On Dec. 4, 2013, the plaintiff, Keenan Lane, 21, was stopped at a red light southbound on North Greenmount Road about 600 feet north of Lebanon Avenue in Shiloh, Ill. At that point, a car driven by 63-year-old Anne Flahiv rear-ended Lane’s vehicle. As a result of the crash, Lane’s car was totaled, and he suffered injuries to his neck and lower back.

Lane’s treatment included emergency room care, visits with his primary care physician and physical therapist, as well as orthopedic treatment.

His orthopedist diagnosed peripheral tears in his lumbar spine and an annular tear in his cervical spine. He reported medical expenses that totaled more than $48,000.

Continue reading

Kenneth Smith was a journeyman union carpenter working at a construction site at a new XSport Fitness in Libertyville, Ill., in 2006. The defendant in this lawsuit was RPM, which was a cabinetry contractor involved in the installation of cabinets in the newly constructed building. Smith was employed by Lankford Construction Co., which was one of the subcontractors on this job.

On July 5, 2006, 36-year-old Smith assisted a truck driver in unloading the cabinets from a delivery truck at the job site.

In the process of unloading the cabinets, the truck driver dropped his end of a crescent-shaped cabinet weighing over 300 pounds, which caused Smith to wrench his back while trying to stabilize the cabinet and protect it from being gouged by the wall of the truck.

Continue reading

Sherr-Una Booker, 37, was implanted with a Bard G2 blood filter on June 21, 2007. The blood filter was intended to prevent blood clots. It broke apart, spreading metal fragments that had to be removed from her heart. She required open-heart surgery.

These inferior vena cava (IVC) filters — like the one implanted in Booker’s heart — have been implanted in thousands of patients around the country although there is little evidence that they provide much of a benefit. The filters are described as little wire cages that are designed to catch blood clots. There is some evidence that suggests that the IVCs create more clots than they actually prevent.

The many lawsuits that are pending allege that the IVC filters are negligently designed and break apart over time. The fractured IVCs can cause serious injuries like those sustained by Booker.

Continue reading

The issue in this case was whether Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. was liable to pay the default judgment of $4.6 million against its insured whose policy limits for this incident was just $25,000. The question then became whether the insurer’s conduct proximately cause the $4.6 million judgment against the insured.

Kimberly Perkins was insured by Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. for auto liability up to $25,000. While her car was being driven by Miquasha Smith, a 16-year-old with a driver’s license permit, it crashed into two parked cars. Smith was convicted of reckless driving.

At the time of the crash, Monteil Hyland was a passenger in the Smith car and was seriously injured. Monteil’s mother, Shannon Hyland, filed suit against Smith. Smith had no auto insurance, but was covered by the car owner’s insurance, Liberty Mutual. In order to be covered, Smith had to have permission from Perkins. Smith claimed that she received the car keys from Perkins’s daughter, Michiah Risby.  She said she gave the keys to a person named “Rob” and not to Smith.

Continue reading

Thomas Dempsey, 78, was driving his SUV on a busy four-lane highway during a cross-country trip. He exited the highway to use a restroom. His car approached a line of stopped cars, but he was unable to take his foot off the accelerator and swerved his SUV onto a grassy median, which led the SUV to accelerate and hit a deep drainage ditch.

In turn, Dempsey’s SUV became airborne and eventually landed on top of a truck driven by plaintiff Boris Woodard. The impact caused both the Dempsey SUV and the Woodard truck to cross two lanes of traffic and roll down an embankment.

Woodard suffered eye injuries and bruising. Much worse and tragic was the witnessing of the injury and subsequent death of Woodard’s 25-year-old daughter who was his passenger. Anna Woodard lapsed into a coma and was hospitalized for nine days after the crash before she died. She was a student who had hoped to work in childcare. She is survived by her parents. Her medical expenses were in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Continue reading

Atinderpal “Gavan” Singh, a commercial truck driver, was driving his tractor-trailer eastbound on Interstate 80 in Nebraska when this tragic crash occurred.

Freddie Galloway, a trucker for Ecklund Logistics Inc., was also driving eastbound on the same interstate. He was some distance ahead of the Singh truck. This incident occurred in late summer. A grass fire had started on the highway median, which created a smoke cover that affected visibility on the highway. Local fire and sheriff personnel were on the scene trying to contain the fire and control traffic at the same time.

Galloway heard about the fire on his CB radio while still several miles away and slowed his truck to 5 mph in a 75-mph zone.  He was driving at that speed for 5-10 minutes as he approached the area of the fire.

Continue reading

In this semi-tractor-trailer crash, the plaintiff, Angela Antonicelli, was a passenger in a vehicle traveling on Illinois Interstate 88.  Three lanes were closed for construction. Karl Browder was operating a semi-tractor and trailer traveling behind Antonicelli’s car.

The truck driver, Daniel Juan Rodriguez, was under the influence of cocaine and made an improper U-turn through the median and collided with Antonicelli’s vehicle, causing it to rotate.

The trucker, Browder, was unable to stop his semi-tractor and trailer and slammed into the Antonicelli vehicle.

Continue reading

Theodore Joas underwent a total knee replacement at a Wisconsin hospital receiving a Zimmer NexGen Flex knee implant.  Within a few years, he began experiencing pain in his new knee.  X-rays confirmed that the implant had loosened and required a surgical repair.

He brought a series of claims against Zimmer Inc., the implant manufacturer.  His case was transferred to a multi-district litigation in the Northern District of Illinois where it was eventually treated as a bellwether case.

The court applied Wisconsin law and granted summary judgment in favor of Zimmer.

Continue reading

An Indiana federal jury returned a $35 million verdict in favor of Barbara Kaiser who alleged she was injured by a vaginal mesh implant.

The jury’s verdict found that defendants Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon Inc. were negligent in the design of the trans-vaginal mesh and then chose not to adequately warn patients and physicians of the risk.

Trans-vaginal mesh is used to treat stressed urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, a condition that occurs when a woman’s bladder or another pelvic organ drops from its normal place and then pushes up against the walls of the vagina.

Continue reading

The Illinois Appellate Court for the 1st District reversed and remanded a decision entered by a judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County. The issue on appeal was focused on a non-manufacturing defendant in a product-liability case. The defendant identified the manufacturer in order to be dismissed from strict liability in a tort claim. There was a question as to whether the manufacturer was not subject to the court’s jurisdiction and whether the plaintiff should be permitted to reinstate the non-manufacturing defendant.

In this case, Martin Cassidy was working at a warehouse when a flexible bulk container belonging to China Vitamins ripped and leaked, which made the entire stack of containers unstable. One of the stacked containers fell on Cassidy, injuring him.

In 2007, he filed a lawsuit against China Vitamins. The lawsuit alleged strict liability, negligent product liability and one count under res ipsa loquitur.

Continue reading