Publications

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.

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