Illinois Bar Journal


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Articles on Damages

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.
Attorneys owe a duty to non-client beneficiaries when distributing funds recovered in wrongful death actions September 2014 Illinois Law Update, Page 424 On June 19, 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court held that attorneys owe a duty to non-client beneficiaries of a wrongful death claim when damages are distributed.
Injured workers may have more options for recovering damages September 2014 Illinois Law Update, Page 424 The Workers' Compensation Act is amended to alter the circumstances under which an injured employee may seek damages from a service organization associated with the employer, his insurer, or his broker.
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.
Dramshop: Strict damage caps for the Illinois Insurance Guarantee Fund By Adam W. Lasker January 2014 LawPulse, Page 10 Supreme Court resolves a split in appellate decisions to strictly cap the fund's liability, despite a harsh result for the parents in Rogers.
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.
Recovering Damages for Trademark Infringement By Nicholas A. Gowen and Peter V. Baugher March 2013 Article, Page 148 While enjoining unlawful use is the objective of most infringement suits, some trademark owners can get money damages.
Federal court: illegal alien’s recovery limited to foreign earning potential By Adam W. Lasker December 2012 LawPulse, Page 626 An undocumented alien can sue his former employer, but his recovery for future earnings is limited to what he could make outside of the U.S., an Illinois-based federal court ruled.
Supreme court okays emotional distress claims for wrongful birth By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2011 LawPulse, Page 330 But the court held in the same case that parents cannot recover the costs of caring for a disabled adult child.
Punitive damage claims do not survive the death of nursing home residents By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2011 LawPulse, Page 222 Because the Nursing Home Care Act does not provide otherwise, punitive damage claims die along with the resident, the Illinois Supreme Court rules.
Getting What’s Due: Prejudgment Interest in Illinois By Adam N. Hirsch August 2010 Article, Page 412 The accrued interest on your client's damage award can add up to real money. This article explains how to get it.
Illinois Supreme Court upholds reduction of punitive damages award By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2010 LawPulse, Page 286 But the standard by which punitive awards should be measured remains unclear.
Judicial Versus Legislative Authority after Lebron By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness June 2010 Column, Page 324 The med-mal caps ruling continues the age-old battle over separation of powers.
Illinois Supreme Court: statutory med-mal caps are unconstitutional By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2010 LawPulse, Page 122 By overriding juries' findings and judicial oversight over them, the caps law violated the separation of powers, the court ruled.
Medicare and Future Medical Expenses: Does the “Super Lien” Apply? By Bradford J. Peterson January 2010 Article, Page 26 It's common to accommodate Medicare liens in personal injury liability claims. But must litigants also protect Medicare from future medical expenses? The author explores the issue.
Attacking the Quotient Verdict By Melissa A. Murphy-Petros and Daniel E. Tranen August 2009 Article, Page 416 In a quotient verdict, jurors decide liability or damages by mathematically averaging instead of deliberating. Here s how to prevent and attack them.
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.
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.
The Collateral Source Rule after Wills v Foster By Jennifer L. Tweeton and Erin N. Graham April 2009 Article, Page 184 A review of the supreme court’s decision in Wills, which allows plaintiffs to recover the “reasonable” (i.e., undiscounted) value of their medical expenses, even if paid by Medicare or some other third party.
Human Rights Act doesn’t bar state, federal claims in circuit court By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2009 LawPulse, Page 168 Someone who can bring a claim under the Illinois Human Rights Act can nonetheless sue based on federal or common law in state circuit court, the supreme court rules.
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’.
Last Term’s United States Supreme Court Labor and Employment Decisions By Michael Robert Lied and Joseph F. Tansino December 2008 Article, Page 626 A survey of the United States Supreme Court's labor and employment rulings from the 2007-08 term.
Only actual damages are recoverable under Breach of Promise Act November 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 554 On August 20, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County finding that the defendant had committed legal malpractice.
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.  
A New Approach to Limitations of Remedies and Damages Under the UCC By Peter C. John February 2008 Article, Page 96 Razor v Hyundai Motor America changed Illinois law by limiting the failure of a remedy to the remedy itself and not implicating the limitation on damages. 
New Consumer Remedies for UPL By Melinda J. Bentley December 2007 Column, Page 631 A new law allows clients to sue for UPL damages under the Illinois Attorney Act.