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Chicago Personal Injury News Blog

Female Passengers Say They’re Targeted By TSA

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Women passengers complain that TSA agents are targeting them for extra screening. The Transportation Security Administration has a policy to randomly select people for extra screening, but some female passengers are complaining. They believe there is nothing “random” about the way they were picked. A Dallas woman says TSA agents repeatedly asked her to step back into a body scanning machine at DFW International Airport. “I feel like I was totally exposed,” said Ellen Terrell, who is a wife and mother. “They wanted a nice good look.” When Ellen Terrell and her husband, Charlie, flew out of DFW Airport several...

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Cybex Settles Barnhard Product Liability Lawsuit for $19.5 Million

Feb 8, 2012 4:25 PM, By Pamela Kufahl, editor-in-chief Cybex International Inc., Medway, MA, reached a $19.5 million settlement in the Barnhard v. Cybex International Inc. product liability lawsuit, the company announced Monday. “We are financially strong. We were able to withstand this,” Art Hicks, COO of Cybex, tells Club Industry. In December 2010, a jury found Cybex 75 percent liable for a $66 million judgment in a case involving Natalie Barnhard, an employee at Amherst Orthopedic Physical Therapy, Buffalo, NY, who was stretching on a 25-year-old Cybex 4106 ZR Classic leg extension machine when it fell on her, rendering her a quadriplegic....

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Chicago Teachers Allege Discrimination

Chicago teachers allege discrimination: The Chicago Teachers Union has filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Wednesday alleging that layoffs last summer targeted tenured African-American teachers, who represent a third of Chicago Public Schools teachers. Chicago Teachers Allege Discrimination...

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Menards ends discrimination claim for $1 million

Associated Press 4:55 a.m. CST, February 7, 2012 EAU CLAIRE, Wis.— The Menards home improvement chain has agreed to settle a race discrimination case for $1 million. A Chicago arbitrator recently approved the settlement which compensates hundreds of managers and assistant managers who say they were passed over for promotions because of their race. About 700 employees at Menards Midwestern stores can begin filing claims for their share of the settlement Feb. 23. The plaintiffs' attorney Jeffrey Taren tells the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram (http://bit.ly/yGtVYn ) that letters will be sent to employees affected by the settlement. Menards spokesman Jeff Abbott says the company has...

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City Settles Class Action Suit Over 2003 Iraq War Protest Arrests

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="611" caption="An Iraq War protest from 2008. (Image Credit: John Sisson)"][/caption] Attorneys for the City of Chicago told federal judges they reached a settlement in the class action lawsuit brought by more than 800 people arrested after protesters took Lake Shore Drive in a 2003 march against the Iraq War. The Chicago Tribune reports those arrested, charged and detained will potentially receive up to $15,000 and people arrested but not charged would receive $8,750. People held on the street for over 90 minutes will receive $500. In total, the lawsuit will cost the city $6.2 million, not including...

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Pepsi to Pay $3.13 Million to Resolve Hiring Discrimination

Pepsi Beverages will be paying over three million dollars to settle a charge of racial discrimination filed by the Minneapolis Area Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The company will also be providing job offers and training as per the agreement. The EEOC initiated an investigation into the criminal background check policy formerly utilized by Pepsi. The investigation found that more than 300 African American applicants had been unfavorably affected by a background check under this policy, which unduly disqualified the applicants from permanent employment at the company. According to the policy, applicants would had been arrested pending...

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Fourth District vacates McLean County asbestos conspiracy verdicts; New hearings on whether Honeywell witness must testify

On the first day of trial in one of the cases, Honeywell lawyer Gary Zimmerman of Chicago told Circuit Judge Paul Lawrence that Charm "has unequivocally stated he will terminate his contract with Honeywell rather than be obligated to travel any significant distance to testify, including being obliged to travel to Illinois to testify." According to court documents, Charm had previously testified at 22 trials in Bloomington. On April 7, three days into the trial, Lawrence directed a verdict for plaintiff Vickie Hoogerwerf. The next day, jurors determined Honeywell owed Vickie Hoogerwerf $2.95 million for the wrongful death of husband John Hoogerwerf, $1.07...

