Robert Greenhill, the plaintiff, was a sprinkler fitter for a construction project when he was injured at work by a freight elevator.

While he was entering the elevator, another passenger pressed the “door close” button and the elevator gate descended, striking Greenhill.

The Illinois First District Appellate Court held that the open-and-obvious doctrine was not available to the defendants, including REIT Management & Research LLC, Thyssenkrupp Elevator Corp., and the building manager, CW 600 W. Chicago LLC, because the risk of entering the elevator would not have been apparent to a reasonable person in the view of Greenhill.

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Gabriel Goncalves, a 12-year-old boy who was on the autism spectrum, was riding a school bus driven by Mark Hudovenko. During the bus ride, Hudovenko swerved at 45 mph, which was 15 miles over the speed limit. This caused the bus to leave the road and collide with a tree.

Gabriel suffered serious injuries in the crash, including brain hemorrhages, a skull fracture and various lacerations.

Gabriel has been diagnosed as having a traumatic brain injury, which has led to negative behavioral changes, sensory hypersensitivity and memory loss.

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Jacob Hourmouzus was a 17-year-old high school student when he attempted to rescue his dog, which had jumped into an irrigation canal under a metal footbridge on private property. As Jacob and the dog began to be swept away in the canal, he grabbed onto the bridge, which was electrically energized with 240 volts of power. Jacob suffered an electrical shock. He was taken to a hospital for treatment but he later died. Jacob was survived by his parents.

Jacob’s parents sued Solano Irrigation District, a public utility, alleging negligence for choosing not to properly ground the metal footbridge, which caused the bridge to become electrically and dangerously energized.

The lawsuit also alleged that the public utility defendant should have placed private property signs on the bridge to warn of its danger.

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Juanita Marquez, 90, was a passenger in her daughter’s pickup truck. While the pickup truck was stopped in traffic, an SUV driven by a teenager, Aaron Dominguez, rear-ended the Marquez vehicle. The crash caused the Marquez vehicle to hit another vehicle in front of it.

Marquez suffered a cervical strain and a right shin injury, as well as hip and arm pain. She now requires a cane for walking and has become generally less independent than she was before this crash.

Marquez sued Dominguez, alleging negligent operation of his SUV. She did not claim past medical expenses. Dominguez admitted he had been using his cell phone at the time of the collision and conceded liability during the trial.

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Charles Jacobus, 55, was attempting to cross the street in order to catch a bus when the SUV driven by Shayla Randle struck him. Randle, a teenager, had obtained her driver’s license the previous day. Jacobus suffered multiple fractures and a frontal lobe injury.

Jacobus spent 58 days in the hospital. He now has partial vision loss and speech difficulties. He was a store cashier earning approximately $20,000 per year. He has not returned to work.

Jacobus sued Randle, alleging that she chose not to control her motor vehicle, did not drive in a safe manner, failed to keep a proper lookout and obey Florida traffic laws. The lawsuit also alleged the vehicle’s owner, her mother, was liable for negligent entrustment.

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Sean McFly, a 29-year-old student at the University of Florida, was heading to class from a campus parking lot. As he was walking in the crosswalk, a truck driven by Billy Harrison, a University of Florida employee, hit him.  He suffered cervical disk herniation at C5-6 and C6-7 that resulted in nerve damage to his hands.

McFly suffers ongoing pain and will require spinal fusion at a later date. His past medical expenses totaled $36,000.

McFly sued the University of Florida alleging liability for Harrison’s choosing not to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. McFly claimed that Harrison had been using his cell phone at the time of the incident. It was also alleged that Harrison failed to slow down before the impact.

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A truck driver, the plaintiff, Joseph Streetman, was operating a Penske truck on a highway when he was rear-ended by a pickup truck that had just been rear-ended by a tractor-trailer driven by Walto Hendricks. Hendricks was driving for his employer, Gardner Trucking.

Streetman, 77, was taken by ambulance to an emergency room where he was evaluated and released. He was later referred to an orthopedic surgeon and underwent a cervical fusion, lumbar laminectomy, and shoulder surgery.

Streetman had medical expenses that totaled $415,000. He also had a claim of lost income of $55,000.

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Jia Huan Xu was crossing the street in a pedestrian crosswalk at a Brooklyn intersection when she was struck by a New York City Transit Authority bus. The bus was turning left from the opposite direction.  She was just 15 years old at the time.

The bus stopped while one of the vehicle’s front tires was on her left thigh. It took fifteen minutes for the bus to be lifted off her. Xu suffered severe degloving injuries necessitating multiple surgeries, including skin graft procedures.

She continues to suffer from physical limitations. She sued the New York City Transit Authority alleging that the bus driver chose not to yield while she was in a pedestrian crosswalk.

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A U.S. District Court judge in Chicago has denied employer Marsh USA’s summary judgment motion on Count V on Juanda Lynn Jordan’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) complaint. The complaint alleged that Marsh USA violated the FMLA’s anti-retaliation provision for exercising her right to medical leave because it honestly (though perhaps mistakenly) believed she had failed to provide appropriate documentation for additional time off when it terminated her employment.

The District Court Judge Matthew F. Kennelly examined two 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinions: one where a firing that was based on the employer’s mistaken belief didn’t violate FMLA and another where the mistake didn’t provide a defense.

“An employer may be entitled to summary judgment on a retaliation claim where, based on a mistaken belief, it terminated an employee for reasons unrelated to the employee’s protected activities. Yet an employer is not entitled to summary judgment where it based its motivation for terminating an employee, or at least a key component of it, on a mistaken belief that the employee was ineligible for the FMLA’s protection.

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In a jury trial over a 3-day period in 2018, the jury returned the verdict in favor of the plaintiff, a restaurant waitress, Raona Pearson. The damages for her injuries were awarded against the defendant, Pilot Travel Centers LLC. Pilot filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV), which was denied by the trial court as were both parties’ motions for directed verdict at the close of all evidence.

Pilot appealed the verdict and the court’s denial of motions for directed verdict.

From the evening of April 7, 2016, Pearson was working as a waitress at a Denny’s restaurant located inside of a truck stop in East St. Louis, Ill. The truck stop was owned by the defendant, Pilot. Both customers and employees of Denny’s had available to them public restrooms located within Pilot’s truck stop. Denny’s did not have public restrooms of its own.

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