The competition for the Kreisman Law Offices’ annual student scholarship was awarded to Sara A. Agate who is in her third year of law school attending Chicago-Kent College of Law. Sara also has a Master’s of Public Health, which she achieved at the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2014. Sara graduated in 2011 from the University of Illinois -Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in political science. She was on the “Dean’s List.”  Sara also completed academic programs in Argentina and Kenya where she promoted the advancement of reproductive rights for women and children through the Federation of Women Lawyers.

The Kreisman Law Offices scholarship of $1,000 is awarded annually to a current student in an undergraduate, JD, LLB or LLM program with a preference for individuals who are studying in the Chicago metropolitan area or have received an undergraduate or graduate degree at an accredited college or university in the Chicago metropolitan area or is attending a law school in the Chicago area.

Sara applied for the Kreisman Law Offices scholarship by submitting an essay on a topic related to her law school studies. It was with great pleasure that the Kreisman Law Offices scholarship was awarded to Sara Agate in January 2019.

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John Smokes worked for a temporary employment agency, Adecco Staffing and was assigned to work at Dentsply Prosthetics. While at work at Dentsply, Smokes was trained on the operation of a rotary mold press machine.

Two weeks after starting his training, while placing a mold into the load area of the mold press, Smokes’s hand became caught in the machine’s automatic push mechanism, causing his long, ring, and index fingers to be crushed by two platens.

Although he pressed the emergency stop button, the platens did not reopen, and his hand was trapped for almost a half hour while his coworkers dissembled the press.

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Jeffrey Kopplin worked for Wisconsin Central Railroad. In January 2014, he was operating a train at the rail yard in Fond du Lac, Wis. In order to bring the train onto the right track, Kopplin had to get out of the train and “throw” a switch.

The weather that morning was severe, with below-freezing temperatures and high winds. Due to the weather, ice and snow had built up inside of the switch. Kopplin attempted to remove the buildup with a broom provided by the railroad, but he was unsuccessful. In attempting to remove the buildup of ice and snow, Kopplin injured his elbow.

A doctor diagnosed his injury with a medial and lateral epicondylitis. Kopplin took time off from work to receive treatment, including a pain-relief injection.

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Anthony Taylor, 27, was a passenger in the back seat of a car. The car was stopped at a stop sign and then its driver proceeded through the intersection. Samantha Schillings’ car went through the other stop sign, causing a T-bone collision with the vehicle in which Taylor was sitting.

Taylor suffered a fractured spine at C5-6, which led to quadriplegia. Taylor, who also suffers from developmental disability, now requires 24-hour care.

Taylor sued Schilling, alleging negligent driving. Schilling admitted liability for the collision but disputed the plaintiff’s damages.

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This was a case of a rear-end car crash in which the plaintiff, William Kevin Peach, brought a lawsuit against Lyndsey E. McGovern  stemming  from personal injuries he sustained in an automobile incident. The jury returned a verdict in favor of defendant, and the judgment on the verdict was entered.

The plaintiff appealed, contending that the jury verdict was against the manifest weight of the evidence, especially when the defendant was adjudged negligent as a matter of law. The plaintiff further asserted that the trial court erred in allowing the defense counsel, over objection, to present evidence pertaining to the relative amount of damage sustained by the vehicles. The plaintiff also argued that there was a direct correlation between the amount of damage to the vehicles, as depicted in photographs and plaintiff’s injuries.

In this case, the plaintiff was on his way home around 10 p.m. after visiting his girlfriend on the evening of July 17, 2010. As he was driving home, he had to stop at an intersection to allow traffic to clear. While waiting at the stop sign, the rear of plaintiff’s pickup truck was hit by another vehicle driven by the defendant who was also on her way home. The defendant claims she was fully stopped behind plaintiff, when her foot slipped off the brake. She further testified that the vehicle simply rolled into the rear of the plaintiff’s truck. The plaintiff, on the other hand, estimated the defendant’s speed to have been 20-25 mph at the time of impact.  He also noticed that the defendant was on her cell phone.

