$103 million Verdict Against Baker & McKenzie

October 30, 2010

They say sometimes reality is better than fiction. Here, the details as alleged are simply fantastic! Even the language used in the complaint fits the bill perfectly. I look forward to the book!

The suit was brought by S. Lavon Evans Jr., who had sought $150 million in actual and punitive damages. He began a drilling company in 1995 in Laurel, Miss., and four years later began drilling wells for businessman Reed Cagle, whose various businesses were represented by Held and Baker & McKenzie, according to the suit.

Cagle introduced Evans to his attorney, Held, whom Evans retained. And for the next several years, Cagle and Evans engaged in various business ventures, including construction of two drilling rigs while Held represented both men.

What Evans didn’t know, according to the suit, was that Cagle was insolvent and, despite an agreement that disallowed it, was using Evans’ significant assets, with Held’s help, to obtain millions of dollars in loans.

In one instance, unbeknownst to Evans, Cagle allegedly used a drilling rig as collateral to obtain a $7 million loan, according to court documents, while at the same time he refused to pay invoices for the rig’s construction or money he owed Evans. Meanwhile, after the rigs were built without any contribution from Cagle, he and his attorneys attempted through various means to give Cagle ownership of the rigs, the suit alleges.

According to the complaint, the defendants drafted legal documents that established subsidiaries of the joint company in Evans’ name and controlled by Cagle, without advising Evans that they had been created. The subsidiaries and Evans’ assets were then used to obtain other loans, which would show up in the bank account of their company, then immediately be withdrawn for Cagle’s other uses.

It wasn’t until early 2007 that Evans realized, after an accountant reviewed the company’s books, that Cagle was insolvent.

When Evans tried to dissolve the business relationship, Cagle and his attorneys “instituted a litigation strategy to bring Evans to his knees,” the suit alleged. Cagle and his various companies accused Evans of stealing the rigs out from under him and obtained a restraining order to intimidate Evans into handing his assets over to Cagle, the suit said.

via Baker & McKenzie verdict; Mississippi jury returns $103 million verdict against Baker & McKenzie .

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If you or a loved one has been a victim of personal injury in Chicago or the surrounding area, contact or call us at 312-252-5252 for a free no obligation consultation to discuss your legal options.

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Verdict of $3.27M in Botched Baby Delivery

October 29, 2010

I find it encouraging that during these times of hostility towards the victims of injury, a panel of jurors can still find it in the law and in their heart to compensate parents for the injuries that a doctor has caused to their child… an injury that a 20 second consultation may have avoided!

Each year thousands of patients are seriously injured and/or killed due to avoidable medical negligence. The best way to combat the existence of medical malpractice is not by making it harder for the victims of injury to take their case to court, it is instead by providing a system whereby medical negligence is reduced.

A couple from Chicago’s Heart of Chicago neighborhood won a $3.27 million judgment this week when a jury found their obstetrician was liable for injuries their boy suffered during birth.

Galecio and Maria Rodriguez sued Dr. Jennifer Friedman and the Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group in 2005, arguing that Friedman never considered a Caesarean section on Feb. 3, 2002, despite signs that Mateo Rodriguez, now 8, was an unusually large baby, according to the couples lawsuit.A jury sided with the parents on Monday, awarding them $3.27 million, court records indicate.

via Couple awarded $3.27M in botched baby delivery – Chicago Breaking News.

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If you or a loved one has been a victim of personal injury in Chicago or the surrounding area, contact or call us at 312-252-5252 for a free no obligation consultation to discuss your legal options.

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Mediation: An Effective Mean To Resolve Disputes

October 28, 2010

In an interview with Erin Johnston, founder and President of CFR Mediation, Jean Murray, guide to US Business Law and Taxes on About.com, provides a good explanation of mediation and the Mediation Process and why is it beneficial to use this process as the front line weapon in resolving disputes of all sorts.

What is mediation?

Mediation, a type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), is a method of resolving disputes in which individuals or groups in conflict meet with a neutral person (mediator) who assists them reach an agreement that resolves the issues in conflict.

The mediation is a confidential voluntary process, where all agreements are reached by those most impacted by the dispute and the outcome. Mediated solutions are typically seen as “win-win” solutions to conflicts or disputes. Furthermore, as the disputants reach all agreements voluntarily, mediated agreements are generally considered binding.

via Mediation – A Business Dispute Process You Should Know About.

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If you or a loved one has been a victim of personal injury in Chicago or the surrounding area, contact or call us at 312-252-5252 for a free no obligation consultation to discuss your legal options.

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'Transformers 3' Lawsuit Continues

October 27, 2010

This could be serve severe blow to the lawsuit filed by the family of the extra who sustained severe personal injuries as the result of the stunt that went wrong. If OSHA says that those who were in charge were not negligent, how will the plaintiff prove negligence?

I am so intrigued by this case!

Chicago, IL– The Indiana Occupation Safety and Health Administration has cleared the producers of the upcoming “Transformers 3” movie in an accident, which left an extra with severe head trauma, as reported by Perez Hilton.

OSHA declared that the movie producers “operated by the book” and the fatal stunt was an “unfortunate and unforeseeable accident.”

As previously reported in “Paramount Pictures Sued for Negligence Over ‘Transformers 3’ Head Injury,” Gabriella Cedillo was among 80 extras, who was driving her own vehicle in the westbound lanes of an empty area of Cline Avenue during a stunt. Flatbed trucks where towing stunt vehicles in the opposite lanes at 50 mph, as Cedillo’s car and the other vehicles followed along. When two of the towed vehicles began to rise as a part of the stunt, they flipped “by use of a pulling cable with the idea being to cause violent rolls of the cars involved.” A cable and bracket that was fixed to the bottom of a stunt car closest to Cedillo’s car and the other extras, suddenly detached. The towed vehicle then became “airborne into the oncoming lanes, striking Ms. Cedillo’s hood, windshield and eventually her head.”

via New York Injury News- Update: OSHA Clears ‘Transformers 3′ Producers of Extra’s Head Injury – Injury News.