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Mother: Cop, Not Ex-Boyfriend, Deserves Prison Time

The night of the crash, Chicago Heights Police Officer Chris Felicetti pulled LaFond over and arrested her for driving with a suspended license. She blames the officer for handing over her keys to a heavily intoxicated Conner, then 22, after telling the officer she was the designated driver. "That’s when I grabbed my keys and told him again [that] he cannot drive my car, he has been drinking. And that’s when he said, 'Everything is going to be under control,'" she recalled. In legal filings, Chicago Heights has contended LaFond wanted Conner to drive her son home that night. At Conner’s sentencing, Will...

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New Illinois law grants immunity for those reporting a drug overdose

Just before Justin Tokar died of a drug overdose last January in unincorporated Will County, his panicked friend texted people questioning what to do, rather than call 911. A new law signed by Gov. Pat Quinn Monday would allow people like him to call 911 and report an overdose without fear of facing criminal charges for drug possession. “If this (law) would have been in place, it would have been a pretty simple decision,” said Tokar's mother, Karen Hanneman of Naperville, who lobbied in favor of the legislation. “Now people can think, ‘I'm not going to be arrested and I can make...

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Did Hospital Settle Malpractice Case to Spite Its Chief of Surgery?

Hospital conspired to defame surgeon, says lawyer. Published: February 8, 2012 How bad was the rift between hospital officials at the University of Illinois at Chicago and its one-time chief of surgery? So bad that when the hospital heard that both it and colorectal surgeon Herand Abcarian, MD, were about to be sued for malpractice for the death of one of his patients, the hospital settled with the plaintiff's son for $950,000 - without letting Dr. Abcarian know. According to court documents, the university specifically instructed the plaintiff's attorney to individually sue Dr. Abcarian and not serve him. The hospital then reported...

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Doctors who err escape penalties

All Susan Zwaschka wanted was a light chemical peel to smooth and cleanse her face before a family vacation to Chicago. But minutes after Dr. Patrick Carney applied the solution, she winced in pain and pleaded with him to stop. Carney took several breaks but continued even after Zwaschka pushed his arm aside and sat up near tears. Days later, pain from the burns intensified. Open wounds on her swollen face oozed fluid and blood. Devastated by what she saw in the mirror, the 44-year-old attorney, who had often defended physicians in malpractice cases, sued Carney over the 2007 incident and urged...

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Judge’s ruling clears way for workers’ comp medical records release

A Cook County judge on Friday ruled that medical tests involving Menard Correctional Center guards who received disability settlements at taxpayers' expense must be turned over to the public. Circuit Judge Michael B. Hyman heard arguments from the three parties involved -- Central Management Services, the Illinois attorney general's office and the Belleville News-Democrat. As part of a newspaper investigation, the reporters investigated hundreds of workers' compensation cases since Jan. 1, 2008, filed by guards at Menard, who claimed they developed repetitive trauma by turning keys and operating cell locking mechanisms. The taxpayer-funded claims totaled more than $10 million, and many guards...

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Workers accuse Capital Grille of racial discrimination

Reuters 7:35 a.m. CST, January 31, 2012 A restaurant workers group said it will sue Darden Restaurants Inc. in federal court in Chicago on Tuesday, accusing the company's high-end Capital Grille steakhouse chain of racial discrimination and violations of state and federal labor laws. The action will pit Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a vocal advocate on industry wages and working conditions, against one of the largest and most respected U.S. restaurant companies. The lawsuit will charge that white workers have lucrative "front-of-house" positions such as waiter or bartender, while many lower paying "back-of-the-house" jobs like washing dishes or preparing food are given to...

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The Obama Memos: The Verdict on Malpractice

Posted by Ryan Lizza Today, I’m posting a memo to the President that includes Barack Obama’s handwritten decision at the end of the document. The memo—one of several I obtained for a piece in this week’s New Yorker—was sent to Obama on July 1, 2009, and came back from the Oval Office the following day. The title of the memo is “Information on Medical Malpractice Reform Options,” and it was sent to Obama by two of his aides: Nancy-Ann DeParle, who was at the time running the White House Office of Health Reform and is now one of Obama’s deputy chiefs of...

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Man plunges from Loop office building

A 78-year-old attorney apparently leaped to his death this morning from his office building across the street from City Hall in the Loop, authorities said. The man, whose name was not immediately available, was dead on the scene this morning at 111 W. Washington St., according to a spokesman for the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. A witness heard glass breaking and then saw the man jump out a window about 7:40 a.m., according to police, who said the attorney worked at the Washington Street address. Man plunges from Loop office building...

