Publications

Articles on Tort Law

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.

An Honest Look at Tort Reform

By Ole Bly Pace III
April
2005
Column
Page 160
ISBA has commissioned an unbiased study of the relationship between malpractice litigation and insurance rates.

Proposed Rule 225: Does Illinois Need a New Class-Action Rule?

By Justice Michael B. Hyman, Carol V. Gilden, Melinda J. Morales, Adam J. Levitt, Michael A. Pope, and Steven F. Pflaum
April
2005
Article
Page 202
Proponents say Rule 225 would stop class-action abuse; Opponents say it isn't needed.  

Maximizing Punitive Damages after BMW and State Farm: A Trial Lawyer’s Guide

By Peter S. Stamatis and Alexander T. Muhtaris
March
2005
Article
Page 112
Despite rumors to the contrary, the U.S. Supreme Court has not ruled punitive damages unconstitutional. Here's how to make the most of your cases.

Hospital and HMO Liability for Contract Physician Malpractice: An Update

By Robert J. Napleton
February
2005
Article
Page 88
This article offers a trial lawyers' perspective on how the apparent agency doctrine has evolved since Gilbert v Sycamore Municipal Hospital

One-year limitation period in Tort Immunity Act applies to personal injury actions against local public entities

February
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 68
On November 18, 2004, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the appellate court and affirmed the circuit court's dismissal of the plaintiff's personal injury action. 

Apportioning Liability in Third-Party Cases: Recent Issues

By Elliot R. Schiff
January
2005
Article
Page 38
The author recommends that nonparties, settling defendants, and plaintiffs not be considered when apportioning liability.

Challenging the Medical Studies Act’s Peer-Review Privilege

By Judy L. Cates
November
2004
Article
Page 582
A plaintiff's-eye view of this important limit on discovery in med-mal cases.

Clients not liable for lawyers’ intentional torts

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2004
LawPulse
Page 508
The Illinois Supreme Court holds that clients are not liable for lawyers' intentional torts unless they authorized, directed, or ratified the lawyers' conduct.

Legal protection for mothers who breastfeed P.A. 093-0942

October
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 514
A mother now has a private right of action if she is denied the right to breastfeed by the owner or manager of a public or private location, other than a private residence or place of worship.

Using No-Reliance Clauses to Prevent Fraud-in-the-Inducement Claims

By Joseph Wylie
October
2004
Article
Page 536
Plaintiffs are using fraud-in-the-inducement theory to turn breach-of-contract allegations into tort claims. A new case gives defendants a way to fight back.

Defendants liable for undiscounted hospital bills, appellate court rules

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2004
LawPulse
Page 390
The third district appellate court ruled early this year that a plaintiff is entitled to the amount of a hospital's undiscounted bill, not a lower amount negotiated by the plaintiff's insurance carrier.

For purposes of imposing vicarious liability, unless it can be shown that a client directed, controlled, authorized, or ratified the alleged misconduct, an attorney’s alleged tortious conduct may not be imputed to a client

August
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 398
On May 20, 2004, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the appellate court and affirmed the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants. 

Injuries sustained by the plaintiff, a passenger in a private vehicle that was struck by an intoxicated driver as it sped through a red light on its way to the hospital, were not proximately caused by the city’s refusal to send an ambulance

August
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 398
On May 20, 2004, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the appellate court and affirmed the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the City of Chicago.

The Open and Obvious Doctrine and Landowner Liability: The Rule and the Exceptions

By Jennifer E. Simms
July
2004
Article
Page 352
A discussion of the doctrine, its exception, and its applicability to children.

Dawdy and the Future of Intrastate Forum Non Conveniens in Illinois

By Jill E. Adams
May
2004
Article
Page 246
In Dawdy, the court ruled that a "forum shopping" paintiff deserves little deference. Will the decision lead to a rise in forum non conveniens litigation?

Defendant was not required to introduce her own expert witness regarding the relationship of the plaintiff’s prior injuries to the automobile collision because she was able to establish the same from cross-examination of the plaintiff’s experts, obviating

May
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 242
On January 30, 2004, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, affirmed the order of the Circuit Court of Lake County admitting evidence of a motorist's prior injuries without expert testimony regarding causation of the prior injuries. 

Mechanics Liens and Slander of Title: The Case for Absolute Privilege

By Michael G. Cortina
May
2004
Article
Page 267
The author argues that mechanics-lien filers are protected from slander of title claims by the privilege for statements made during litigation.

Cause of action recognized for negligent issuance of a life insurance policy based upon the proposed insured’s lack of knowledge and consent to the policy

April
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 176
On January 23, 2004, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the appellate court, which reversed the circuit court's grant of the defendant's motion to dismiss.

Parent may not claim loss of consortium damages for a child’s nonfatal injuries

April
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 176
On January 23, 2004, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the trial and appellate courts' dismissal of Count III of the plaintiffs' complaint. 

Application of the audit interference doctrine in the accounting malpractice context is consistent with general tort principles and Illinois common law.

March
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 124
On December 18, 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the trial and appellate courts' application of the "audit interference" doctrine, limiting consideration of the plaintiff's comparative negligence to instances in which it contributed to the accountant's failure to properly perform an audit. 

Life after “Same Part of the Body”: An Update on Admissibility of Prior Injuries

By Joseph G. Feehan
March
2004
Article
Page 146
A review of recent case law governing admissibility of prior and subsequent medical conditions in injury cases.

“Sunshine in Litigation” Legislation: Boon or Bane?

By Martin J. Healy Jr. and David P. Huber
March
2004
Article
Page 138
Proponents argue that the "sunshine" proposal before the General Assembly promotes public safety, while opponents charge that it puts trade secrets at risk.

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