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Biking Injuries Resulting from Being 'Doored'

October 26, 2010

A few years ago I represented a bicyclist who was “doored” when he was riding his bike, inside a bicycle lane. The driver of the car simply opened the door into his path causing him to collide with the opened door and getting airborne when he went over the opened door. While going over the door, his bike which was attached to his feet, began twisting causing his pelvis to shatter and leg to break in several places.

When he hit the pavement with great force and impact, a moving truck hit him although he was “lucky” that the truck did not actually ran over him.

Bicycle accidents like this are very common in the City of Chicago.

Carlos Saldana might have come to better terms with the accident that nearly severed his arm June 4 had he ignored the steps bike advocates are always urging for safe riding.The 25-year-old bicyclist was not wearing an iPod. He wore a helmet and bright clothing, even though the accident occurred about 4:30 p.m., well before dusk.

via Cyclist recalls close encounters of a car door kind.

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If you or a loved one has been a victim of personal injury in Chicago or the surrounding area, contact or call us at 312-252-5252 for a free no obligation consultation to discuss your legal options.

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Gross Negligence is Tantamount to Willful and Wanton

October 25, 2010

The Governmental Tort Immunity gives immunity to government agents and employees for negligence during the performance of their official duties. That is bad in and of itself. There is however one reprieve and the line has been drawn at reckless disregard for public safety when a person is so careless, so negligence that it can only be characterized as an intentional act.

Read the facts of this case and tell me whether the utter careless disregard for the safety of all persons’ involved (and all those third parties on and off the road) is tantamount to a willful and wanton act causing the death of a child. The scenario below is perfect example:

On Mother’s Day 2010, Kathie La Fond worked a double shift, getting off of work at approximately 11:45. After leaving work, she went home and went to bed. Sometime thereafter, she received a call from friends of her boyfriend Cecil Conner. Those friends asked that Ms. LaFond come to pick Cecil Conner up because he was heavily intoxicated and needed to be taken home. Ms. LaFond got dressed and drove to pick up Mr. Conner. She placed her five year old son, Michael Langford Jr., in his car seat and drove to pick Mr. Conner up from the party.

After picking up Mr. Conner from the party, Ms. LaFond was in the process of driving to Mr. Conner’s house when a Chicago Heights’ Police Officer pulled her over for failing to use a turn signal. That officer then asked for her license, which she was unable to produce. The officer called his dispatcher and discovered that Ms. LaFond’s driver’s license was suspended. The officer then came back to the car and placed Ms. LaFond under arrest.

Instantly, Ms. LaFond pleaded with the office to allow her to take her baby home, as he was still sleeping in the back seat. She also told the officer that she was the designated driver and that Mr. Conner was intoxicated. The Chicago Police officer refused her request and told her that her baby would be fine. He then placed Ms. LaFond in his squad car and gave custody and control of the vehicle she was driving to Mr. Conner.

Approximately 35 minutes later, Mr. Conner crashed the car containing Michael Langford, Jr. into a tree. The impact broke Michael’s neck, which killed him. This accident occurred in Steger, Illinois, which is adjacent to Chicago Heights. Immediately, the police in Steger noticed that Mr. Conner had slurred speech and an odor of alcohol on his person.

via Press Release – The Illinois Tort Immunity Act and the Death of Michael Langford, Jr..

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Judges Are Human Too…

October 24, 2010

“Judge Kenneth Popejoy has been cited in a complaint filed Friday by the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board that says he brought his “judicial office into disrepute” during a reckless-driving incident earlier this year.

The board is seeking a disciplinary hearing with the Illinois Courts Commission on the matter and is asking that action “deemed appropriate” be taken.

The state commission has a wide range of remedies available, including removal from the bench, but recent hearings involving similar cases against other judges have most often resulted in letters of reprimand.

Popejoy was fined $500 and sentenced to six months of court supervision, a lesser form of probation, after pleading guilty to reckless driving on Aug. 3.”

via DuPage County Judge Kenneth Popejoy: Judicial Inquiry Board files complaint against DuPage judge.

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If you or a loved one has been a victim of personal injury in Chicago or the surrounding area, contact or call us at 312-252-5252 for a free no obligation consultation to discuss your legal options.

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Catholic Archdiocese Accuses Law Firm of Planting Spy

October 23, 2010

This would be good for a made-for-tv spy movie! It has almost all proper ingredients namely: The Church, betrayal, law and order and intrigue except sex… but you cannot have it all!

St. Louis-based law firm with an office in Belleville planted a spy and encouraged the former attorney for a rebel parish fighting the Archdiocese of St. Louis over property to violate, “… every relevant ethical duty and breached virtually every rule in the Rules of Professional Conduct,” according to a lawsuit filed in St. Clair County in Illinois.

Lawyers for the archdiocese planted the spy and caused a former lawyer for St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in St. Louis to turn against his ex-clients in the archdiocese’ efforts to regain control of a church and its property, according to the lawsuit.

via Catholic archdiocese accuses law firm of planting spy.

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If you or a loved one has been a victim of personal injury in Chicago or the surrounding area, contact or call us at 312-252-5252 for a free no obligation consultation to discuss your legal options.

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