Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Negligence

Blaming the Patient: Medical Malpractice and Contributory Negligence By Robert P. Vogt June 2014 Article, Page 288 What constitutes contributory negligence in the med-mal context? This article explains the basics.
Temporary employee injured in office parking lot sustained injuries in the course of and arising out of her employment January 2014 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 On November 14, 2013, the Illinois Appellate Court for the Fourth District held that a temporary employee who is assigned a parking space in a parking lot designated for employees, and is then injured in that parking lot on her way to work, has sustained injuries that arose in the course of and out of her employment.
Civil engineers’ duty of care defined by contractual obligation By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2011 Lawpulse, Page 118 Where the contract provided for "replacement" of a bridge deck, the defendant engineer had no duty to make improvements that might have saved lives, the high court said.
Exceptions to open and obvious danger rule not on point for shopper injured on store property February 2011 Illinois Law Update, Page 72  On December 2, 2010, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Third District, upheld a decision of the Circuit Court of Tazewell County, finding no genuine issue of material fact as to whether the distraction or the deliberate-encounter exception to the open and obvious danger rule applied in the present case.
Dramshop Act does not block respondeat superior claim for employee drunk driving November 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 564 On August 18, 2010, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, overturned a grant of summary judgment by the Circuit Court of Cook County, finding that the Dramshop Act does not preempt claims based on legal theories independent from the defendant's provision of alcohol.
The Snow and Ice Removal Act does not provide immunity for injuries sustained on driveways April 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 180 On January 27, 2010, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, reversed and remanded the decision of the Circuit Court of Lake County, which granted the defendants' motion to dismiss the plaintiff's complaint.
Sports Injuries: High Liability Standard for Nonparticipants By Ray Rossi April 2010 Article, Page 200 In Illinois, nonparticipants (e.g., coaches and refs) in sporting events who cause injuries are liable only if their misconduct is at least willful and wanton.
Clarifications made to the contact sports exception to negligence claims March 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 128 On December 31, 2009, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, reversed and remanded the decision of the Circuit Court of Du Page County, which found that the contact sports exception to ordinary negligence claims applied to a trainer of an amateur hockey team.
Power company has a duty to respond to a downed power line with due care November 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 552 On August 27, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, reversed and remanded the grant of summary judgment by the Circuit Court of Cook County in favor of the defendant power company, finding that there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether defendant breached its duty to the plaintiff to respond to a downed power line with due care.
Supreme Court: No “transferred negligence” between husband and wife By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2009 Lawpulse, Page 546 As a consequence, a woman's estate can't sue those who provided health care to her husband, who killed her.
The Duty to WARN Against Serious Injury: Can Plaintiffs Successfully Challenge Illinos’ Tough Standard? By Eugene I. Pavalon and Harry C. Lee October 2009 Article, Page 518 The authors argue that the Restatement of Torts may offer a way for plaintiffs to argue for a more expansive duty of defendants to warn.
CTA notice requirement eliminated By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2009 Lawpulse, Page 330 Plaintiff’s lawyers are cheering the removal of a notice requirement they say functioned “as a shield against unsuspecting plaintiffs” with legitimate claims against the CTA.
Evidence is insufficient to prove negligence if the conclusion is merely possible June 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 284 On April 1, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Will County which granted summary judgment for the defendants after concluding that no genuine issue of material fact existed to establish negligence on the part of the defendants.
The Ready answer: Settling Defendants’ Fault Can’t Be Used to Determine Joint Liability By David E. Mueller and Jennier L. Wolf June 2009 Article, Page 294 The Illinois Supreme Court held in Ready that settling defendants are excluded from the joint-and-several-liability equation, leaving nonsettling defendants at risk of higher payout.
Victory for defendants in asbestos case By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2009 Lawpulse, Page 278 The Illinois Supreme Court allows defendants in asbestos cases to introduce evidence that someone else's negligence was the sole proximate cause of a plaintiff's injuries.
Plaintiff failed to prove reliance element of voluntary undertaking theory February 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 70 On December 2, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Rock Island County granting summary judgment for the defendant in a negligence action.
The Broad Duty to Protect Patrons from Harm: Marshall v Burger King By Courtney Dashiell Lorentz October 2008 Article, Page 524 The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that a restaurant owner has a duty to protect its patrons from an out-of-control car. So where does a premises owner's duty to the public end?
So You Want to Be a Personal Injury Lawyer? By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2008 Article, Page 508 How do you break into p.i. practice? Successful practitioners offer advice.
Negligent Spoliation in the Wake of Jones v O’Brien Tire and Battery By Shane M. Carnine September 2008 Article, Page 470 A recent appellate case arguably changes the requirements for a spoliation claim.
Dog Bites Man: Liability for Dog Attacks Under the Animal Control Act By April Pruitt-Summers August 2008 Article, Page 408 The Illinois Animal Control Act eliminates the "one bite" rule and makes other changes to the common law of dog attacks.
A veterinary standard of care By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2008 Lawpulse, Page 334 The court makes explicit that veterinarians are "skilled" practitioners of a "profession or trade" and thus owe a duty of care.
Use of Leased Land Act. PA 095-0603 April 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 180 The General Assembly has created the State of Illinois Recreational Use of Leased Land Act. 
No duty to warn, Illinois high court holds By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2007 Lawpulse, Page 570 The court reaffirms the rule that Party A has no duty to warn Party B about a threat posed by Party C unless there's a special relationship between A and B.
Admitted negligent acts properly presented to jury when relevant and necessary to plaintiff’s case August 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 404 On June 7, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Jackson County allowing Michael Rath to present evidence of Carbondale Nursing and Rehabilitation Center's negligence despite the nursing home's admission of certain acts of negligence.
No duty to third parties for injuries resulting from theft of vehicle on private property April 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 176 On February 8, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County granting summary judgment to defendants Budget Rent-A-Car Systems, Inc. (Budget) and Ranger Security (Ranger). 
No governmental immunity for hazardous recreational activity By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2007 Lawpulse, Page 170 The tort immunity act offers no blanket immunity for trampolining and other hazardous recreational activities, the high court rules.
No per se liability exception to the risk-utility test when dangers are open and obvious April 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 176 On February 16, 2007, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversing the Circuit Court of Cook County's order of summary judgment for defendant Scripto-Tokai Corporation (Scripto).
Land Surveyor Liability to Third Parties in Illinois By Richard F. Bales March 2007 Article, Page 136 The land surveyor made a mistake - what are the damages? The defenses? Who can recover? This article explores those questions from the plaintiffs' and defense perspectives.
Supreme court to streetside restaurants: keep patrons out of harm’s way By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2006 Lawpulse, Page 458 In Marshall v Burger King, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that public businesses abutting the street have a duty to protect invitees from dangerous drivers.
Campground operator has no duty to warn of naturally accumulating walnuts July 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 334 On April 19, 2006, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Whiteside County, granting summary judgment to the defendant campground owner because she had neither a duty to keep the campground clear of fallen walnuts nor a duty to warn patrons of the danger posed by such walnuts.