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Chicago Personal Injury News Blog

Judge tosses lawsuit over FBI surveillance of California mosques

August 14, 2012|By Dan Whitcomb | Reuters LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit charging that the FBI violated civil liberties by sending an informant into several California mosques to spy on U.S. Muslims, ruling that allowing the case to proceed could risk disclosure of government secrets. U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney wrote in a 36-page order that he was reluctant to toss out the case before it could be litigated but was forced to weigh national security against individual liberties and an open judicial process. In the decision, Carney compared himself to the fictional Greek hero Odysseus,...

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Many luxury cars flunk new type of crash test

When a car's front corner hits something, what happens? The driver often gets seriously injured, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's new crash test finds. By Jerry Hirsch Chicago Tribune reporter Results of a new crash test that focused on luxury cars are raising worries that most vehicles may not be able to provide protection from serious injuries in a common accident. Such fancy nameplates as BMW, Mercedes and Lexus all earned "poor" ratings in a test that simulated what happens when the front corner of a sedan hits another vehicle or an object such as a tree or pole, according to the...

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Ex-judge wants more from CHA settlement in 3-year-old’s death

BY TIM NOVAK Staff Reporter tnovak@suntimes.com August 12, 2012 11:24PM I t’s been four years since an iron gate fell at a Chicago Housing Authority project, crushing 3-year-old Curtis Cooper as he pedaled his tricycle. But the legal battles that arose following the little boy’s death continue, now extending longer than his entire life. After Curtis’ death, his mother, Pamela Cooper, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit that she has settled for $2 million with the CHA and its former property-management company, Urban Property Advisors — a deal she struck after dropping former CHA chairman Martin Nesbitt and the family of Allison S. Davis, the...

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Lawsuit filed over fatal Megabus crash near Union Station

BY TINA SFONDELES Transportation Reporter tsfondeles@suntimes.com August 10, 2012 1:10PM Lawyers for the family of a 76-year-old woman killed by a Megabus outside Union Station this week are questioning whether bus drivers for the company are being properly trained on the dangers of blind spots while making left turns. Donna Halstead’s death on Tuesday while crossing near Canal and Adams is “remarkably similar” to what happened to Wes Krueger in 2010, according to Dan Kotin, a Corboy & Demetrio attorney representing Halstead’s family in their wrongful death case. “Whether these are just coincidental tragedies, I don’t know,” Kotin said. “But there’s an awful...

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Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano favored women pals for jobs: lawsuit

By BRUCE GOLDING Last Updated: 6:10 AM, August 10, 2012 A veteran US law-enforcement official has filed a blockbuster discrimination lawsuit against Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, charging she pushed him aside to make way for a less-qualified woman who’s “enjoyed a long-standing relationship” with the anti-terror chief. That woman, Dora Schriro, was later appointed by Mayor Bloomberg as commissioner of the city Department of Correction, a post she still holds. The court papers also allege that Suzanne Barr, Napolitano’s chief of staff at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has engaged in “numerous” acts of “sexually offensive behavior” intended to “humiliate and intimidate male...

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Megabus settles lawsuit in 2010 Chicago incident

The Associated Press Published: Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012 - 1:11 am CHICAGO -- Megabus has agreed to pay $5.1 million to the family of a man who was struck by a bus as he crossed a downtown Chicago street in 2010. Wes Krueger of South Holland was in the crosswalk when the bus hit him. The 64-year-old Krueger was pinned under the bus and later died at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The incident occurred near where a 76-year-old Chicago woman was fatally struck Tuesday by a Megabus. Bus driver Shervyle Pruitt was ticketed for reckless driving and striking a pedestrian. Megabus settles lawsuit in 2010...

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Lawsuit: IHSA subject to Americans with Disabilities Act

August 06, 2012 10:26 pm, By Edith Brady-Lunny | eblunny@pantagraph.com CHICAGO — The Illinois High School Association should be required to provide equal competition opportunities for athletes with disabilities, according to arguments filed by the U.S. Department of Justice in a federal lawsuit pending against the Bloomington-based organization. The Statement of Interest by federal prosecutors supports the position of Illinois Attorney Lisa Madigan that the IHSA is required to follow all the requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, including a rule that prohibits discrimination by private entitles that own, lease or operate places of public accommodation. The Justice Department has not...

