Illinois Bar Journal


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Articles on Tort Law

Understanding Wrongful Death and Survival Actions By Frank Andreano October 2015 Article, Page 30 Though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, wrongful death and survival actions are anything but identical. Failing to understand the differences can cost you and your client.
Don’t let opponents bury their own experts’ testimony September 2015 Article, Page 22 Use the "missing witness" jury instruction to smoke out helpful testimony by your opponent's expert.
Pointers for Proving Future Damages By Judge James M. Varga August 2015 Article, Page 40 To successfully argue for or against future damages, lawyers must understand the meaning of "reasonable degree of medical certainty" and know when expert testimony is and isn't required.
Suicide remains an unforeseeable event that breaks the causal chain in an intentional tort August 2015 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 On May 21, 2015, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the general rule that, as a matter of law, suicide is an unforeseeable event that breaks the causal chain in both negligent and intentional torts
Navigating Concurrent Personal Injury and Divorce Cases By Michael Alkaraki and Andrew Vaughn July 2015 Article, Page 32 Lawyers representing clients who are both divorcing and bringing a p.i. claim should work together.
Slips, Falls, and the Natural Accumulation Rule By Jason G. Schutte and Eric Waldman June 2015 Article, Page 28 Owners are not liable for falls caused by a natural accumulation of ice, snow, or water on their property. But what is a "natural accumulation"? This article looks at the law.
A Guide to the Loss of Chance Doctrine in Illinois By Jason L. Hortenstine February 2015 Article, Page 26 This overview of the loss of chance doctrine discusses applicable IPI Instructions, looks at recent precedent, and offers practice tips.
The ‘Seller’s Exception’ Defense to Product Liability Actions By Nicholas Owen McCann January 2015 Article, Page 40 Retailers and other nonmanufacturers in Illinois can seek dismissal under the so-called "seller's exception" to strict products liability. Here's how it works.
Merely looking elsewhere does not satisfy the distraction exception to the open and obvious rule December 2014 Illinois Law Update, Page 572 On September 18, 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court held that a woman who tripped on a sidewalk crack while looking ahead to her destination did not satisfy the distraction exception to the general rule that premises owners are not liable for harm caused by open and obvious dangerous conditions.
Tort legislation medley By Matthew Hector October 2014 LawPulse, Page 466 The governor recently signed laws affecting UI/UIM arbitration, statutes of limitations for disabled plaintiffs, and service of process in gated communities.
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.
Choosing an Economist for Your Personal Injury Case By Scott Gilbert May 2014 Article, Page 232 How can you tell whether economist-experts' damages estimates will help or hurt your case? You'll find important clues by looking at how they make a few key calculations.
Good Samaritan Act doesn’t shield on-duty emergency doctors By Janan Hanna May 2014 LawPulse, Page 214 A lawyer who was disciplined for posting a YouTube video of police buying drugs from his client has filed a federal lawsuit challenging his suspension.
Preserving the Peer Review Privilege in Med-Mal Cases By Margaret J. Lowery April 2014 Article, Page 176 Properly performed peer review is not subject to discovery in med-mal litigation. But health care providers sometimes learn the hard way how the privilege can be lost.
Proximate Cause: Limiting Liability Along the Chain of Causation By Amelia S. Buragas February 2014 Article, Page 88 Illinois courts have struggled with defining the limits of proximate cause. Multi-car collision cases present an interesting case study of the evolution of proximate cause jurisprudence.
Plaintiffs’ Secret Weapon: The Illinois Respondent in Discovery Statute By Kaitlyn Anne Wild January 2014 Article, Page 24 This little-known statute enables plaintiffs - but not defendants - to take discovery from a non-party respondent and provides a six-month "grace period" from statutes of limitations.
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.
The high court bars a suit filed against dead defendant By Adam W. Lasker December 2013 LawPulse, Page 606 After the defendant died, the plaintiff in a car-accident case failed to sue the estate's "personal representative." That meant the court lacked jurisdiction, the supreme court ruled.
The Myth of the Rebuttable Presumption for Loss of Society in Wrongful Death Cases By Michael P. Cogan November 2013 Article, Page 582 A recent case illustrates that in claims for loss of society in wrongful death cases, the rebuttable presumption of a substantial pecuniary loss is sometimes illusory.
‘Wrongful Birth’ Plaintiffs Can Recover for Emotional Distress By Christopher T. Hurley and Mark R. McKenna November 2013 Article, Page 580 A recent Illinois Supreme Court decision holds that parents can recover for emotional distress if they win a claim for negligent genetic counseling, even if they suffered no direct physical injury.
Lawlor: A Roadmap for Limiting Punitive Damages By Eric J. Muñoz June 2013 Article, Page 298 A recent Illinois decision makes it easier for businesses only vicariously liable to limit punitive damages awards.
Suit barred for plaintiffs who ‘came to the nuisance’ of fly-infested cattle farm By Adam W. Lasker April 2013 LawPulse, Page 170 The Illinois Supreme Court held that the Farm Nuisance Suit Act barred recovery for plaintiffs who acquired a house across the road from a fly-infested cattle farm.
Applying Other-State Law to Illinois Tort Actions By Jacob D. Sawyer December 2012 Article, Page 652 When does the law of, say, New York apply to an Illinois tort lawsuit? Find out the Illinois approach to deciding the question.
Governmental tort immunity for ice and snow on recreational property By Adam W. Lasker December 2012 LawPulse, Page 626 Plaintiffs can't recover from a local government for injuries caused when they slip on snow and ice on recreational property, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled recently.
Court Approval of Minors’ Settlements By Hon. Ron Spears November 2012 Column, Page 613 Should judicial approval be required for even small damage awards for minors?
Railroads owe no duty of care to children who climb on moving trains By Adam W. Lasker November 2012 LawPulse, Page 574 The supreme court rules that moving freight trains pose an open and obvious danger to child trespassers.
Tort liability for school districts that hide former teachers’ sexual harassment By Adam W. Lasker October 2012 LawPulse, Page 514 The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that a school district breaches its duty of care when it gives false information to another district about a teacher's sexual misconduct.
Insurer’s substantial prejudice claim is negated by judgment-proof tortfeasor September 2012 Illinois Law Update, Page 464 On June 27, 2012, the second district appellate court held as a matter of law that an automobile insurer cannot refuse to pay underinsured motorist ("UIM") coverage to its insured on the grounds that the insured violated a cooperation clause by settling with a judgment-proof tortfeasor.
Insurance companies and P-I plaintiffs will share recoveries if governor signs bill By Adam W. Lasker August 2012 LawPulse, Page 398 HB 5823 would require insurance companies to proportionally share plaintiffs' recoveries in personal injury lawsuits.
The Illegal Immigrant as P.I. Plaintiff: Determining Lost Wages By Douglas A. Wolfe June 2012 Article, Page 312 Is an undocumented immigrant plaintiff entitled to recover future lost wages at a U.S. rate of pay? No Illinois court of review has decided, but here’s a look at what other jurisdictions are doing and what Illinois might – and should – do.