Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Wrongful Death

Pursuing Claims for Grief Under the Wrongful Death Act By Elizabeth Felt Wakeman and Gregory J. Barry January 2013 Article, Page 34 Thanks to a 2007 statutory change, juries are permitted to consider grief, sorrow, and mental suffering in wrongful death cases. Here's advice for trial lawyers about how to approach this relatively untested element of wrongful-death damages.
Failure to appoint an administrator before filing a wrongful-death action is not fatal to the cause of action September 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 452 On July 8, 2010, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fifth District, reversed a motion to dismiss from the Circuit Court of Randolph County, finding that an amended complaint is not necessary when the administrator of an estate is not appointed until after a wrongful death action is filed.
A murder conviction is no longer needed for application of the “slayer statute” July 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 348 On April 29, 2010, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, upheld a decision of the Circuit Court of Macon County finding that the "slayer statute" prevents an individual deemed insane for criminal purposes, but nevertheless cognizant of murdering a person, from receiving any property, benefit or other interest he may have received by a death he caused.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
No wrongful death action for abortion to protect mother’s health By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2008 Lawpulse, Page 278 If an injured mother aborts an uninjured fetus to protect her own health, she can't recover for the wrongful death of the unborn child, the Illinois Supreme Court rules.
2007 Spring Session Roundup By Jim Covington August 2007 Column, Page 408 Highlights of this year's legislative session.
Amendments to damages law for wrongful death suits. PA 095-0003 August 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 404 The Illinois General Assembly has amended Section 2 of the Wrongful Death Act, 740 ILCS 80/2. 
Mental suffering now compensable in wrongful death cases By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2007 Lawpulse, Page 398 Illinois becomes the 24th state to allow wrongful-death plaintiffs to recover for their grief, sorrow, and mental suffering at the loss of their loved one.
Utility company does not have duty to insulate power lines over public right of way, especially when decedent aware of the risk of metal coming into contact with the lines January 2002 Illinois Law Update, Page 14 On October 23, 2001, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Vermilion County granting summary judgment to Illinois Power in a wrongful death action.
Court declines to impose social-host liability for alcohol-related death June 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 286 On March 30, 2001, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, affirmed the lower court's finding that alcohol-related liability, including social-host liability, has been preempted by the passage of the Dramshop Act.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath December 2000 Column, Page 686 Extra protection against self-incrimination; grandparents get their (bad) day in court; and more.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath November 2000 Column, Page 620 A lower burden of proof for consumer fraud? Arbitration-award rejection—can secretaries sign after all? and more.
Siderail Use and Legal Liability in Illinois Nursing Homes By June A. Braun and Elizabeth Capezuti June 2000 Article, Page 324 The authors argue that routine use of bed siderails is neither good for patients nor effective defensive medicine.
Surviving parents of decedent may not maintain a wrongful death action where the decedent is survived by a spouse and no children. October 1999 Illinois Law Update, Page 521 On August 3, 1999, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the lower court finding that the plaintiff lacked standing to sue for wrongful death.