Dram Shop Act: DeSoto Tavern Drinking Case Dismissed by Sigh Court

January 31, 2011

In Illinois and most US States there is what is called as the Dram Shop Act which holds the owner of a tavern

    and

the owner of the property upon which the tavern is located responsible for injuries a drunk person inflicts on others after having been served alcohol at that particular establishment. Of course there are exceptions and limitations, but generally, the tavern owner has to exercise discretion and vigilance when he or she is serving people alcoholic beverages and to deny them such service and even call them a cab if the patron has failed to notice his or her limits.

As I mentioned above, there are limits to the tavern owner or the property owner’s responsibility. For example, the law cannot hold the owners responsible if after having drank at the establishment, the person leaves the bar and an hour later holds up a liquor store at gun point.

The case below is all about the limitation of the Dram Shop Act. At what point the responsibilities of the bar owner ends and other persons (or the victim himself) responsibility begins. The Illinois Supreme Court appears to believe that once the person has left the property of the bar the victim is then responsible for his own death.

The Illinois Supreme Court has turned down an appeal in a case involving the 2007 alcohol-related death of a southern Illinois man. At issue was whether the tavern owner should be held responsible for the death of Joshua McGinness, who was drinking at The Gallery in DeSoto to celebrate his 21st birthday.McGinness was not on the bar’s property when he died with a blood alcohol concentration of .345. Local and appellate courts dismissed the lawsuit, filed by McGinness’ parents, arguing that bars can’t be held liable for their patrons’ actions. The state’s high court refused to hear the case in late November.Attorneys for Gallery owner Ryan Dantone were formally notified Friday that the case was over.

via DeSoto tavern drinking case dismissed by high court.

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Personal Injury: Shovel With Caution and Avoid Emergency Department

January 29, 2011

Snow shoveling is a significant contributor to the volume of patients in Emergency Departments at this time of year, according to a study. Researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found that EDs treated an average of 11,500 snow shoveling-related injuries and medical emergencies per year between 1990 and 2006.

According to the research, which appears in the January issue of the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, the most common diagnoses were soft tissue injuries 55%, lacerations 16% and fractures 7%. Injuries happened most frequently to the lower back 34%, arms and hands 16% and head 15%. The most frequent causes of injuries were acute musculoskeletal exertion 54%, slips or falls 20% and getting struck by a snow shovel 15%.

Cardiac-related injuries accounted for only 7% of all cases, but were the most serious, comprising more than half of the hospitalizations and 100% of the 1,647 fatalities associated with shoveling snow. Patients ages 55 and older were 4.25 times more likely than younger patients to experience cardiac-related symptoms while shoveling snow. Among patients in that age group, men were twice as likely as women to exhibit cardiac-related symptoms.

More than 1,750 children and adolescents were injured each year while shoveling snow. Patients in that group were almost 15 times more likely than those in older age groups to suffer injuries from being struck by a snow shovel. Two-thirds of their injuries were head injuries.The authors said their study is the first comprehensive analysis of snow shoveling-related injuries and medical emergencies in EDs using a nationally representative sample. Data came from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which is operated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

via Injuries From Snow Shoveling Add to ED Volume During Winter Months | National Nursing News.

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"Hot Coffee" Exposes How Hard Caps on Malpractice Awards Shift Burden to Taxpayers

January 28, 2011

It was about time someone attempted to educate the public about the misconception they have about the “McDonald’s Coffee Case”. In general this coffee case is used to promote all sorts of anti-consumer laws including the infamous tort reform–which incidentally, some attorneys I know think is a good idea which will be subject of a future post). The third part in Emmy Goodman’s Democracy Now report is important and timely in that it explains how Tort Reform is nothing but an attempt to re-distribute wealth and substitute tax money to pay for that which the insurance companies should be paying for. Take a listen and pass it around…

“Hot Coffee” Exposes How Hard Caps on Malpractice Awards Shift Burden to Taxpayers

via “Hot Coffee” Exposes How Hard Caps on Malpractice Awards Shift Burden to Taxpayers.

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Property Damage: Wood Rot Caused by Defective Aluminum Windows

January 27, 2011

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Website of The Day: A Guide to Fair Settlement

January 21, 2011

This is a useful website where you can have many questions about what and how to approach a settlement process with an insurance company. Interesting information. Over all, the age old saying that information is power cannot be over emphasized when it comes time to have a settlement discussion with your insurance company’s representative.

Injury Settlement Guide

Thousands of people end up with less than they deserve for their injury settlement simply because they don’t know how the system works.If you’ve been the victim of a personal injury or accident, you have the right to receive compensation for your damages. But in seeking compensation, you must be careful to avoid the dangers of the legal game.

By knowing your rights and understanding how the system works, you can be sure to get what you lawfully deserve for your injuries.