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Wrongful death lawsuit filed after fatal high-rise fire

Mother says her daughter's life would have been saved if building had sprinklers, proper elevators January 19, 2012 The mother of a woman who was killed in a North Lake Shore Drive high-rise fire this month has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the owners and managers of the building. The lawsuit by JoAnn McCoy maintains that her daughter, Shantel, 32, would still be alive if the building had elevators that shut down during such a fire. Link...

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Community Protests Autistic Teen’s Death

Stephon Watts was shot twice by officers in his Calumet City home on Wednesday An outraged community gathered Thursday evening to protest the death of 15-year-old Stephon Watts, shot dead in his own home by Calumet City police officers a day earlier. About 75 to 100 people, family members and civic and religious leaders, gathered outside the Calumet City Police Department headquarters, at 1200 Pulaski Road in the far south suburb, to protest officers' actions. "The one thing that we look for our police to do is serve and protect," said Alicia Murchison, one of the protesters who said she is also the...

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Taking aim at college sex crimes

New coalition works to get abuses reported By Tabitha Hurley and Ashley Huntington One out of 4 undergraduate women will be sexually assaulted before they graduate, according to a 2010 Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) study. The study also found that 1 in every 6 American women will be sexually assaulted at some point during their lives. Few reports of sex crimes on college campuses show up in media reports, however, and even fewer are prosecuted by the law. Despite the high number of women who are sexually assaulted while in college, studies estimate that 60 percent of rape and sexual...

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Shipwreck Suit Filed In U.S.; Judge May Send It To Italy

In an apparent race to the courthouse, the first U.S. lawsuit has been filed based on the Jan. 13 disaster off the coast of Tuscany. Surprisingly, the named plaintiff is a crewmember, rather than a passenger, who is a resident of Lima, Peru, rather than of the United States. The case also seems oblivious to the substantial legal hurdles that lawyers around the world have been pondering for more than two weeks. The suit, filed Jan. 26 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois by Chicago personal injury lawyers Ribbeck Lawchartered, is a class action by Gary...

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What Claim Do I Have After a Collision? : Wrong Way Driver

Mike BryantAttorney (866) 735-1102 Ext 555Posted by Mike BryantJanuary 26, 2012 This month, we will be looking at the issue of what claims are available in a Minnesota collision. We have used real examples from stories in the recent news as a basis for the discussion. What claims are available is not always obvious and a very good reason why you should take advantage of meeting with an experienced personal injury lawyer to understand all of your coverages. The insurance company may seem to be treating you correctly, but they don't represent you. They also are not lawyers, so don't take...

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Dante Autullo Shoots 3.5 Inch Nail Into His Head: Illinois Man Didn’t Notice Injury

A suburban Chicago man is recovering at a local hospital after accidentally shooting himself with a nail gun - and not noticing the 3 ½ inch nail lodged in his brain for more than 24 hours. Dante Autullo, 32, was working in his garage Tuesday when he fired a nail gun and one of the shots sent the gun near his head, the SouthtownStar reports. He thought he just had a gash from the gun, and didn't realize anything was wrong until the next day. The Associated Press reports that Autullo went to work the next day, but later went to the...

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3 injured in snowmobile crashes

CASSOPOLIS — Weekend snowmobile crashes in Pokagon and Howard townships injured three people. • Cass County Sheriff Joseph M. Underwood Jr. reports that, on Sunday, his office investiaged a personal-injury snowmobile crash that occurred on the snowmobile trails near the intersection of Frost Street and Sink Road in Pokagon Township. Huntertown residents Justin Reed, 41, and Brian Widenhoefer, 36, were eastbound when operator Reed failed to see and negotiate the upcoming downhill embankment, causing the snowmobile to vault, ejecting both occupants from the machine. They were transported to Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital in Dowagiac for treatment. Helmets were used. Alcohol is not a...

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Family of slain Beverly teen sues accused, family

The parents of a Chicago teenager who police said was killed after another Chicago teen punched him at an Indiana beach July 4 filed a wrongful death lawsuit Wednesday against the teen accused of throwing the punch, his sister and his mother. James Malecek, of Chicago, is charged in LaPorte County, Ind., with aggravated battery, involuntary manslaughter and battery in the death of Kevin Kennelly Jr., 17, who lived in the Beverly neighborhood on Chicago's South Side. Malecek has pleaded not guilty. Malecek, who was 19 at the time of the incident, is accused of punching Kennelly in the head at a...