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In a divided First District Appellate Court decision, it was found that a private ambulance company cannot get the benefit of immunity given to emergency vehicles for a collision its medic allegedly caused. The appeals panel found that because the defendant, Joshua M. Nicholas, wasn’t transporting a patient in his Lifeline ambulance at the time he collided with the plaintiff, Roberto Hernandez, Nicholas and Lifeline were not immune from liability under state law.

The State Emergency Medical Services Systems Act immunizes ambulatory agencies and their employees if they’re providing emergency or non-emergency medical services. The Illinois Supreme Court in Wilkins v. Williams, 2013 IL 114310 held that “non-emergency medical services” included the non-emergency transport of a patient.

Nicholas was on his way to pick up a patient in Villa Park when he collided with Hernandez’s car on March 11, 2016 while exiting the upper lanes of Lake Shore Drive in Streeterville. As a result, state law did not “provide Nicholas or Lifeline with immunity from liability for any negligent acts or omissions which proximately resulted in damages to the plaintiff.”

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Anne Sholes, 53, a neurosurgeon, was riding her bicycle in a bicycle lane to work when a Solano County employee operating a box truck, struck her from behind. Dr. Sholes suffered a broken back and a fractured left leg and ankle.

She underwent multiple surgeries to repair her back and leg, including replacement of hardware. She then required extensive physical therapy, hyperbaric chamber treatments, and acupuncture. Dr. Sholes’ medical expenses totaled $270,000.

Dr. Sholes was earning $400,000 annually as a neurosurgeon. She returned to work as a physician advisor two years after the incident, but her salary was reduced to $75,000 per year.

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A Cook County judge had dismissed the aggravated negligence claims based on a 2005 Illinois Appellate Court decision. In that case, there was a ruling that “prior knowledge of similar acts is required” to hold a public entity liable for willful and wanton supervision.

The lawsuit arose out of the claim of willful and wanton supervision that Becky Andrews pursued as Jeffrey Andrews’s plenary guardian against the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (Water Reclamation District). The lawsuit did not allege that anyone had previously been injured by the hazardous condition, a very dangerous cross-over between two ladders that allegedly caused head injuries to Andrews from a 29-foot fall to the bottom of the concrete chamber.

Andrews was working as a cement finisher for a joint venture, which the Water Reclamation District hired for a construction project at a water treatment plant.

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The Illinois Appellate Court for the First District has ordered a new trial in the product-liability lawsuit against a water heater company. The jury’s verdict of $10.7 million for a toddler killed by scalding bathwater was the underlying lawsuit leading to this verdict.

The Illinois Appellate Court’s decision centered on the heater’s instruction manual as well as a warning label on both a mock-up and the actual heater. It was the opinion of the appeals panel that the jury should have been allowed to see the heater’s instruction manual in the trial.

The appeals panel also said the jury should have been given the chance to answer a special interrogatory, which was the question aimed to distill and frame the issues. The question was whether the product was “unreasonably dangerous” when it left the location of the manufacturer.

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This lawsuit was originally filed in Kane County, Ill., in the wrongful death and survival act claims by Lee Anne Wigdahl for the death of her husband, Eric Wigdahl. The case was challenged by the defendant, who claimed that it should have been removed to the federal court because the case posed a federal question.

The complaint that Wigdahl filed made UnitedHealthcare (UHC) as a party defendant for allegedly choosing not to tell her now- deceased husband to immediately go to the emergency room rather than steering him to a less expensive urgent care center when he called the health insurer, UHC from California. He was in serious distress while seeking help in locating an in-network referral under his group health plan.

UHC argued that federal question jurisdiction applied here requiring removal to federal court because: (1) Section 502(a) of ERISA authorizes a beneficiary to sue the administrator of a group plan if its employees withhold or misrepresent the plan’s benefits; and (2) Section 514 says ERISA “shall supersede any and all state laws insofar as they may now or hereafter relate to any employee benefit plan.”

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