Publications

Illinois Bar Journal

 

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Articles on Tort Law

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.
Admitted negligent acts properly presented to jury when relevant and necessary to plaintiff’s case August 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 404 On June 7, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Jackson County allowing Michael Rath to present evidence of Carbondale Nursing and Rehabilitation Center's negligence despite the nursing home's admission of certain acts of negligence.
Amendments to damages law for wrongful death suits. PA 095-0003 August 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 404 The Illinois General Assembly has amended Section 2 of the Wrongful Death Act, 740 ILCS 80/2. 
Judicial estoppel not applied to change in legal conclusion August 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 404 On June 7, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, reversed the Circuit Court of Lake County's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants Richard Sandore and Associates for Women's Health.
Mental suffering now compensable in wrongful death cases By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2007 LawPulse, Page 398 Illinois becomes the 24th state to allow wrongful-death plaintiffs to recover for their grief, sorrow, and mental suffering at the loss of their loved one.
Asked and Answered July 2007 Column, Page 375 Can small p.i. firms compete with bigger ones?
Helping Business Owners Avoid Personal Liability By Markus May June 2007 Article, Page 310 A recent case describes how business owners should run their companies as separate entities to avoid being held personally liable.
Insurers’ Claims for Reimbursement from PI Recovery: Recent ERISA Rulings By James T. Nyeste May 2007 Article, Page 244 Healthcare plan reimbursement has been a contentious issue. The Supreme Court's Sereboff ruling answered some questions, but others remain. 
The Learned Intermediary Doctrine and Pharmaceutical Company Liability By Stephen R. Kaufmann and Jason D. Johnson April 2007 Article, Page 202 The learned intermediary doctrine is strong armor against liability for pharmaceutical companies. But it's not without chinks.