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Corboy & Demetrio Secures $2 Million for Chicago Pedestrian Struck by Garbage Truck

CHICAGO, Jan 13, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Corboy & Demetrio has secured a $2 million settlement on behalf of a Chicago woman who was hit by a garbage truck in the city's River North neighborhood. The truck was driven by Augustus Dortch, who along with his employer Lakeshore Waste Services, were defendants in the lawsuit. The settlement, secured the day the trial was set to begin, was approved by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Budzinski on Jan. 10, 2012. Corboy & Demetrio attorneys Philip Harnett Corboy, Jr. and Michelle M. Kohut negotiated the settlement on behalf of 31-year-old Sirinun Wechasethanon...

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IDOT unveils life-saving Yellow Dot program

CHICAGO — The Illinois Department of Transportation today unveiled the Illinois Yellow Dot program, a life-saving, traffic safety initiative that provides first responders with critical information to improve emergency care for persons involved in vehicle crashes. IDOT along with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Illinois Department of Aging (IDOA) and county health departments across the state are working together to increase awareness of the voluntary, federally funded program, and provide distribution centers and information for interested residents. “Roadway safety is always a top priority at IDOT, and the Yellow Dot program can help improve roadway safety by providing first...

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Hot yoga may lead to injuries, passing out

BY KATY NIELSEN JAN 10, 2012 In a hot, sticky and steamy room men and women twist into yoga poses, sweat dripping from the ends of their noses. But the air conditioner isn’t broken — it’s January. This is a hot yoga class, a growing trend, and it’s not for everyone. Some people worry about the risks of taking hot yoga, otherwise known as Bikram yoga, because of the possibility of heat-related injuries. Bikram is a 90-minute beginning yoga class that takes place in 105 degrees Fahrenheit, which is meant to “detoxify” the body, “heal and prevent injuries” and “enhance physical performance,”...

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Two Pit Bulls Attack, Seriously Injure Chicago Lakeside Jogger

January 6, 2012 Nicole Howley Chicago, IL — The owner of two pit bulls is facing fines after his dogs attacked a lakefront jogger at Rainbow Beach Park, before the dogs were shot by a Chicago police officer on Monday, January 2, 2012, the Chicago Tribune reported. The owner of the dogs, Jimmy Johnson, 57, of the 7600 block of South Coles Avenue, claims that someone left the gate open at his home, which allowed the dogs to escape. The two dogs are described to be 70-pound unneutered adult male with collars, but did not have tags or microchips. One dog was...

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Mouse in Mountain Dew case goes viral

1/4/2012 1:53 PM By Ann Maher A Madison County personal injury lawsuit involving a dead mouse and a can of Mountain Dew has drawn international headlines. Since yesterday, nearly 100 news outlets have picked up on plaintiff Ronald Ball's lawsuit against PepsiCo, as first reported in the Madison County Record. Ball alleges that he bought a can of the soda from a vending machine at his place of work in November 2008, Marathon Oil in Wood River, and discovered a dead mouse after he took a sip from the can. He "became violently ill such that he began to vomit," his suit states. Link...

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Don’t Let Your Personal Injury Claim Slip and Fall This Winter

Winter slip and fall claims in Illinois could depend on whether the dangerous condition was naturally or unnaturally accumulated. December 30, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- For the people of the Midwest, the change of seasons, from fall to winter, means the return of snow and outdoor activities such as snowshoeing, sledding and skiing. And, while snow can be picturesque and conjure images of hot chocolate and fireplaces, it also can have a dangerous side -- not all images of winter are idyllic. Along with snow, the return of winter also brings ice and the potential for slippery conditions. The risk of injuries from...

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Juror Booted for Facebook-Friending Defendant

Social media continues to pose problems for courts across the country, as a Florida man was kicked off a civil trial jury after trying to friend a defendant on Facebook. The juror, Jacob Jock, was in a jury pool for a personal injury lawsuit involving a traffic accident, and said he decided to look up people in the case to see if he knew them. When he came across the female defendant’s profile, Jock claims he “accidentally friend requested her,” when he didn’t think he’d get picked for the jury. The Florida case is just the latest in a series of incidents...

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