Publications

Articles on Tort Law

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.

Legal Immunities for Local Governments in Public Health Emergencies

By Christina Marie Webb
June
2010
Article
Page 314
A brief review of immunities available to local governments, governmental employees, and volunteers if they're sued for conduct arising from public health emergencies.

The common-fund doctrine applies to hospital liens

May
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 236
On March 4, 2010, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fifth District, upheld a decision of the Circuit Court of Williamson County finding that the common-fund doctrine applied to hospitals' statutory liens filed pursuant to the Health Care Services Liens Act. 770 ILCS 23/1 et seq.

The Snow and Ice Removal Act does not provide immunity for injuries sustained on driveways

April
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 180
On January 27, 2010, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, reversed and remanded the decision of the Circuit Court of Lake County, which granted the defendants' motion to dismiss the plaintiff's complaint.

Sports Injuries: High Liability Standard for Nonparticipants

By Ray Rossi
April
2010
Article
Page 200
In Illinois, nonparticipants (e.g., coaches and refs) in sporting events who cause injuries are liable only if their misconduct is at least willful and wanton.

Analyzing Occurrences in Insurance Coverage Cases: The Cause Theory After Addison v Fay

By Ross B. Edwards
March
2010
Article
Page 152
When does an incident involving multiple parts or parties constitute only a single "occurrence" for insurance-coverage purposes? Read what the Illinois Supreme Court said recently.

Clarifications made to the contact sports exception to negligence claims

March
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 128
On December 31, 2009, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, reversed and remanded the decision of the Circuit Court of Du Page County, which found that the contact sports exception to ordinary negligence claims applied to a trainer of an amateur hockey team.

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.

Tort Law Resources for Illinois Practitioners

By Tom Gaylord
March
2010
Column
Page 156
Illinois tort law gets the full treatment in secondary sources.

Amended CCP section 13-202.2(b) cannot be applied retroactively to resuscitate previously barred claims

February
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 72
On November 25, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the Circuit Court of Cook County's grant of defendant's motion to dismiss, in a complaint against the defendant for injuries the plaintiff sustained as a result of alleged sexual abuse.

Federal courts have jurisdiction over legal malpractice claims in patent infringement cases

January
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On November 10, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County finding, in a legal malpractice suit, that the contingent fee arrangement between the parties was not void, and that jurisdiction over the malpractice claim rested exclusively with the federal courts. 

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.

Defendants may owe a duty of care to a child injured on a treadmill

December
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 604
On September 30, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversed and remanded the order of the Circuit Court of Cook County, granting summary judgment in favor of the defendants, holding that a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether a treadmill poses an open and obvious danger to a child.

Daniels v Corrigan: Compliance with the law Does not establish agency

By Justin Lee Heather
November
2009
Article
Page 580
This article analyzes the first district's rejection of a plaintiff's assertion that a cab driver was the agent of the cab company.

Power company has a duty to respond to a downed power line with due care

November
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 552
On August 27, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, reversed and remanded the grant of summary judgment by the Circuit Court of Cook County in favor of the defendant power company, finding that there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether defendant breached its duty to the plaintiff to respond to a downed power line with due care.

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.

The Duty to WARN Against Serious Injury: Can Plaintiffs Successfully Challenge Illinos’ Tough Standard?

By Eugene I. Pavalon and Harry C. Lee
October
2009
Article
Page 518
The authors argue that the Restatement of Torts may offer a way for plaintiffs to argue for a more expansive duty of defendants to warn.

The Overlooked Art of Redirect Examination

By Jeffrey J. Kroll and Patrick White
August
2009
Article
Page 406
Redirect examination is a powerful weapon for litigators, but it can backfire on those who forget its central purpose - to rehabilitate witnesses.

A property owner has a duty to provide a safe means of ingress and egress only for areas clearly designated for such purposes

August
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 392
On May 29, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, affirmed the Circuit Court of Warren County's grant of summary judgment for the defendant after the plaintiff fell and injured himself on the defendant's property and sued defendant. 

When one is injured twice in the same body part, the injuries are not automatically indivisible when apportioning liability

August
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 392
On May 29, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County ordering one of two defendants involved in two separate car accidents with the injured plaintiff to pay one half the total verdict, after the other defendant settled. 

CTA notice requirement eliminated

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2009
LawPulse
Page 330
Plaintiff’s lawyers are cheering the removal of a notice requirement they say functioned “as a shield against unsuspecting plaintiffs” with legitimate claims against the CTA.

Evidence of careful habits has no bearing for the element of proximate cause

July
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 336
On April 29, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County granting summary judgment for the defendants. 

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.

Evidence is insufficient to prove negligence if the conclusion is merely possible

June
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 284
On April 1, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Will County which granted summary judgment for the defendants after concluding that no genuine issue of material fact existed to establish negligence on the part of the defendants.

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.

Victory for defendants in asbestos case

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2009
LawPulse
Page 278
The Illinois Supreme Court allows defendants in asbestos cases to introduce evidence that someone else's negligence was the sole proximate cause of a plaintiff's injuries.

Absolute immunity applies to protect police officers from tort liability

May
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 226
On February 20, 2009, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, thereby affirming the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County which dismissed the plaintiff's complaint because there was no genuine issue of material fact with regard to a defendant's enforcement of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 (750 ILCS 60/101 et seq (2002)).

Proving Proximate Cause in Malpractice Cases

By Terrence J. Lavin and Kristina M. Lau
May
2009
Article
Page 254
Illinois courts are still struggling to determine the plaintiff's proper burden of proving proximate cause in "lost chance" cases.

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.

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