Publications

Articles on Tort Law

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.

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’.

Plaintiff failed to prove reliance element of voluntary undertaking theory

February
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 70
On December 2, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Rock Island County granting summary judgment for the defendant in a negligence action.

Plaintiffs win big in Ready

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2009
LawPulse
Page 64
 The supreme court holds that good-faith settling tortfeasors can't be included in apportioning fault after verdicts to determine joint and several liability.

Wrongful Death Act does not allow a cause of action for loss of a non-implanted IVF embryo

January
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On October 24, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, answered in the negative a question about the Illinois Wrongful Death Act certified by the Circuit Court of Cook County on interlocutory appeal.

Court upholds, modifies risk-utility test for products liability

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2008
LawPulse
Page 606
In a recent case, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld - but reformulated - the risk-utility test, while declining to abandon the consumer-expectation test.

Illinois’ New Anti-SLAPP Statute

By Eric M. Madiar and Terrence J. Sheahan
December
2008
Article
Page 620
The Act should quell libel suits against those who legitimately petition government for redress. But does it also shield those who intentionally defame others?

Appellate court: no wrongful death for embryo before it’s implanted

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2008
LawPulse
Page 548
 The Illinois Appellate court rules that the Wrongful Death Act does not permit suits on behalf of human embryos allegedly destroyed before being placed in the womb.

The Broad Duty to Protect Patrons from Harm: Marshall v Burger King

By Courtney Dashiell Lorentz
October
2008
Article
Page 524
The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that a restaurant owner has a duty to protect its patrons from an out-of-control car. So where does a premises owner's duty to the public end?

So You Want to Be a Personal Injury Lawyer?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2008
Article
Page 508
How do you break into p.i. practice? Successful practitioners offer advice.

Fraudulent Misrepresentation in Illinois Employment Cases

By Richard J. Gonzalez
September
2008
Article
Page 464
More at-will employees who have been misled by employers' oral promises are suing for fraudulent misrepresentation instead of breach of contract.

Negligent Spoliation in the Wake of Jones v O’Brien Tire and Battery

By Shane M. Carnine
September
2008
Article
Page 470
A recent appellate case arguably changes the requirements for a spoliation claim.

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.  

Dog Bites Man: Liability for Dog Attacks Under the Animal Control Act

By April Pruitt-Summers
August
2008
Article
Page 408
The Illinois Animal Control Act eliminates the "one bite" rule and makes other changes to the common law of dog attacks.

Supremes: the Best approach to tort reform survives

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2008
LawPulse
Page 384
 The supreme court holds that a med-mal plaintiff is entitled to a 90-day extension to file her certificate of merit - and that a 2004 law didn't reenact the version of 2-622 invalidated in Best v Taylor.

A veterinary standard of care

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2008
LawPulse
Page 334
The court makes explicit that veterinarians are "skilled" practitioners of a "profession or trade" and thus owe a duty of care.

Fraudulent misrepresentation tort limited to business

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2008
LawPulse
Page 278
Fraudulent misrepresentation applies only to business-related, not personal, injury, the Illinois Supreme Court rules.

No discretionary immunity for retaliatory discharge of employee

June
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 284
On April 17, 2008, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the circuit court's holding barring the plaintiff's retaliatory discharge claim against the Waukegan Park District due to the District's immunity under the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act (Tort Immunity Act), 745 ILCS 10/1-101 et seq.

No wrongful death action for abortion to protect mother’s health

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2008
LawPulse
Page 278
If an injured mother aborts an uninjured fetus to protect her own health, she can't recover for the wrongful death of the unborn child, the Illinois Supreme Court rules.

Sexual injury limitation period amended. PA 095-0589

May
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 236
The Code of Civil Procedure has been amended by the addition of section 13-202.3. 735 ILCS 5/13-202.3. 

Use of Leased Land Act. PA 095-0603

April
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 180
The General Assembly has created the State of Illinois Recreational Use of Leased Land Act. 

Successor Liability in Illinois

By George W. Kuney
March
2008
Article
Page 148
Find out when creditors and tort victims can sue the buyer of a business for the debts and torts of the seller.

No duty to warn, Illinois high court holds

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2007
LawPulse
Page 570
The court reaffirms the rule that Party A has no duty to warn Party B about a threat posed by Party C unless there's a special relationship between A and B.

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