Publications

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.

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.

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