Before the Illinois Supreme Court handed down its decision in Peach v. McGovern, there were differing Illinois Appellate Court cases about whether an expert was needed to testify about a photograph of post-accident vehicle damage before it could be admitted into evidence. The Peach decision held that expert testimony is not required to admit post-accident vehicle photographs and settle this conflict in the law.

In its holding, the Peach decision expressly overturned DiCosola v. Bowman, 342 Ill.App.3d 530, 538 (1st Dist. 2003) and Baraniak v. Kurby, 371 Ill.App.3d 310, 317-18 (1st Dist. 2007) and held that the proper analysis had been appropriate in the cases of Ford v. Grizzle, 398 Ill.App.3d 639, 648 (5th Dist. 2010), Fronabarger v. Burns, 385 Ill.App.3d 560, 565 (5th Dist. 2008), Jackson v. Seib, 372 Ill.App.3d 1061, 1071 (5th Dist. 2007) and Ferro v. Griffiths, 361 Ill.App.3d 738, 743 (3d Dist. 2005).

In the Illinois Supreme Court decision in Peach, the Court ruled that the question of whether the photographs were admissible depended on whether they were relevant, and that relevancy is tested in light of logic, experience, and accepted assumptions about human behavior. Peach, Id. ¶ 26 (citing Boykin v. Estate of DeBoer, 192 Ill.2d 49, 57 (2000)).

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This was a negligence lawsuit in which the defendant died two years after his discovery deposition. In this case, the Illinois Appellate Court was unanimous on the dispute about the Illinois Dead-Man’s Act, 735 ILCS 5/8-201. However, justices of the 5th District, Judy L. Cates and David K. Overstreet, disagreed on whether the trial judge misconstrued Illinois Supreme Court Rule 212(a)(5), which was amended in 2011 to permit use of discovery depositions as substantive evidence at trial.

Illinois Supreme Court Rule 212(a)(5) says that a discovery deposition may be used “upon reasonable notice to all parties, as evidence at trial or hearing against the party who appeared at the deposition or was given proper notice thereof, if the court finds that the deponent is not a controlled expert witness, the deponent’s evidence deposition has not been taken and the deponent is unable to attend or testify because of death or infirmity, and if the court, based on its sound discretion, further finds such evidence at trial or hearing will do substantial justice between or among the parties.”

Kevin Eyster sued Kenneth Conrad for allegedly causing an auto crash. The administrator of Conrad’s estate requested summary judgment, arguing the Dead-Man’s Act blocked Eyster from testifying about the incident.

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Clarisha Benson and Lorenzo Smith each purchased an opaque, seven-ounce box of Fannie May chocolates for $9.99 plus tax. Benson purchased Fannie May’s Mint Meltaways and Smith purchased Fannie May’s Pixies. Although the boxes accurately disclosed the weight of the chocolate within, and the number of pieces in each box, the boxes were emptier than either had expected.

The box of Mint Meltaways contained approximately 33% empty space and the box of Pixies contained approximately 38% empty space.

The plaintiffs eventually sued Fannie May on behalf of themselves and a putative class, alleging violations of Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and asserted claims for unjust enrichment and breach of implied contract.

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A 3-year-old child, Doe, was on vacation with his family in a vacation rental home that included a fenced-in swimming pool. After dinner one night, family members found young Doe floating face down in the pool.

Doe was resuscitated and air-lifted to a children’s hospital where he remained for one month before being transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation facility.

Doe is now 7. He suffers from hypoxic brain damage that has resulted in cognitive and physical impairments, including an abnormal gait and speech difficulties. Doe’s medical expenses were $294,000.

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Barbara Kaiser had surgery to implant the Prolift Anterior Pelvic Floor Repair System, a transvaginal mesh medical device that supports the pelvic muscles. Within a few years of her surgery, she began to experience severe pelvic pain, bladder spasms, and pain during intercourse. Her doctor attributed these conditions to contractions in the mesh of the Prolift.  Kaiser had revision surgery to remove the device, but her surgeon could not completely extract it. The physician informed Kaiser that the painful complications she was experiencing were likely permanent.

Kaiser sued Ethicon Inc., Prolift’s manufacturer, and Johnson & Johnson, its parent company, seeking damages under the Indiana Products Liability Act.

After a two-week trial, a jury found Ethicon liable for defectively designing the Prolift device and choosing not to adequately warn about its complications.

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Anthony Ellis, 21, was on a highway driving his motorcycle when he entered an intersection.  Emily Trevino was driving in the opposite direction and waiting to make a turn. She turned left in front of Ellis.

Ellis’s motorcycle and Trevino’s car collided and Ellis was thrown into a ditch. He suffered multiple fractures, including to his finger, toes, arm and left knee. He was hospitalized and underwent surgery followed by a course of physical therapy.

Ellis had planned to join the military but is now unable to do so because of his injuries. His medical expenses approached $208,000 with his past lost income of $9,300. Ellis sued Trevino, alleging that she made an improper turn.

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Joao Junior’s car was stopped in a line of three vehicles when a car driven by Sharon Graham rear-ended the last vehicle in the line. Junior, whose car was destroyed, received treatment for a cervical strain after the crash. He was diagnosed with a herniated disk in his neck and underwent surgery more than a year after this incident. Junior is now 60 and continues to suffer pain related to this incident.

Junior offered to resolve the case with the defendant Graham’s insurer for the policy limits of $100,000. The insurer, however, initially offered $14,500, which Junior rejected.

Junior then sued Graham, alleging that she had caused the crash while under the influence of prescription and non-prescription drugs. The lawsuit did not claim lost income.

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Beau Gordon, a professional roofer, fell 35 feet through a “camouflaged hole” in a warehouse roof that he was inspecting. Gordon suffered a head injury and, as a result, brought suit against the building’s owner, ARC Manufacturing Inc., and Joseph Meyers.

On appeal, the primary issue was whether the trial court correctly refused to instruct the jury on primary assumption of risk where, as in this case, the defendants did not hire or engage Gordon.

The Court of Appeals concluded that primary assumption of risk did not apply, rejected the defendants’ other contentions and affirmed the judgment in favor of Gordon.

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Christopher Novus Davis, 20, was admitted to Chester Mental Health Center in Chester, Ill., which is about 60 miles southeast of St. Louis. Shortly after he arrived, he was allegedly confronted by a group of security aides in the dining room for standing without permission after being seated for breakfast.

Davis was placed in handcuffs and, once off camera, he was pulled to the ground, shoved, punched and kneed in the face, according to the court documents.

Davis filed a lawsuit in 2013 against Lucas Nanny, Tom Nordman, Josh Rackley and Terry Steward. He was represented pro bono by Sidley Austin LLP’s attorneys Daniel A. Spira, Julie Becker and Elizabeth M. Chiarello.

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On Oct. 10, 2013, Scott Gilman’s car ran over the left foot of Sweta Karn while the car was making a left turn on a street. Karn was a pedestrian at the time; she suffered severe and permanent injury to her foot. She filed a lawsuit against Gilman and his employer, Aspen Commercial Painting Inc.

Aspen and Gilman filed affirmative defenses sounding in contributory negligence and Karn’s failure to mitigate her damages.

At the jury trial, Aspen focused on a video that was taken that purported to show Karn walking, post incident, without a limp or any sign of her alleged permanent injuries. Karn, on seeing the video, denied that she was depicted in the video.

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