University of Illinois OKs $16 Million Settlement

November 21, 2010

The University of Illinois has agreed to pay $16.2 million to a Melrose Park man who suffered brain damage while being treated for a stroke at the schools Chicago hospital.

Attorneys for George Nissen say two nurses at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center failed to properly monitor his condition while he was patient in February 2005. The attorneys claim in their lawsuit that Nissens doctors were not notified for hours that the pressure inside his skull was elevated.

The 47-year-old Nissen is now a quadriplegic. His attorneys say he can’t eat or speak and communicates only through eye movements. The university’s board of trustees approved the settlement Thursday.

A nursing agency will pay an additional $1.5 million.

via U. of Ill. OKs $16 million patient settlement – chicagotribune.com.

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Illinois Truck Accident Lawsuit Settled For $6.5M

November 20, 2010

The family of an Illinois woman killed in an accident caused by a truck driver who was high on marijuana, will receive $6.7 million to settle a wrongful death and personal injury lawsuit.  The truck accident lawsuit was filed by the family of Tabitha Carroll, 32, who was killed on Halloween 2008. The accident occurred in Huntley, Illinois, when Jeffrey Repec, driving a tractor trailer for Geils Farms, rear-ended the pickup truck Carroll was riding in with her husband, Randy, and their three-year-old son, Gabriel. 

The family was on its way to a nearby pumpkin patch at the time of the accident. Tabitha Carroll was pronounced dead at the scene, Randy Carroll suffered a broken spine, respiratory failure and facial fractures, and Gabriel suffered two broken legs and head injuries, as well as lacerations. The settlement with Geils Farms, approved last month in Kane County court, awards the family $4.7 million for Carroll’s death, $1.5 million for injuries to Randy Carroll and $300,000 for injuries to Gabriel. Repec, who was said to be driving at a high rate of speed while under the influence of marijuana, is currently serving a 45-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to aggravated driving under the influence of drugs.

via Illinois Truck Accident Lawsuit Settled For $6.5M – AboutLawsuits.com.

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Malpractice Lawsuit- If Only They Had Said: "We Are Sorry."

November 19, 2010

Time and time again I see the same fundamental principle at work when it comes to review reasons for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Time and time again, I have heard plaintiffs who suffered from personal injuries or who have seen friends and families being injured as a result of alleged medical malpractice, tell me: “if only they had said we are sorry.” or if only the doctor(s) would have taken the time to properly explain why something went wrong and how that was not as a result of negligence.

“If they would’ve sat me down and explained to me what actually happened and said, ‘I’m sorry for your loss,’ –– but they hid a lot of things,” she said. “And because of the secrecy in that, we thought, ‘OK, something’s up.’”

Joni Hahn’s medical malpractice lawsuit was dismissed when, lacking information, she concluded that her husband’s death was the result of malpractice. It turned out that it wasn’t, but only after having filed a lawsuit and going through litigation and discovery for three years.

via Malpractice lawsuits declining, remain costly | mndaily.com – Serving the University of Minnesota Community Since 1900.

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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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Legal Question & Answer: Car Exiting a Driveway

November 18, 2010

Legal Question: I was riding the correct way down the road and had lights on my bike. If I would have kept going straight, I certainly would have been hit, and they pulled out right in front of me, so there was no time to stop.

Chicago Personal Injury Attorney: The car is at fault. It started the chain of event that caused you to crash. Anytime a vehicle is to enter the stream of traffic, it has to do do so in safety and without causing damages to others already on the road. You had the right of way, the other driver is responsible to pay for your damages-if any.

via If I’m riding my bike on the road and a car exits a driveway causing me to swerve and crash, is the car at fault or am I?

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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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Attorney General Madigan Files Lawsuit Against Chicago Area Business for Alleged Mortgage Rescue, Debt Reduction Fraud

November 17, 2010

Lisa Madigan is at it again and is out there protecting the right so the consumers. Mortgage and credit card debt relief has been on the mind of those hardest hit with the downturn in the economy and this is the time they need most protection from predators.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan today filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against three men and their businesses, alleging repeated instances of fraudulently soliciting consumers for mortgage and credit card debt relief in violation of the state’s Mortgage Rescue Fraud and Credit Services Organization Acts.

Madigan’s lawsuit charges the Chicago-based Omega Business Center was an umbrella organization for several entities that solicited consumers through print and radio advertising in the Polish community to reduce their mortgages and bring down credit card debt but did not provide the promised services. The lawsuit alleges the organization charged consumers upfront fees for services that were never provided, and never issued refunds to customers who canceled their contracts.

Also named as defendants in the lawsuit were Michael Borowiak, of Niles, president of Omega Tax and Accounting and manager of Omega Investment and Development; Jorge Paredes, of Chicago, principal of Wall Street Inc.; and Jay Fortier, of Oak Park, manager of Halbulst Asset Management LLC. These businesses, along with others registered with the state, all worked under the Omega Business Center, claiming to offer mortgage and credit card debt reduction assistance, the lawsuit states.