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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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Greenberger v. Geico: Destroying Evidence Before Filing A Lawsuit Is Not A Good Idea

January 20, 2011

If you have a property damage claim and you go ahead and settle with your insurance company, you may be able to sue your insurance company if the settlement is inadequate and does not put you back in the same position as you were before the claim arose. However, if you sell the vehicle and/or junk it, the Court says that your claim will fall because without the evidence to be examined, you will not be able to prove your case and show that the insurance company short changed you. That is what happened to Steven Greenberger.

Steven Greenberger’s car was damaged in an accident, and the next day his insurer, GEICO General Insurance Co., estimated the damage and wrote him a check to cover his claim. Greenberger accepted this payment but never repaired the car. Instead, he donated the car to charity and later sued GEICO in state court alleging breach of contract, consumer fraud in violation of 815 ILL. COMP. STAT. 505/1 et seq., and common-law fraud. The suit was filed as a class action, so GEICO removed it to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1332d.

Though legally distinct, Greenbergers contract and fraud claims are all premised on the same basic factual allegation: that GEICO systematically omits necessary repairs from its collision-damage estimates in violation of the promise to restore the policyholders vehicle to its preloss condition. The district court sidestepped the class-certification question, dismissed the statutory consumer-fraud claim, and then entered summary judgment for GEICO on the breach-of-contract and common-law fraud counts.

Greenberger appeals.We affirm. All of Greenbergers claims are foreclosed by the Illinois Supreme Courts comprehensive decision in Avery v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.,835 N.E.2d 801 Ill. 2005. Among other important holdings, Avery established the common-sense proposition that a policyholders suit against his insurer for breach of its promise to restore his collision-damaged car to its preloss condition cannot succeed without an examination of the car. Id. at 826. Greenberger gave away his car, and without it, he cannot prove that what GEICO paid him was inadequate to restore the car to its preloss condition.

Avery also made clear that fraud claims must contain something more than reformulated allegations of a contractual breach. Id. at 844. Greenberger alleges that GEICO never intended to restore his car to its preloss condition and failed to disclose that it regularly breaches this contractual promise. These are breach-of-contract allegations dressed up in the language of fraud. They cannot support statutory or common-law fraud claims.

via GREENBERGER v. GEICO GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY.

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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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Personal Injury Lawsuit Claims Salmonella Came From Sprouts

January 19, 2011

I have blogged about food poisoning before here and here and the instances of personal injuries resulting from food poisoning allegedly suffered as the result of eating out is getting more common than I like to see and hear.

A woman is suing Jimmy Johns and Tiny Greens Organic Farms, saying she got salmonella after eating alfalfa sprouts at the Jimmy Johns in Munster.However, an official with Tiny Green says he never sold sprouts to that restaurant.Jack Kramer said his client, listed in Lake County court records as Kylie N. Krebs, ate at the Jimmy Johns on both Nov. 22 and 23, after which she became ill. Krebs had to spend several days in the hospital, Kramer said, and she is one of 10 cases of salmonella the U.S. Center for Disease Control confirmed in Indiana.A salmonella outbreak hit 112 people in 18 states, and the CDC has said there is a probable link with the sprouts sold at Jimmy Johns restaurants.

via Lawsuit claims salmonella came from sprouts :: Lake County :: Post-Tribune.

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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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Personal Injury: Pregnant Woman Protests Being Kicked Out of Bar

January 18, 2011

This is an interesting situation where there are conflicting interests for a business and private individuals. Here we have a business who has been proactive in attempting to reduce lawsuits… which has directly led to a lawsuit. On the one hand it is clear that the business wants only to protect itself against possible litigation by preventing a situation where a possible birth defect could be blamed on it. The private individual has a right to be where she has chosen to be and has a right to expect not being discriminated against based on her gender and status as a pregnant woman.

So who is right? I think both entities are right–only thing is that the business should have put a sign up and made its policies perfectly clear and visible to everyone. Here, it appears that the employee has taken the matter into his own hands and acted on policies that were not clearly communicated to the patrons from the get go. Furthermore, the State of Illinois required signs are placing the patrons on notice that their presence in the bar while pregnant may be detrimental to the fetus (whether that is true or not is a separate and distinct question).

Under state law, bars are required to post a sign that states: “According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects.”

In Illinois, it is illegal to serve a guest who shows signs of intoxication, but it can also be illegal to deny service to a woman just because she is pregnant, said Sheila OGrady, president of the Chicago-based Illinois Restaurant Association, which offers training on responsible alcohol service. Chicago lawyer Martin Dolan, who handles civil rights and personal injury cases, said that a private bar may set its own rules, including behavior standards or a dress code, but that those rules must be established in advance and be obvious to customers, such as a visual posting. “The key to this is being able to justify the legitimate reason, not just pull something out of the air,” Dolan said.

The Cook County sheriffs department and Roselle police, who are called in as backup for incidents at the Coach House, said there are no local ordinances that ban pregnant women from bars.

via Pregnant woman in bar: Pregnant woman protests being kicked out of bar – chicagotribune.com.

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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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