Illinois Bar Journal


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Articles on Tort Law

No governmental immunity for hazardous recreational activity By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2007 LawPulse, Page 170 The tort immunity act offers no blanket immunity for trampolining and other hazardous recreational activities, the high court rules.
Parent companies more vulnerable to suit for subsidiaries’ torts By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2007 LawPulse, Page 170 Under the direct participant theory, recently adopted by the Illinois Supreme Court, a parent business that guides its subsidiary's activities may be liable for the subsidiary's torts.
Supremes - the risk-utility test applies despite open, obvious dangers By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2007 LawPulse, Page 170 In a victory for consumers, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the use of the "risk-utility" test in a product liability suit based on an item with open and obvious dangers.
Hospital not liable for off-duty worker’s disclosure of patient info By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2007 LawPulse, Page 118 The Illinois Supreme Court rules that a phlebomist's disclosure at a local tavern of a patient's blood-test results was outside the scope of her employment.
“Innocent construction” libel rule - still standing but battered By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2007 LawPulse, Page 118 The Illinois Supreme Court refused to abandon the rule in Tuite v Corbitt but overturned the trial and appellate courts who applied it in dismissing the plaintiff's case.
Land Surveyor Liability to Third Parties in Illinois By Richard F. Bales March 2007 Article, Page 136 The land surveyor made a mistake - what are the damages? The defenses? Who can recover? This article explores those questions from the plaintiffs' and defense perspectives.
State Law Tort Claims - A New Weapon in Employment Discrimination Cases? By Eugene K. Hollander March 2007 Article, Page 146 A recent seventh circuit case bucked convention and allowed a state tort claim in an employment discrimination action.
The Incredible Expanding/Shrinking Right of Children to Sue “Parents” By Jeffrey J. Kroll and Sean P. Driscoll February 2007 Article, Page 86 Illinois courts are giving immunity to more types of parents on the one hand as they create exceptions to the parental immunity doctrine on the other.
Mass tort personal injury cases generally not suitable for class action February 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 72 On November 30, 2006, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the decisions of the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District, and the Circuit Court of Perry County, both of which improperly certified a class of plaintiffs. 
Insurers and Recovering the Cost of Defending Insureds: Illinois’ Restrictive Approach By Alan J. Brinkmeier and John D. Dalton January 2007 Article, Page 42 The tough Illinois standard could be bad for policyholders as well as insurance companies, these defense lawyers argue.
Lawsuit challenges med-mal caps By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2007 LawPulse, Page 8 The suit, filed in Cook County, argues that the statute violates the separation of powers, is impermissible special legislation, and suffers from other constitutional infirmities.
Employers’ Tort Liability for Employees’ Injuries: A Primer By Jennifer E. Simms November 2006 Article, Page 602 An overview of the interplay between the workers' comp and contribution statutes and the cases interpreting them.
Fraudulent concealment keeps legal malpractice defendants on the hook By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2006 LawPulse, Page 578 A tortfeaser who fraudulently conceals a legal malpractice cause of action can be sued even after the statute of repose has run, the supreme court held last month. 
Illinois supremes: legal malpractice plaintiffs can’t recover lost punitives By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2006 LawPulse, Page 458 Successful legal malpractice plaintiffs may not recover punitive damages they would have once but for the defendant lawyers' malpractice, the high court ruled earlier this summer.
Supreme court to streetside restaurants: keep patrons out of harm’s way By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2006 LawPulse, Page 458 In Marshall v Burger King, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that public businesses abutting the street have a duty to protect invitees from dangerous drivers.
The Illinois Supreme Court and the “Fair Report” Privilege: A Free-Press Victory By Michael M. Conway, Mona G. Thakkar, and Katherine Licup August 2006 Article, Page 414 Reporters who accurately report accusations made as part of a government proceeding are protected from defamation suits.
When the doctor is the patient - and a med-mal defendant By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2006 LawPulse, Page 398 Should a defendant-doctor's medical records be available to a plaintiff who alleges that the doctor's poor health caused him to deliver substandard care?
Campground operator has no duty to warn of naturally accumulating walnuts July 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 334 On April 19, 2006, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Whiteside County, granting summary judgment to the defendant campground owner because she had neither a duty to keep the campground clear of fallen walnuts nor a duty to warn patrons of the danger posed by such walnuts.
In Defense of Bulger v CTA By Anthony Longo May 2006 Article, Page 254 A defense lawyer applauds the Bulger court's finding that evidence of subsequent remedial measures is inadmissible
Railroad operator liable for injury to frequent trespasser May 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 230 On March 10, 2006, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, answered two certified questions posed by the Circuit Court of Cook County, regarding the liability of a railroad company to a trespasser. 
When supplying a title commitment, title insurers are not liable for economic loss or negligent misrepresentation April 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 174 On January 20, 2006, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the decision of both the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, and the Circuit Court of Cook County, granting the defendant's motion to dismiss with prejudice.
Danger lurks in p.i. confidentiality clauses By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2006 LawPulse, Page 110 A recent case – involving none other than Dennis Rodman – holds that plaintiffs must pay tax on the portion of a settlement award deemed payment to a p.i. client for his or her silence.
Trial Lawyers’ Top Opinions of 2005 By Hon. James P. Flannery, Jr. March 2006 Article, Page 122 From pre-trial notice requirements to spoliation of evidence, 2005 produced an array of Illinois cases of special interest to the trial bar.
A big win for Big Tobacco By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2006 LawPulse, Page 62 The Illinois Supreme Court barred plaintiffs' class action claim and overturned a $10-plus billion award against Philip Morris. But experts doubt the case will have much precedential power outside Illinois.
Don’t Let the Open-and-Obvious “Distraction” Exception Swallow the Rule By Beth C. Boggs and Douglas B. Keane November 2005 Article, Page 578 The authors argue that some courts have unwisely expanded the"distraction"exception to the rule barring recovery for injury causedby an open and obvious danger.
Consumer expectations used to determine if product unreasonably dangerous October 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 506 On June 30, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed in part and reversed in part the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County granting summary judgment in favor of the defendant.
Supremes: defendants on the hook for undiscounted medical bills By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2005 LawPulse, Page 438 The Illinois Supreme Court upheld the third district's ruling that personal injury defendants may be liable for a plaintiff's original medical bill, not the lower amount negotiated by his or her insurer.
Medical Malpractice and the Tort System in Illinois By Neil Vidmar July 2005 Article, Page 340 According to an ISBA-commissioned report, the increase in doctors' liability insurance premiums apparently has not been caused by runaway juries.
Correspondence from Our Readers June 2005 Column, Page 270 An Impartial Look at Tort Reform?
General Contractors’ Liability for Injury to Subcontractors’ Workers: A Confusing Construct By G. Grant Dixon, III May 2005 Article, Page 248 How much control must general contractors in Illinois exercise over a workplace to make them liable for injuries to a subcontractor's workers? A look at the conflicting cases.