“Homeowners should be wary of any debt-assistance business that requires upfront fees for their services,” Attorney General Madigan said. “Mortgage rescue scam artists should be aware that my office aggressively investigates these allegations and will pursue those who prey on unsuspecting homeowners.”

via Attorney General Madigan Files Lawsuit Against Chicago Area Business for Alleged Mortgage Rescue, Debt Reduction Fraud.

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Pharmaceuticals Industry Named No. 1 Source of Fraud Related Settlements

November 16, 2010

Why doesn’t this surprise me? Granted, the Pharmaceuticals response to this would be that they settled cases as a business decision–that is it was cheaper to settle rather than to litigate and win. Insurance companies do that all the time and sometimes it is even a sound business decision.

Perhaps that is true. Which could mean that the Pharmaceuticals have incorporated the settlements and the fines they get for committing alleged frauds into the cost of doing business and so all is well.

On Monday, the group Taxpayers Against Fraud released a new report that found, “All of the top ten federal False Claims Act settlements in FY 2010 involved health care, with eight involving fraud committed by pharmaceutical companies.”  Or as the Associated Press put it, “In the 1990s, the pharmaceutical industry repeatedly was named the most profitable industry in the world.  More than a decade later, the industry tops a more dubious list: the No. 1 source of fraud-related settlements with the Department of Justice.”  AP reports.

via ThePopTort.

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4-Year-Old Able To Be Sued, NY Judge Rules

November 15, 2010

Why wouldn’t a 4 year old be able to be sued?

This is an interesting development in the law–at least in New York. I think what here is left unsaid is that by attempting to hold the 4-year-old unaccountable for the damages, the insurance company was hoping not to have to pay for a possible wrongful death claim.

A “bright line” has been drawn for future negligence cases by New York State Supreme Court Justice Paul Wooten, who ruled this week that 4-year-olds approaching their fifth birthday are not “presumed incapable of negligence,” The New York Times reports.

Justice Wooten was referring in this case to Juliet Breitman, who had been racing her training-wheel-laden bike against fellow toddler Jacob Kohn on East 52nd Street in Manhattan two years ago when they struck 87-year-old Claire Menagh. The elderly woman suffered a hip fracture and died three weeks later.

Ms. Menaghs estate sued the children and their parents, who had been supervising the kids at the time of the accident, claiming negligence on everyones behalf. Breitman and her mothers lawyer, James P. Tyrie, sought to dismiss the suit against the toddler by arguing that the girl was not “engaged in an adult activity” at the time of the accident – “She was riding her bicycle with training wheels under the supervision of her mother” – and was too young to be held liable for negligence, the Times reports. Kohn and his mother did not seek to dismiss the suit.

Tyrie argued that the precedent had been set by previous courts who have held that “an infant under the age of 4 is conclusively presumed to be incapable of negligence.”

Justice Wooten, however, ultimately disagreed with Tyries arguments, noting that Breitman was three months shy of her fifth birthday at the time of the accident. The Gothamist reports that Justice Wootens ruling stated: “A parents presence alone does not give a reasonable child carte blanche to engage in risky behavior such as running across the street. A reasonably prudent child, whom we may presume has been told repeatedly by the age of four to look both ways before crossing a street, knows that running across a street is dangerous even if there is a parent nearby.” And furthermore, the defense failed to prove any “lack of intelligence or maturity” or anything to “indicate that another child of similar age and capacity under the circumstances could not have reasonably appreciated the danger of riding a bicycle into an elderly woman.”

via 4-Year-Old Able To Be Sued, NY Judge Rules – CBS News.

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Class Action Lawsuit Against DeVry, Inc.

November 14, 2010

I foresee more and more suits such as this against educational organizations. I blogged about college tuition to be the next bubble to burst here and it looks like legally things are starting to happen as well.

The Complaint charges DeVry, a global provider of educational services, and certain of its officers and directors with violations of federal securities laws. Specifically, the Complaint alleges that defendants failed to disclose the following: i the Company had engaged in improper and deceptive recruiting and financial aid lending practices and, due to the governments scrutiny into the for-profit education sector, DeVry would be unable to continue these practices in the future; ii DeVry failed to maintain proper internal controls; and iii many of the Companys programs were in jeopardy of losing their eligibility for federal financial aid.On August 13, 2010, after the market closed, the U.S. Department of Education released data on federal student-loan repayment rates at the nations colleges and universities. The data showed that the repayment rate at DeVry was just 38%. On this news, DeVry stock dropped 8.76% from a closing price of $42.71 on August 13, 2010 to a closing price of $38.97 per share on August 16, 2010.

via Izard Nobel LLP Announces Class Action Lawsuit Against DeVry, Inc. – MarketWatch.

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