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Chicago Personal Injury News Blog

Hospital Safety Ratings Released By Consumer Reports

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports – Your Universe Online Billings Clinic in Montana is the safest hospital in the US, while Sacred Heart Hospital in Chicago scored lowest, according to Consumer Reports’ first-ever list of the best and worst medical facilities. According to the organization, a 2010 US Department of Health and Human Services report said claims that infections, surgical error, and other types of medical malpractice contribute to the deaths of as many as 180,000 Medicare patients each year, and most likely numerous non-Medicare patients as well. As a result of those figures, officials from Consumer Reports collected information on more than...

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Wrongful Death Suit Filed in Train Derailment

By Charlie Wojciechowski, Friday, Jul 6, 2012 Two victims found beneath the wreckage of Wednesday's train derailment have been identified A judge has ordered all clean-up halted at the site where a train derailed Wednesday in Glenview after a couple was found dead buried beneath the rubble. Two people discovered inside a car beneath debris from the derailment were identified as Burton Lindner, 69 and wife Zorine Lindner, 70. The couple lived a block away from the site of the derailment, which spilled thousands of tons of coal from the train. Their car and bodies were discovered Thursday morning while crews cleaned up wreckage...

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AIG workers compensation settlement disputed by Liberty Mutual units

CHICAGO—Subsidiaries of Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group Inc. have asked a federal judge to reverse a $450 million settlement paid by American International Group Inc. for its alleged underreporting of workers compensation premiums. In a June 12 filing in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Safeco Insurance Co. and Ohio Casualty Insurance Co. say the court erred in approving the settlement from New York-based AIG because they believe it was the "result of collusion and an improper reverse auction" between AIG and insurers that AIG had accused of premium underreporting. In particular, the brief claims the settlement unfairly benefited ACE INA Holdings...

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Too many creeps see opportunity on buses, trains

BY DR. LAURA BERMAN drberman@bermancenter.com July 3, 2012 9:33AM Crowded buses and dirty train cars are just the beginning. Sexual harassment can be an issue, as is sexual assault in the form of unwanted touching, indecent exposure and public masturbation. This is especially true in Shanghai, China, where sexual harassment on public transportation has reached critical status. Too many creeps see opportunity on buses, trains...

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Yellow Transportation Inc. discrimination case shows why racism is so frustrating

BY MARY MITCHELL marym@suntimes.com July 2, 2012 5:48PM The $11 million settlement in a discrimination case brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shows why racism is so frustrating. The suit was against Yellow Transportation Inc., a trucking company in Chicago Ridge that is now known as YRC Freight. Harry Glasper, who received professional training and hauled loads long distance, said someone hung a noose on his forklift in 1991. After complaining, he had problems getting promotions and new work assignments until he left the company in 2010. Yellow Transportation Inc. discrimination case shows why racism is so frustrating...

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Avoid Fireworks Injuries With These Safety Tips

By Andrew Lu at FindLaw.com Mon Jul 2, 2012 10:40pm EDT It's all fun and games until someone blows his head off in a ghastly Fourth of July accident. You may not think about fireworks as weapons, but that's essentially what they are -- gunpowder in canisters lit with fuses that blow up. It's this lax attitude about fireworks and fireworks safety that lead to horrible fireworks injuries. Here we'll discuss fireworks laws in your state (they're not legal in every state) as well as fireworks safety tips. First the laws. All 50 states have their own laws regarding the purchase and use of...

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BREAKING NEWS: AAJ Response to SCOTUS decision on the Affordable Care Act

Posted by: Katie Gommel Washington, DC—The following is a statement from the American Association for Justice (AAJ) President Gary M. Paul in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act: “Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a step forward not only in the fight to expand access to healthcare, but also in the fight to protect patients’ access to justice. “This ruling bolsters AAJ’s longstanding argument that federal efforts to deny patients’ legal rights by mandating changes to state laws and state courts exceed Congress’s authority under the Commerce Clause and violate our system of federalism. BREAKING NEWS:...

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Celine Dion sued by employee for overtime violations

Tim Kenneally Reuters 1:42 p.m. CDT, June 29, 2012 LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Celine Dion is being sued by a former employee who claims that he was illegally denied overtime compensation by the singer, and says that there are other people in Dion's employ who've been similarly stiffed. In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Florida, Keith Sturtevant, who says that he worked for Dion and her husband Rene Angelil in Florida from 2009 until this June, claims that he never received overtime compensation while working for the couple, despite the fact that he "routinely worked in excess of 40...