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Richard Dent plans to join concussion lawsuit

Former Bears defensive end Richard Dent hasn’t done so officially, but the Hall of Famer told the Sun-Times he’s planning to join one of the concussion lawsuits against the NFL. “I think it’d be nice if all the players could go up under one and represent all the players,” Dent said recently. “Obviously, everybody wants to make some money off that, just like everybody wants to make money off our Super Bowl team. “Everybody wants their little piece of the pie. But I just haven’t figured out what.” Richard Dent plans to join concussion lawsuit...

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Chicago cop testifies about raid on his apartment

Officer says gun team got warrant to search his home based on faulty information By Annie Sweeney, Chicago Tribune reporter August 5, 2012 Four officers had their guns pointed at him in his living room. His two young boys were crying, and his wife and mother were screaming. Officer Markee Cooper Sr. raised one hand in the air, slowly knelt down and put his gun on his living room floor. "I just didn't want anyone to start shooting," Cooper, himself a Chicago police officer, testified last week. "I didn't want anyone to hurt my family." Chicago cop testifies about raid on his apartment...

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Chicago food truck sues City of Evanston

August 7, 2012 Owners of a local Chicago food truck are filing a lawsuit against the city of Evanston, accusing the city of discriminating against their business. An Evanston ordinance prohibits food truck owners from setting up shop unless they also own a brick and mortar restaurant. Gabriel Wiesen and James Nuccio own the food truck Beavers Coffee and Donuts. Wiesen said the rule is unconstitutional. Chicago food truck sues City of Evanston...

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Elderly couple to get $300,000 in excessive force suit against McHenry sheriff’s office

August 07, 2012|By Robert McCoppin, Chicago Tribune reporter An elderly couple will get $300,000 to drop a lawsuit against the McHenry County sheriff's office over claims that deputies illegally entered their house and injured them while arresting their son, officials revealed Tuesday. Jerome Pavlin is due to get $100,000, and Carla Pavlin $200,000 in the settlement, Deputy County Administrator John Labaj said. The county paid $100,000, he said; the rest is covered by insurance. Elderly couple to get $300,000 in excessive force suit against McHenry sheriff's office...

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Coast Guard investigating tour boat accident on Chicago River

7-Aug-12 – The U.S. Coast Guard will try to figure out why the engine on a brand new sightseeing boat failed late Monday afternoon, sending the boat crashing into a concrete dock near Michigan Avenue and injuring nine people. At about 5:30 p.m., the Lila, delivered to Wendella Boats last Wednesday, was docking just west of the DuSable Bridge, on the north side of the Chicago River, when the engine, instead of going into reverse and slowing the boat, gave out. When the Lila hit head on, nine passengers were injured, two seriously. 144 passengers and six crewmembers were on the Lila....

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Cicero settles lawsuit over transgender harassment

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Associated Press August 8, 2012 9:14AM Cicero has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by a transgender woman who claimed she was harassed by police officers. The People’s Law Office says the town will pay the woman $10,000 and adopt a policy outlining how police treat transgender people. Bianca Feliciano says she was illegally stopped, searched and verbally abused by two Cicero police officers in February 2011 while walking with another transgender woman. Cicero settles lawsuit over transgender harassment...

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Pfizer settles foreign bribery charges

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By James O'Toole @CNNMoney August 7, 2012 NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer will pay $60 million to settle charges that it paid millions in bribes to foreign officials, federal authorities announced Tuesday. Pfizer will pay roughly $45 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle charges that the company, along with fellow pharmaceutical firm Wyeth, which Pfizer acquired a few years ago, violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The SEC says staff from the companies' subsidiaries paid bribes to foreign government officials to boost sales and obtain regulatory approvals. The violations occurred in Bulgaria, China, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Italy,...

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Eatery settles wrongful death suit for $1.1 million

Harriet McLeod Reuters 2:25 p.m. CDT, August 6, 2012 CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - The owner of a South Carolina restaurant has agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of a man killed last December in a fiery car crash. Quentin Gregory Miller, 32, died on December 17 when his car was struck from behind on a bridge near Charleston in an early morning collision and burst into flames, according to police. The driver of the vehicle that struck Miller's, Adam Joseph Brunelle, was an assistant manager for Charleston's Husk restaurant at the time. He...

