Illinois Bar Journal


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Articles on Tort Law

Railroads owe no duty of care to children who climb on moving trains By Adam W. Lasker November 2012 LawPulse, Page 574 The supreme court rules that moving freight trains pose an open and obvious danger to child trespassers.
Tort liability for school districts that hide former teachers’ sexual harassment By Adam W. Lasker October 2012 LawPulse, Page 514 The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that a school district breaches its duty of care when it gives false information to another district about a teacher's sexual misconduct.
Insurer’s substantial prejudice claim is negated by judgment-proof tortfeasor September 2012 Illinois Law Update, Page 464 On June 27, 2012, the second district appellate court held as a matter of law that an automobile insurer cannot refuse to pay underinsured motorist ("UIM") coverage to its insured on the grounds that the insured violated a cooperation clause by settling with a judgment-proof tortfeasor.
Insurance companies and P-I plaintiffs will share recoveries if governor signs bill By Adam W. Lasker August 2012 LawPulse, Page 398 HB 5823 would require insurance companies to proportionally share plaintiffs' recoveries in personal injury lawsuits.
The Illegal Immigrant as P.I. Plaintiff: Determining Lost Wages By Douglas A. Wolfe June 2012 Article, Page 312 Is an undocumented immigrant plaintiff entitled to recover future lost wages at a U.S. rate of pay? No Illinois court of review has decided, but here’s a look at what other jurisdictions are doing and what Illinois might – and should – do.
Social Host Liability for Underage Drinking: The “Voluntary Undertaking” Theory after Bell v Hutsell By Martin A. Dolan and Karen Muñoz March 2012 Article, Page 140 It's hard to sue a hands-off social host in Illinois who merely allows underage drinking. But if he or she voluntarily undertakes to prevent it, it might be a different story.
Unregistered employee leasing company retains protection of exclusive remedy provision of Workers’ Compensation Act January 2012 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 An injured employee cannot recover additional tort damages beyond the exclusive remedy of the Workers' Compensation Act merely because the defendant employee leasing company failed to comply with the registration requirement of the Employee Leasing Company Act, according to the fifth district appellate court.
Creditors Are Not Freeloaders: The Common Fund Doctrine Does Not Apply to Hospital Lienholders By Robert D. Kreisman November 2011 Article, Page 568 Wendling holds that hospital lienholders are creditors, not third-party beneficiaries of the plaintiff's lawsuit, and thus not required to pay attorney fees under the common fund doctrine.
Retaliatory-discharge claim against town not time-barred by Tort Immunity Act October 2011 Illinois Law Update, Page 496 On July 22, 2011, the 4th District Appellate Court reversed the lower court's decision granting the Town of Normal's motion to dismiss plaintiff Mary Collins' retaliatory-discharge claim. Since Collins' claim was brought under the Workers' Compensation Act, there is an exception to the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act (Tort Immunity Act), and her claim is not time-barred by the one-year statute of limitations in section 8-101(a).
Post-Pueblo: Liability During Administrative Dissolution By Owen R. Burgh and Terrence J. McConville September 2011 Column, Page 476 LLC members and managers are protected from personal liability even after the LLC is involuntarily dissolved. Here's a call for change.
Using Requests to Admit to Prove Medical Expenses By Christ S. Stacey September 2011 Article, Page 456 Plaintiffs use requests to admit to establish the reasonableness of medical bills. A recent appellate case holds that defendants must either admit or deny the request or explain why they can't.
The Demise of the General Willful and Wanton Exception to the Tort Immunity Act By Michael D. Bersani July 2011 Article, Page 348 In Ries v City of Chicago, the Illinois Supreme Court held that willful and wanton conduct does not create a general exception to the Tort Immunity Act's blanket immunities.
Hutsell: Parents not liable for death of underage DUI driver By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2011 LawPulse, Page 330 The high court held that parents who hosted a party did not voluntarily undertake the duty to prevent underage drinking.
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.
Avoiding Legal Malpractice After Union Planters By Matthew S. Dionne June 2011 Article, Page 306 In Union Planters, the Illinois Appellate Court held that a legal malpractice plaintiff need not prove a "case-within-a-case" in an action arising out of transaction-based legal malpractice.  
Good Samaritans at building evacuation scenes not subject to civil liability absent willful and wanton misconduct. PA 096-1169 May 2011 Illinois Law Update, Page 228 Illinois lawmakers have amended the Good Samaritan Act to exempt from civil liability persons who provide free emergency care at building evacuation scenes. (745 ILCS 49/71 new).
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.
Sole Proximate Cause: The “Empty Chair” Defense in Illinois By Hon. William J. Haddad March 2011 Article, Page 152 Was someone or something other than your client - perhaps someone who isn't a party - the "sole proximate cause" of the plaintiff's injury? Defense lawyers should explore the possibility.
Exceptions to open and obvious danger rule not on point for shopper injured on store property February 2011 Illinois Law Update, Page 72  On December 2, 2010, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Third District, upheld a decision of the Circuit Court of Tazewell County, finding no genuine issue of material fact as to whether the distraction or the deliberate-encounter exception to the open and obvious danger rule applied in the present case.
The preclusive effect of summary suspension hearings in subsequent adjudication December 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 616 On September 23, 2010, the Supreme Court of Illinois held that the Circuit Court of Champaign County's finding of probable cause at the hearing on plaintiff's petition to rescind his statutory summary suspension, pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/2-118.1, did not bar the issue of probable cause from re-litigation in a civil suit for malicious prosecution.
Unhappy SLAPPers: more muscle for the Citizen Participation Act By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2010 LawPulse, Page 610 The Illinois Supreme Court held that the Act immunized a defamation defendant's statements to a reporter about a developer.
Dramshop Act does not block respondeat superior claim for employee drunk driving November 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 564 On August 18, 2010, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, overturned a grant of summary judgment by the Circuit Court of Cook County, finding that the Dramshop Act does not preempt claims based on legal theories independent from the defendant's provision of alcohol.
“They’re Bad-Mouthing the Business”: Suing for Defamation and Related Claims on Behalf of a Corporation and its Officers By Joseph J. Siprut October 2010 Article, Page 528 Your business client wants you to respond to lies told by competitors or others. What now? This article reviews the options.
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.
See comments from our readers. September 2010 Column, Page 442 Exception for commercial fraud not warranted; Two exceptions to the doctrine of election
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.
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.
Any settlement between a plaintiff and a defendant/ agent must also extinguish the principal’s vicarious liability June 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 292 On March 19, 2010, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County, granting the defendant's motion to dismiss an entire action stemming from a car accident, on the basis that the settlement between the plaintiff and the agent extinguished the alleged vicarious liability claims against the other named defendant.
The Case for a Narrow Commercial Fraud Exception to the Moorman Doctrine By Travis J. Quick June 2010 Article, Page 318 Society is best served by requiring the parties - typically sophisticated business buyers and sellers - to bargain for contract protection, the author argues.
Illinois Interscholastic Association protected from defamation claims. PA 096-0723 June 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 292 Illinois lawmakers passed a bill protecting Interscholastic Associations from certain civil liabilities. According to the Interscholastic Association Defamation Act, associations with the purpose of "promoting, sponsoring, regulating, or in any manner providing for interscholastic athletics" are immune from defamation claims, with the exception of claims involving actual malice.