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Racist antics cost trucking firm $11 million

Glasper, of Park Forest, is among dozens of current and former employees represented in a federal racial discrimination lawsuit against their one-time employer, Yellow Transportation Inc., a freight-hauling company that later was folded into what is now YRC Inc. The case — filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of Glasper and other African-American employees working at the company’s Chicago Ridge facility — was settled with the company for $11 million, EEOC officials announced Friday. Glasper’s experience mirrored that of other African-Americans who say hangman’s nooses and racist graffiti, comments and cartoons marred the now-closed Chicago Ridge terminal where...

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Widening sex scandal rocks Texas Air Force base

Male instructors allegedly had sex with female trainees; airman faces court-martial for rape SAN ANTONIO — From a chapel pulpit on Lackland Air Force Base, where every American airman reports for basic training, Col. Glenn Palmer delivered his first order to nearly 600 recruits seated in the pews: If you're sexually harassed or assaulted, tell someone. "My job is to give you a safe, effective training environment," Palmer said firmly. What the colonel did not mention directly in his recent address was a widening sex scandal that has rocked the base, one of the nation's busiest military training centers. Allegations that male instructors...

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AAJ: Protect Consumers From Secretive Forced Arbitration

Posted by: Katie Gommel AAJ filed two sets of comments on a forthcoming study encouraging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to fully examine the devastating impact forced arbitration has on the rights of American consumers. AAJ President Gary M. Paul stated in the comments: “Corporations’ broad utilization of pre-dispute mandatory arbitration clauses greatly reduces the ability of consumers to enforce their rights and in effect nullifies the protections incorporated in land mark consumer protection laws.” To learn more read AAJ’s full release here....

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United Road Towing Failed to Provide Reasonable Accommodations to Class of Employees With Disabilities

By the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, United Road Towing, Inc., a Mokena, Ill.-based towing company, will pay $380,000 to 13 claimants and provide other relief resolving a disability discrimination lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced. A federal district court judge in Chicago entered a consent decree ending the litigation on Wednesday, June 20, 2012. The EEOC’s lawsuit, which was filed Sept. 30, 2009, charged that United Road Towing had failed to provide reasonable accommodations to a class of employees with disabilities. The complaint highlighted United Road Towing’s inflexible medical leave policy and practice of terminating employees with disabilities...

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Supreme Court to Review Rules for Supervisor in Job-Bias Suits

By Bob Drummond on June 25, 2012 The U.S. Supreme Court will settle a dispute about who can be considered a workplace supervisor for purposes of a federal job-discrimination lawsuit. The justices today agreed to consider an appeal by a black Ball State University catering worker, whose discrimination claim against the school was thrown out after a federal appeals court said her alleged harasser didn’t qualify as a supervisor. Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an employer can be held liable if a supervisor discriminates against an employee based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Maetta Vance sued Ball State...

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Former Rams employee sues for age discrimination, sexual harassment

Posted by Mike Florio on June 21, 2012, 11:36 PM EDT As Chris Berman would say, once is an accident and twice is a trend. Or something. Last month, former Rams equipment manager Todd Hewitt sued the team for age discrimination. Now, former executive assistant Lory Fabian has sued the Rams and executive V.P. of sales and marketing Bob Reif. Fabian alleges age discrimination and sexual harassment, according to Robert Patrick of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Fabian specifically claims that the Rams have been shedding “middle-aged women” and replacing them with ‘young inexpensive grinders’ who could handle the long hours of NFL employment.”...

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Repetitive walking

Illinois workers' compensation needs more reform June 23, 2012 To anyone who thought Illinois had solved its workers' compensation problem when lawmakers approved a half-baked reform measure last year, we have two words for you: "repetitive walking." Yes, the same state notorious among employers for its out-of-control workers' comp system recently identified a novel workplace hazard: The Illinois Workers Compensation Commission has ruled that walking on the job can lead to injuries, which, in turn, must be compensated. Repetitive walking...