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Deputies’ Suit Against Dart Goes to Trial

A federal lawsuit being heard in Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer's courtroom this week alleges that nearly two dozen deputies were punished because they didn't support Sheriff Tom Dart's 2006 election bid. Cook County Sheriff Lt. Doug Zimny and nearly two dozen other deputies say they've been punished through "denials of promotions, discipline, being put back in the jail, being denied opportunity for advancement, having their lives destroyed." During the 2006 campaign, the deputies supported their boss, Richard Remus, in his campaign against Dart. Remus at the time was the deputies' boss, as the chief of the new-defunct Special Operations Response Team. Deputies' Suit Against...

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Slip and Fall Cases – Chicago Lawyer Jeffrey Friedman, P.C.

Slip and fall cases, often referred to as premises liability cases, require a careful understanding of the interplay between the facts and Illinois law. If you have fallen on someone else's property, that doesn't mean they are responsible for your damages. You still have to establish why you fell, and show that the property owner was negligent. In cases involving a slip and fall, be sure to identify what you slipped on, whether it may have been liquid, an unreasonably slippery surface, or snow and ice, that accumulated unnaturally. Chicago Lawyer Jeffrey Friedman, P.C. ...

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OSHA Cites Illinios-based Allied Waterproofing for Exposing Workers to Respiratory and Hearing Hazards

Willowbrook, IL (WorkersCompensation.com) – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Allied Waterproofing Inc. in Willowbrook with five health violations¬, including four repeat violations of OSHA's respiratory protection and hearing conservation standards, found during an inspection of a Chicago parking structure under repair. Proposed penalties total $56,700. The April inspection was initiated under OSHA's National Emphasis Program on Silica, which targets work sites where employees are at risk for developing silicosis from exposure to dust containing respirable crystalline silica. Silicosis is a disabling, nonreversible and sometimes fatal lung disease caused by breathing in a large amount...

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Workers comp is exclusive remedy for widow of ‘borrowed employee’: Court

CHICAGO—Workers compensation is the exclusive remedy for the widow of an auto dealership employee killed on the job while working as a “borrowed employee” at an affiliated business, according to an Illinois appellate court. Milovan Prodanic was a maintenance worker and driver for Grossinger Chevrolet in Palatine, Ill., court records show. In 2008, Mr. Prodanic was sent by Grossinger to repair an overhead garage door at Grossinger City Autocorp Inc. in Chicago, a Toyota dealership with the same owners as Mr. Prodanic's employer. The garage door was activated while Mr. Prodanic was working, and he died after falling from an elevated work...

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Investigation continues into Megabus crash

BY MARLON A. WALKER and DENISE HOLLINSHED LITCHFIELD, Ill. • Megabus officials said Friday they are working with investigators to determine whether all safety protocols were followed on a bus bound for St. Louis that was involved in a crash on Interstate 55 that killed a woman and left more than four dozen injured. The bus bound for St. Louis that was involved in a crash on Interstate 55 had passed a full preventive maintenance check less than a week ago. Megabus spokesman Ronald Hauser would not answer whether the bus' driver performed a pre-inspection before taking off from Chicago Thursday morning,...

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Landlord pulls the plug on electric car charging

August 02, 2012|Janet Portman | Rent It Right Q: I just bought an electric car, which needs to be charged every night. I have an assigned place in the garage in my apartment building, which is conveniently next to an outlet. I've been using an extension cord to plug the car in at night, but have just been told that I can't do this anymore. My lease doesn't say anything about not accessing the outlets. Aren't I allowed to do it? A: It does seem rather unsporting of your landlord to stymie your attempts to keep an environmentally friendly car charged up....

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Illinois employers barred from asking job applicants to hand over social networking passwords

By Associated Press, Published: August 1 CHICAGO — Seeking to guard the privacy rights of the social networking generation, Illinois is making it illegal for employers to ask job applicants for passwords to their online profiles. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the law Wednesday at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where several students lamented that online snooping by bosses has caused some to lose out on jobs and forced others to temporarily deactivate their online profiles. Illinois is only the second state to have such a law on the books, and it leaves no exceptions — even for openings that require thorough background checks. Illinois...

