Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Tort Law

Daniels v Corrigan: Compliance with the law Does not establish agency By Justin Lee Heather November 2009 Article, Page 580 This article analyzes the first district's rejection of a plaintiff's assertion that a cab driver was the agent of the cab company.
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.
The Overlooked Art of Redirect Examination By Jeffrey J. Kroll and Patrick White August 2009 Article, Page 406 Redirect examination is a powerful weapon for litigators, but it can backfire on those who forget its central purpose - to rehabilitate witnesses.
A property owner has a duty to provide a safe means of ingress and egress only for areas clearly designated for such purposes August 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 392 On May 29, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, affirmed the Circuit Court of Warren County's grant of summary judgment for the defendant after the plaintiff fell and injured himself on the defendant's property and sued defendant. 
When one is injured twice in the same body part, the injuries are not automatically indivisible when apportioning liability August 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 392 On May 29, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County ordering one of two defendants involved in two separate car accidents with the injured plaintiff to pay one half the total verdict, after the other defendant settled. 
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 of careful habits has no bearing for the element of proximate cause July 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 336 On April 29, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County granting summary judgment for the defendants. 
Does the “51-Percent Rule” Apply to Legal Malpractice Actions? By James W. Davidson June 2009 Article, Page 302 Is recovery for legal malpractice barred if the plantiff-client is more than 50 percent to blame? Here's the case for and against.
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.
Absolute immunity applies to protect police officers from tort liability May 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 226 On February 20, 2009, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, thereby affirming the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County which dismissed the plaintiff's complaint because there was no genuine issue of material fact with regard to a defendant's enforcement of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 (750 ILCS 60/101 et seq (2002)).
Proving Proximate Cause in Malpractice cases By Terrence J. Lavin and Kristina M. Lau May 2009 Article, Page 254 Illinois courts are still struggling to determine the plaintiff's proper burden of proving proximate cause in "lost chance" cases.
Measure of damages to pet may include the cost of veterinary care and treatment March 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 122 On December 31, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Logan County awarding damages to the plaintiffs for tortious damage to their dog and modifying the damage award to equal the total costs of veterinary care required.
Scientific Evidence About Grief in Illinois Wrongful Death Cases By Timothy J. Reuland and Shirley A. Murphy March 2009 Article, Page 146 A 2007 amendment to the Illinois Wrongful Death Act permits recovery for grief. This article discusses the evidence that makes the case for damages.
Understanding Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Provisions By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2009 Article, Page 126 UM/UIM provisions can salvage what would otherwise be a no-recovery case, but you need to understand your clients’ liability policies, not just the tortfeasors’.
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.
Plaintiffs win big in Ready By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2009 Lawpulse, Page 64  The supreme court holds that good-faith settling tortfeasors can't be included in apportioning fault after verdicts to determine joint and several liability.
Wrongful Death Act does not allow a cause of action for loss of a non-implanted IVF embryo January 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 On October 24, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, answered in the negative a question about the Illinois Wrongful Death Act certified by the Circuit Court of Cook County on interlocutory appeal.
Court upholds, modifies risk-utility test for products liability By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2008 Lawpulse, Page 606 In a recent case, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld - but reformulated - the risk-utility test, while declining to abandon the consumer-expectation test.
Illinois’ New Anti-SLAPP Statute By Eric M. Madiar and Terrence J. Sheahan December 2008 Article, Page 620 The Act should quell libel suits against those who legitimately petition government for redress. But does it also shield those who intentionally defame others?
Appellate court: no wrongful death for embryo before it’s implanted By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2008 Lawpulse, Page 548  The Illinois Appellate court rules that the Wrongful Death Act does not permit suits on behalf of human embryos allegedly destroyed before being placed in the womb.
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.
Fraudulent Misrepresentation in Illinois Employment Cases By Richard J. Gonzalez September 2008 Article, Page 464 More at-will employees who have been misled by employers' oral promises are suing for fraudulent misrepresentation instead of breach of contract.
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.
Clarifying the collateral source rule By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2008 Lawpulse, Page 384 The supreme court rules that plaintiffs can recover the "reasonable value" of their medical expenses, whether they're paid by Medicare, Medicaid, insurance, or another source.  
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.