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Illinois partners with feds to enforce protections against housing discrimination

by Gary Barlow Chicago, IL — While Congress has dragged its feet on passing laws prohibiting discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the Obama administration has implemented new federal rules that prohibit discrimination in housing, at least when federal funds are involved. That, in turn, has made it easier to enforce Illinois' prohibition against such discrimination, thanks to a strong partnership fostered by Illinois officials and the Obama administration. In February the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development published a new regulation that prohibits HUD-funded and HUD-insured housing providers, as well as FHA-approved lenders, from basing eligibility determinations...

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City Hall janitor sues for sexual harassment

CHICAGO (WLS) - A woman filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against a City of Chicago employee who allegedly took semi-nude photographs of her as she changed in his City Hall office. The woman claims she was working for Triad Consulting Services, a janitorial company assigned to clean City Hall, when the man offered her his office to change in and then secretly photographed her, according to a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The man offered the woman his office to change in, which she accepted because she had no other place to change, according to the suit. City Hall janitor...

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Monsanto Faced with Paying 7.5 Billion Back to Farmers

Anthony Gucciardi NaturalSociety June 20, 2012 Monsanto may soon be forced to pay as much as 7.5 billion dollars back to the farmers who say that the mega corporation took their rightfully earned income and taxed their small businesses to financial shambles. It all started with a monumental lawsuit launched by over 5 million farmers against Monsanto looking to recover financial losses from ridiculous seed taxes that bankrupted many families. Back in April, a Brazilian court ruled that Monsanto absolutely was responsible for paying back the exorbitant amounts of cash back to the farmers, ordering the company to issue back all of...

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2 injured in motorcycle crash in DeKalb

A man was charged with DUI and a woman was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash Sunday night in DeKalb. Matthew Bean, 32, of the 300 block of West Sycamore Street, of DeKalb, was charged with DUI, improper lane use, no insurance and failure to reduce speed, according to a press release from the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office. Police responded about 9 p.m. to Old State Road east of Larson Road and found the motorcycle, a 2007Harley-Davidson, in a ditch. An investigation revealed Bean had gone off the roadway and lost control of his motorcycle in a ditch, according to the release. 2...

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Milwaukee Pit Bull Jumps Off Balcony, Attacks Dog Walker and Dog

A Milwaukee, Wisconsin, dog walker and his wife were walking their own dog on Saturday, June 16, about 5:00 p.m. when a Pit Bull jumped from a second-floor balcony to attack their pet. The incident occurred in the 4200 block of W. Capitol Drive on Milwaukee’s north side. The 55-year-old man is still in St. Joseph’s Hospital with serious bite wounds after he wrestled the Pit Bull off his dog. Police sent an e-mail saying the victim had more than 30 punctures on his arms, face, legs and torso and will require surgery, according to Fox11online.com. "The dog really attacked him everywhere,"...

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Wait. A Business Can Be Sued for NOT Hiring Criminals?

Many small businesses did not know it was illegal to impose a ban on hiring anybody with a criminal record. “I was not aware of that one,” said Brian Hamilton, who owns four car dealerships in Nebraska. By ROBB MANDELBAUM Published: June 20, 2012 In April, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission signaled that it would begin to crack down on employers who use the criminal histories of job applicants to discriminate against them illegally. Is a candy company that gives tours to children taking a risk if it does not hire criminals? But to judge from conversations with business owners, labor lawyers and human resources...

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Substance Use and Medical Malpractice

For a doctor, nurse, or other hospital staff member to properly diagnose and treat medical disorders, they must have their wits about them. PHILADELPHIA, PA, June 15, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- For a doctor, nurse, or other hospital staff member to properly diagnose and treat medical disorders, they must have their wits about them. Keeping a clear head means refraining from using substances such as narcotics and alcohol that can slow response times and hamper good judgment. Disturbingly, some studies have found that alcohol use is rampant among healthcare practitioners while on-call or on-duty. Additionally, prescription narcotics accessed through hospitals have been...

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Judge denies government’s motion to dismiss wrongful death suit

June 04, 2012 6:45 pm, By Sarah Tompkins sarah.tompkins@nwi.com, (219) 836-3780 HAMMOND | A federal judge denied the government's motion to dismiss the wrongful death suit of an alleged Latin Dragon gang member whom an officer shot and killed during an attempted arrest in 2007. Rosalio Rincon was 28 when he was killed near Hobart's Westfield Southlake mall. He had recently been indicted on cocaine distribution charges, and a local Drug Enforcement Agency-led task force was trying to execute an arrest warrant for Rincon. The original plan was to arrest Rincon in the early morning at one of the residences he frequented, according...