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A 50-Cent Fix that Could Have Saved Lives

Posted by: Christopher Scholl Those who attack the civil justice system in the name of so-called “tort reform” frequently don’t bother with facts. That has been proven again by the Wall Street Journal in an editorial on gas can litigation. Had the Journal’s editorial writers done a little bit of homework before making their argument that a manufacturer of gas cans was being picked on by lawyers, they would have learned about the 50-cent fix that could have saved thousands from serious burns and death. The consumer gas cans manufactured by Blitz USA are lacking something called a “flame arrestor.” It’s a simple...

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Ohio unveils nursing home anti-drug abuse effort

By: ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS COLUMBUS, Ohio - Attorney General Mike DeWine on Tuesday announced a plan to combat the theft of prescription drugs in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The initiative is one of several state efforts aimed at reducing the abuse of prescription painkillers, which has led to record numbers of accidental overdose deaths. DeWine said a letter going out next week to all care facilities in the state reminds them of their obligations under law to report suspected illegal activity and lets them know of assistance available from the state to prosecute prescription drug theft. Ohio unveils nursing home anti-drug abuse effort...

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Vulgar Language Must Be Viewed in Context in Sexual Harassment Case: Court

by Judy Greenwald Published: July 27, 2012 Pejorative terms do not automatically establish sexual harassment, but they do need to be viewed in context, says a U.S. appellate court. However, in Kimberly Passananti vs. Cook County, there was sufficient evidence to establish harassment based on the intended use of the word "bitch," the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in its July 20 ruling, which partially overturned a district court ruling in the case. Said one attorney, in cases where off-color language is used, the ruling signifies the importance of finding out 'how that language was used to determine what steps the...

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ACLU attorney: Blocking Chick-fil-A over gay marriage ‘viewpoint discrimination’

July 26, 2012 By: Joe Newby Although the ACLU strongly supports same-sex marriage, a senior attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois warned that if Chicago bans Chick-fil-A over the religious views of its management, it will be engaging in "viewpoint discrimination," Fox News reported Thursday. “The government can regulate discrimination in employment or against customers, but what the government cannot do is to punish someone for their words,” said ACLU senior attorney Adam Schwartz. “When an alderman refuses to allow a business to open because its owner has expressed a viewpoint the government disagrees with, the government is practicing viewpoint...

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Parents sue over daughter’s death at hotel

Chicago schoolteacher died after sliding down railing at Palmer House Hilton July 26, 2012 The parents of a Chicago schoolteacher who fell four stories to her death at the Palmer House Hilton have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit, alleging the hotel and promoters of a Halloween party did not take enough security measures during the event almost two years ago. In the suit filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court, James and Deborah Duskey alleged the hotel and Surreal Chicago and Adrenaline Y2K, the event promoters, didn't hire enough security personnel and failed to warn their daughter, Megan, of the dangerous stairwell during the...

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Bicyclist killed after colliding with ice cream truck

SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE July 13, 2012 8:44AM A bicyclist died Thursday night after she collided with an ice cream truck a few blocks away from her home in the South Side Chatham neighborhood. The 23-year-old woman was riding a bike in the 8700 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue when she collided with a truck about 8:40 p.m., police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro said. The woman -- identified as Caprice Cunningham, of the 8600 block of South Ingleside Avenue, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office -- was on a 10-speed bicycle eastbound on 87th Street and crossing in front of...

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Family of motorcyclist killed in crash sues city

June 25, 2012|By Naomi Nix | Tribune reporter The mother of a motorcyclist who died in an accident last June filed a lawsuit Monday alleging the city was negligent in its placement of a traffic-control device. The lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court says a sign gave motorists inadequate notice that the southbound lane of Harlem Avenue near the intersection of Myrtle Avenue was closed for construction, contributing to a fatal motorcycle crash. Ronald Bizeau Jr. was riding his 1998 Suzuki motorcycle south on North Harlem Avenue on June 29, 2011, when he struck the sign, police said last year. Family of motorcyclist...

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Special Report: Wisconsin companies insulated from stiff penalties in worker deaths

Photo: Ace Work Gear Job foremen across the country fear running afoul of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, but the federal regulatory agency’s power is more image than reality. A Gannett Wisconsin Media review of 240 workplace fatalities in Wisconsin over 11 years shows OSHA imposes tiny fines on companies whose employees are killed on the job, and often negotiates even smaller penalties than originally issued. Workers’ families are often shocked by the outcome of the investigation, which by law isn’t designed to assign blame or impose huge punitive fines. Families also are stunned to realize they have no right to sue...

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