Publications

Articles on Tort Law

Summary judgment affirmed when plaintiff’s testimony is inadmissible under the Dead Man’s Act and no other proof of negligence available

December
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
The second district affirmed a summary judgment ruling for the defendant over the plaintiff's claims that the pleadings established a question of material fact.

Litigating Sports Brain Injuries: The New Ball Game

By Owen Blood and John-Michael Poerretta
June
2016
Article
Page 28
As public concern over concussions in sports grows, lawsuits and legislation addressing the issue are springing up in Illinois and around the country.

Medical Bills in Illinois - What’s ‘Fair and Reasonable’?

By Thomas N. Osran
May
2016
Article
Page 30
Only "fair and reasonable" medical bills are admissible as evidence in Illinois. But what does that mean in a world where hospitals and doctors charge far more than they routinely accept?

High court abandons the ‘public duty rule’

By Matthew Hector
March
2016
LawPulse
Page 20
The supreme court recently abolished the "public duty rule," which held that fire departments and like entities owed no duty of care to provide services.

A Proposal to Revise Verdict Forms for Contribution and Apportionment

By Hon. Donald J. O’Brien Jr. and Cadence Tuttle
March
2016
Article
Page 46
The authors argue that among other shortcomings, verdict forms for contribution and apportionment of liability in tort cases fail to account for a fundamental reality: contribution is a defendant's right, not the plaintiff's.

Understanding Wrongful Death and Survival Actions

By Frank Andreano
October
2015
Article
Page 30
Though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, wrongful death and survival actions are anything but identical. Failing to understand the differences can cost you and your client.

Don’t let opponents bury their own experts’ testimony

September
2015
Article
Page 22
Use the "missing witness" jury instruction to smoke out helpful testimony by your opponent's expert.

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.

Suicide remains an unforeseeable event that breaks the causal chain in an intentional tort

August
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On May 21, 2015, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the general rule that, as a matter of law, suicide is an unforeseeable event that breaks the causal chain in both negligent and intentional torts

Navigating Concurrent Personal Injury and Divorce Cases

By Michael Alkaraki and Andrew Vaughn
July
2015
Article
Page 32
Lawyers representing clients who are both divorcing and bringing a p.i. claim should work together.

Slips, Falls, and the Natural Accumulation Rule

By Jason G. Schutte and Eric Waldman
June
2015
Article
Page 28
Owners are not liable for falls caused by a natural accumulation of ice, snow, or water on their property. But what is a "natural accumulation"? This article looks at the law.

A Guide to the Loss of Chance Doctrine in Illinois

By Jason L. Hortenstine
February
2015
Article
Page 26
This overview of the loss of chance doctrine discusses applicable IPI Instructions, looks at recent precedent, and offers practice tips.

The ‘Seller’s Exception’ Defense to Product Liability Actions

By Nicholas Owen McCann
January
2015
Article
Page 40
Retailers and other nonmanufacturers in Illinois can seek dismissal under the so-called "seller's exception" to strict products liability. Here's how it works.

Merely looking elsewhere does not satisfy the distraction exception to the open and obvious rule

December
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 572
On September 18, 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court held that a woman who tripped on a sidewalk crack while looking ahead to her destination did not satisfy the distraction exception to the general rule that premises owners are not liable for harm caused by open and obvious dangerous conditions.

Tort legislation medley

By Matthew Hector
October
2014
LawPulse
Page 466
The governor recently signed laws affecting UI/UIM arbitration, statutes of limitations for disabled plaintiffs, and service of process in gated communities.

Blaming the Patient: Medical Malpractice and Contributory Negligence

By Robert P. Vogt
June
2014
Article
Page 288
What constitutes contributory negligence in the med-mal context? This article explains the basics.

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.

Good Samaritan Act doesn’t shield on-duty emergency doctors

By Janan Hanna
May
2014
LawPulse
Page 214
A lawyer who was disciplined for posting a YouTube video of police buying drugs from his client has filed a federal lawsuit challenging his suspension.

Preserving the Peer Review Privilege in Med-Mal Cases

By Margaret J. Lowery
April
2014
Article
Page 176
Properly performed peer review is not subject to discovery in med-mal litigation. But health care providers sometimes learn the hard way how the privilege can be lost.

Proximate Cause: Limiting Liability Along the Chain of Causation

By Amelia S. Buragas
February
2014
Article
Page 88
Illinois courts have struggled with defining the limits of proximate cause. Multi-car collision cases present an interesting case study of the evolution of proximate cause jurisprudence.

Plaintiffs’ Secret Weapon: The Illinois Respondent in Discovery Statute

By Kaitlyn Anne Wild
January
2014
Article
Page 24
This little-known statute enables plaintiffs - but not defendants - to take discovery from a non-party respondent and provides a six-month "grace period" from statutes of limitations.

Temporary employee injured in office parking lot sustained injuries in the course of and arising out of her employment

January
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On November 14, 2013, the Illinois Appellate Court for the Fourth District held that a temporary employee who is assigned a parking space in a parking lot designated for employees, and is then injured in that parking lot on her way to work, has sustained injuries that arose in the course of and out of her employment.

The high court bars a suit filed against dead defendant

By Adam W. Lasker
December
2013
LawPulse
Page 606
After the defendant died, the plaintiff in a car-accident case failed to sue the estate's "personal representative." That meant the court lacked jurisdiction, the supreme court ruled.

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.

Suit barred for plaintiffs who ‘came to the nuisance’ of fly-infested cattle farm

By Adam W. Lasker
April
2013
LawPulse
Page 170
The Illinois Supreme Court held that the Farm Nuisance Suit Act barred recovery for plaintiffs who acquired a house across the road from a fly-infested cattle farm.

Applying Other-State Law to Illinois Tort Actions

By Jacob D. Sawyer
December
2012
Article
Page 652
When does the law of, say, New York apply to an Illinois tort lawsuit? Find out the Illinois approach to deciding the question.

Governmental tort immunity for ice and snow on recreational property

By Adam W. Lasker
December
2012
LawPulse
Page 626
Plaintiffs can't recover from a local government for injuries caused when they slip on snow and ice on recreational property, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled recently.

Court Approval of Minors’ Settlements

By Hon. Ron Spears
November
2012
Column
Page 613
Should judicial approval be required for even small damage awards for minors?

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