Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Tort Law

Illinois supremes: legal malpractice plaintiffs can’t recover lost punitives By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2006 Lawpulse, Page 458 Successful legal malpractice plaintiffs may not recover punitive damages they would have once but for the defendant lawyers' malpractice, the high court ruled earlier this summer.
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.
The Illinois Supreme Court and the “Fair Report” Privilege: A Free-Press Victory By Michael M. Conway, Mona G. Thakkar, and Katherine Licup August 2006 Article, Page 414 Reporters who accurately report accusations made as part of a government proceeding are protected from defamation suits.
When the doctor is the patient - and a med-mal defendant By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2006 Lawpulse, Page 398 Should a defendant-doctor's medical records be available to a plaintiff who alleges that the doctor's poor health caused him to deliver substandard care?
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.
In Defense of Bulger v CTA By Anthony Longo May 2006 Article, Page 254 A defense lawyer applauds the Bulger court's finding that evidence of subsequent remedial measures is inadmissible
Railroad operator liable for injury to frequent trespasser May 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 230 On March 10, 2006, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, answered two certified questions posed by the Circuit Court of Cook County, regarding the liability of a railroad company to a trespasser. 
When supplying a title commitment, title insurers are not liable for economic loss or negligent misrepresentation April 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 174 On January 20, 2006, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the decision of both the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, and the Circuit Court of Cook County, granting the defendant's motion to dismiss with prejudice.
Danger lurks in p.i. confidentiality clauses By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2006 Lawpulse, Page 110 A recent case – involving none other than Dennis Rodman – holds that plaintiffs must pay tax on the portion of a settlement award deemed payment to a p.i. client for his or her silence.
Trial Lawyers’ Top Opinions of 2005 By Hon. James P. Flannery, Jr. March 2006 Article, Page 122 From pre-trial notice requirements to spoliation of evidence, 2005 produced an array of Illinois cases of special interest to the trial bar.
A big win for Big Tobacco By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2006 Lawpulse, Page 62 The Illinois Supreme Court barred plaintiffs' class action claim and overturned a $10-plus billion award against Philip Morris. But experts doubt the case will have much precedential power outside Illinois.
Don’t Let the Open-and-Obvious “Distraction” Exception Swallow the Rule By Beth C. Boggs and Douglas B. Keane November 2005 Article, Page 578 The authors argue that some courts have unwisely expanded the"distraction"exception to the rule barring recovery for injury causedby an open and obvious danger.
Consumer expectations used to determine if product unreasonably dangerous October 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 506 On June 30, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed in part and reversed in part the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County granting summary judgment in favor of the defendant.
Supremes: defendants on the hook for undiscounted medical bills By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2005 Lawpulse, Page 438 The Illinois Supreme Court upheld the third district's ruling that personal injury defendants may be liable for a plaintiff's original medical bill, not the lower amount negotiated by his or her insurer.
Medical Malpractice and the Tort System in Illinois By Neil Vidmar July 2005 Article, Page 340 According to an ISBA-commissioned report, the increase in doctors' liability insurance premiums apparently has not been caused by runaway juries.
Correspondence from Our Readers June 2005 Column, Page 270 An Impartial Look at Tort Reform?
General Contractors’ Liability for Injury to Subcontractors’ Workers: A Confusing Construct By G. Grant Dixon, III May 2005 Article, Page 248 How much control must general contractors in Illinois exercise over a workplace to make them liable for injuries to a subcontractor's workers? A look at the conflicting cases.
An Honest Look at Tort Reform By Ole Bly Pace, III April 2005 Column, Page 160 ISBA has commissioned an unbiased study of the relationship between malpractice litigation and insurance rates.
Proposed Rule 225: Does Illinois Need a New Class-Action Rule? By Michael B. Hyman, Carol V. Gilden, Melinda J. Morales, Adam J. Levitt, Michael A. Pope, and Steven F. Pflaum April 2005 Article, Page 202 Proponents say Rule 225 would stop class-action abuse; Opponents say it isn't needed.  
Maximizing Punitive Damages after BMW and State Farm: A Trial Lawyer’s Guide By Peter S. Stamatis and Alexander T. Muhtaris March 2005 Article, Page 112 Despite rumors to the contrary, the U.S. Supreme Court has not ruled punitive damages unconstitutional. Here's how to make the most of your cases.
Hospital and HMO Liability for Contract Physician Malpractice: An Update By Robert J. Napleton February 2005 Article, Page 88 This article offers a trial lawyers' perspective on how the apparent agency doctrine has evolved since Gilbert v Sycamore Municipal Hospital
One-year limitation period in Tort Immunity Act applies to personal injury actions against local public entities February 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 68 On November 18, 2004, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the appellate court and affirmed the circuit court's dismissal of the plaintiff's personal injury action. 
Apportioning Liability in Third-Party Cases: Recent Issues By Elliot R. Schiff January 2005 Article, Page 38 The author recommends that nonparties, settling defendants, and plaintiffs not be considered when apportioning liability.
Challenging the Medical Studies Act’s Peer-Review Privilege By Judy L. Cates November 2004 Article, Page 582 A plaintiff's-eye view of this important limit on discovery in med-mal cases.
Clients not liable for lawyers’ intentional torts By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2004 Lawpulse, Page 508 The Illinois Supreme Court holds that clients are not liable for lawyers' intentional torts unless they authorized, directed, or ratified the lawyers' conduct.
Legal protection for mothers who breastfeed P.A. 093-0942 October 2004 Illinois Law Update, Page 514 A mother now has a private right of action if she is denied the right to breastfeed by the owner or manager of a public or private location, other than a private residence or place of worship.
Using No-Reliance Clauses to Prevent Fraud-in-the-Inducement Claims By Joseph Wylie October 2004 Article, Page 536 Plaintiffs are using fraud-in-the-inducement theory to turn breach-of-contract allegations into tort claims. A new case gives defendants a way to fight back.
Defendants liable for undiscounted hospital bills, appellate court rules By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2004 Lawpulse, Page 390 The third district appellate court ruled early this year that a plaintiff is entitled to the amount of a hospital's undiscounted bill, not a lower amount negotiated by the plaintiff's insurance carrier.
For purposes of imposing vicarious liability, unless it can be shown that a client directed, controlled, authorized, or ratified the alleged misconduct, an attorney’s alleged tortious conduct may not be imputed to a client August 2004 Illinois Law Update, Page 398 On May 20, 2004, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the appellate court and affirmed the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants. 
Injuries sustained by the plaintiff, a passenger in a private vehicle that was struck by an intoxicated driver as it sped through a red light on its way to the hospital, were not proximately caused by the city’s refusal to send an ambulance August 2004 Illinois Law Update, Page 398 On May 20, 2004, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the appellate court and affirmed the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the City of Chicago.