights and drug abuse that spilled from the facility out into the surrounding community. An 80-bed home that primarily houses adults with mental illnesses, including dozens with felony records, Wincrest has for years been the subject of complaints by local officials and neighbors, as well as students and staff from nearby Loyola University Chicago. Seven Loyola residence...

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Illinois seeks to repossess prisoner’s meager wages

Kensley Hawkins, 60, has saved $11,000 by working in a Joliet prison since the 1980s, making about $75 a month. The state says he owes them for the cost of his stay. Ameet Sachdev Chicago Law Kensley Hawkins is a deadbeat, according to the state of Illinois. He owes $455,203.14 to cover the costs of his stay at the Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet. Hawkins has been in prison since Nov. 19, 1982. His jailer is also his debt collector. Hawkins is fighting in court to stop the state from seizing about $11,000 in his bank account to partially satisfy the debt. The...

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Ellen Sterling: Rick Lax: In a City Rich With Deception, No One Fools Him

At 28, the Michigan native has written two books. His first, Lawyer Boy: A Case Study On Growing Up, tells of his adventures in the land of law school, where, having given into what is apparently a genetic imperative that he go into the family business of law, he gave up his dream of becoming a magician and enrolled in DePaul University College of Law in Chicago. The inevitability of that career is underscored in the book by a family tree graphic festooned with attorneys. His father was a tax lawyer, but not Rick. "If I was going to be a...

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Construction Deaths Lead to Stronger Personal Injury Compensation in UK

The Health Service Executive or HSE has recently tighten up on how construction sites provide safety measures, and personal injury compensation for its construction workers, as the recent report shows that death rates and injury are still high in United Kingdom’s construction industry. In 2010, there were about five less deaths and 171 less injuries compared to 2009 — in the south west. On other side of the Atlantic, in New York City, several construction accidents were also recorded at the Department of Buildings including a recent 15 complaints against a construction site at Upper West Side, and the recent two...

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Illinois Appeals Court Revives $10 Billion Suit Against Philip Morris

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — A lawsuit that led to a $10.1 billion verdict against cigarette-making Philip Morris USA before it was tossed out by the Illinois Supreme Court has been revived by a lower court, sending the case back to the county once tagged as among the nation's most lawsuit-friendly turfs. The unanimous ruling Thursday by the three-judge panel of the Mount Vernon-based 5th District Appellate Court cleared the way for the plaintiffs to argue that a favorable 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision in an unrelated case may be applied to reinstate the questioned Madison County one involving Philip Morris' marketing of...

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Wrongful death suit filed against Hartland company

A Texas couple has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a Hartland-based manufacturer of medical wipes. The lawsuit alleges that alcohol wipes made by the company, Triad Group, contained bacteria that, when used to clean the boy’s spinal tap, spread to his brain and caused a fatal case of meningitis. The boy died in December at the age of two. His medical ordeal began when he fell off the couch at home and bumped his head. A routine CT scan revealed a cyst in his brain. Surgeons removed the cyst; the boy returned home, according to the complaint filed in U.S....

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Inmate’s violent 2010 death leads to lawsuit in Fort Bend County

By ZEN T.C. ZHENG HOUSTON CHRONICLE A woman whose son died a year ago while in custody in the Fort Bend County jail has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the county and Sheriff Milton Wright. Emmanuel Earl Baines, 18, who was in jail on a burglary charge, was repeatedly punched in the chest by another inmate on Feb. 13, 2010, according to a custodial death report filed by the sheriff's office with the Texas Attorney General's office. He was sent to Oak Bend Medical Center and pronounced dead at about 12:45 a.m. the next day, according to the report. Roynecia Baines filed...

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Family files wrongful death suit against ambulance company

(NECN: Alysha Palumbo - Boston) - "Something that should have been very, very routine, ended up in a nightmare for myself and my family," said the victim's brother Peter Zacarelli. It's been two years since Peter Zacarelli lost his 68-year-old sister Barbara Grimes. Zacarelli said, "I spoke to her that morning and she said I'm going to be going for dialysis, and I said hey Barb, I'm going to try to drop by tonight or I'll talk to you later and that was it." It was January 31st, 2009 and it was the last time he spoke with her. Grimes was being transported home...

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What Ehline Law Accident Attorney Says You Should Know About Alleged DUI Newport Beach Bicycle Wrongful Death

February 26, 2011 Various things we can all learn from the Newport Beach bicycle accident causing a death with an alleged DUI. What Ehline Law Accident Attorney Says You Should Know About Alleged DUI Newport Beach Bicycle Wrongful Death. LOS ANGELES, CA, February 26, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Monday evening at 6:00 p.m. an innocent, 41 year old bicyclist was struck while riding his bicycle east on San Joaquin Hills Road, near Spyglass Road by a white Volkswagen Jetta. The bicycle rider was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash after paramedics attempted to resuscitate him. The driver of the injury causing Jetta, Danae...

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Yamaha Rhino ATV Wrongful Death Lawsuit Set For Trial Monday

A wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of a 10-year-old girl who died in a Yamaha Rhino ATV accident is scheduled to go to trial on Monday in Ohio. The Yamaha Rhino lawsuit was filed by the family of Ellie Sand, who died in October 2007 after she was thrown from one of the four wheel all-terrain vehicles (ATV). Sand and her family were at a church picnic when the accident occurred. The lawsuit, brought by John and Tammie Sands names Yamaha, Clinton County Motor Sports and Let It Gro LLC as defendants. Shortly after the Yamaha Rhino ATV was introduced...

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Michael Jackson Wrongful Death Suit Vs. AEG Can Proceed, Judge Rules – Music, Celebrity, Artist News

Katherine Jackson and family are pursuing a claim against concert promoter. By Gil Kaufman When he was alive, Michael Jackson was forever embroiled in a series of complex and expensive-sounding lawsuits. But even in death, the late King of Pop is the subject of major legal action. None could potentially be bigger than the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the pop icon's mother, Katherine Jackson, against concert promotion giant AEG Live. Reuters reported that a Los Angeles judge ruled on Wednesday that the civil lawsuit can go forward. It will proceed in parallel with the criminal case against Jackson's physician, Dr. Conrad Murray,...

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City Slapped With Another Blizzageddon Wrongful Death Suit

Last month saw two wrongful death lawsuits against the city in regards to the December Blizzageddon and now we can add a third to the list. On the morning of Monday, December 27, 2010—the day after the worst of the blizzard—the son of Bed-Stuy resident Lillie Cockburn, 56, found his mother lying unconscious on the floor. He quickly got her back in bed and called 911, around 7 a.m., and waited for help. Nobody came. He tried again at 1 p.m. but again, no ambulance came. Finally a family member helped drive her to the hospital, it was too late....

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