Publications

Articles on Wrongful Death

Understanding Wrongful Death and Survival Actions

By Frank Andreano
October
2015
Article
Page 30
Though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, wrongful death and survival actions are anything but identical. Failing to understand the differences can cost you and your client.

Pursuing Claims for Grief Under the Wrongful Death Act

By Elizabeth Felt Wakeman and Gregory J. Barry
January
2013
Article
Page 34
Thanks to a 2007 statutory change, juries are permitted to consider grief, sorrow, and mental suffering in wrongful death cases. Here's advice for trial lawyers about how to approach this relatively untested element of wrongful-death damages.

Failure to appoint an administrator before filing a wrongful-death action is not fatal to the cause of action

September
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 452
On July 8, 2010, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fifth District, reversed a motion to dismiss from the Circuit Court of Randolph County, finding that an amended complaint is not necessary when the administrator of an estate is not appointed until after a wrongful death action is filed.

A murder conviction is no longer needed for application of the “slayer statute”

July
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 348
On April 29, 2010, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, upheld a decision of the Circuit Court of Macon County finding that the "slayer statute" prevents an individual deemed insane for criminal purposes, but nevertheless cognizant of murdering a person, from receiving any property, benefit or other interest he may have received by a death he caused.

Supreme Court: No “transferred negligence” between husband and wife

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2009
LawPulse
Page 546
As a consequence, a woman's estate can't sue those who provided health care to her husband, who killed her.

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’.

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.

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.

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.

2007 Spring Session Roundup

By Jim Covington
August
2007
Column
Page 408
Highlights of this year's legislative session.

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. 

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.

Utility company does not have duty to insulate power lines over public right of way, especially when decedent aware of the risk of metal coming into contact with the lines

January
2002
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
On October 23, 2001, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Vermilion County granting summary judgment to Illinois Power in a wrongful death action.

Court declines to impose social-host liability for alcohol-related death

June
2001
Illinois Law Update
Page 286
On March 30, 2001, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, affirmed the lower court's finding that alcohol-related liability, including social-host liability, has been preempted by the passage of the Dramshop Act.

The Lawyer’s Journal

By Bonnie C. McGrath
December
2000
Column
Page 686
Extra protection against self-incrimination; grandparents get their (bad) day in court; and more.

The Lawyer’s Journal

By Bonnie C. McGrath
November
2000
Column
Page 620
A lower burden of proof for consumer fraud? Arbitration-award rejection—can secretaries sign after all? and more.

Siderail Use and Legal Liability in Illinois Nursing Homes

By June A. Braun and Elizabeth Capezuti
June
2000
Article
Page 324
The authors argue that routine use of bed siderails is neither good for patients nor effective defensive medicine.

Surviving parents of decedent may not maintain a wrongful death action where the decedent is survived by a spouse and no children.

October
1999
Illinois Law Update
Page 521
On August 3, 1999, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the lower court finding that the plaintiff lacked standing to sue for wrongful death.

Select a Different Subject