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Boy on bike struck by school bus, injured in Humboldt Park

By Liam Ford Tribune reporter 8:34 p.m. CDT, May 22, 2012 A 14-year-old boy on a bicycle was struck by a bus on a residential street in the Humboldt Park neighborhood and injured, relatives of the boy and officials said. Fire Department paramedics took the child to Children's Memorial Hospital in serious-to-critical condition about 4 p.m., said fire spokeswoman Meg Ahlheim. The boy was later treated in good condition for lacerations to his leg, police said. The child was on a bicycle when struck by a bus in the 3200 block of West Hirsch Street, she said. Boy on bike struck by school bus,...

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Radiohead stage collapse: One man dead in Downsview Park incident, concert cancelled

Niamh Scallan, Josh Tapper and Graham Slaughter Staff Reporters The grassy venue inside Toronto's Downsview Park was a flurry of activity late Saturday afternoon. As staff went about their final preparations, a crush of Radiohead fans waited to flood the gates for the sold-out evening concert. Inside the beer tent, Oana Damian, 23, and a handful of other workers had just sat down for a meeting with their employer around 4 p.m. when she heard a loud, crackling sound — like “fireworks” — coming from the stage area. Damian turned around and watched in horror as the stage's back scaffolding began to twist...

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Motorcyclist killed in collision with car in Libertyville

Preliminary indication shows car driver at fault, police say By John P. Huston, Chicago Tribune reporter June 15, 2012 A 79-year-old Mount Prospect man was killed when a car collided with the motorcycle he was riding in Libertyville. William Thedorf Sr. was riding a Harley-Davidson at Winchester Road and U.S. Route 45 in Libertyville when he was hit by a Volkswagen driven by an 18-year-old Mundelein man about 11:50 p.m. Wednesday, said Libertyville police Sgt. Dennis Meserve. Thedorf was southbound on Route 45 while the other driver, headed north, waited to turn left onto Winchester while a train was blocking the turn as it...

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Editorial: Fighting racism doesn’t justify busting heads

If a bunch of anti-racists bust into a restaurant and beat up a bunch of racists, they are not noble, heroic or in any way admirable, motivation not withstanding. They are law-breaking brawlers. But that seems quite the opposite of the message being sent by several attorneys who have signed on to represent, for free, five Indiana men accused of busting up a meeting last month that they believed had been organized by white supremacists. The lawyers took the case, they said, because they believe in fighting racism. Editorial: Fighting racism doesn’t justify busting heads ...

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Pregnant woman cries, announces suit over Taser incident with cops

BY NATASHA KORECKI Federal Courts Reporter nkorecki@suntimes.com June 14, 2012 4:00PM A Chicago woman who was eight months pregnant when she said a Chicago Police officer shocked her with a Taser over a parking ticket dispute, broke down in tears on Thursday as she explained what it felt like going through the ordeal. Tiffany Rent told reporters at a news conference that when she was hit with the Taser she felt “a tense feeling,” over her body, she fell over and began shaking. Her two children, she said, witnessed the incident. Rent said it happened on June 5 and Thursday her attorneys...

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Motorcyclist killed by motorist involved in unrelated ‘road rage’ incident

Staff report 2:48 a.m. CDT, June 14, 2012 A motorcyclist from Lombard was killed by another motorist involved in a "road rage" incident with another driver, Naperville police said. Killed was Gerald W. Puglise, 63, of the 2200 block of Highland Avenue in Lombard, according to Naperville police. The incident unfolded just after 5 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Ogden Avenue and River Road, authorities said. Motorcyclist killed by motorist involved in unrelated 'road rage' incident...

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WHO’s Behind H.R. 4369?

ALEC and ILR have assisted the asbestos industry in covering up the dangers of asbestos, villainizing the victims, misleading the public with propaganda and working to limit accountability through legislation. H.R. 4369 is part of a campaign to let the asbestos industry off the hook by burying the system in paperwork and delaying justice until victims die: State legislation: In 2007, ALEC adopted the “Asbestos Claims Transparency Act.” This legislation has been introduced in OH, OK, LA, TX, and WV. Judicial Conference: On November 22, 2010, ILR made a direct appeal to the Judicial Conference to change the rules governing bankruptcy law. Federal legislation:...

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