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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Daniel and Rachel Brenner purchased four works of art from Evelyn Statsinger in the 1950s and 1960s. The artworks were displayed in the Brenner home continuously through the time of Daniel’s death in 1977 and Rachel’s death in 1990. The Brenner children, Ariel and Jonathan Brenner, inherited the artwork.

When Jonathan died in 2010, he died without a will. His widow, Terry Brenner, was his sole heir.

The paintings were given back to Evelyn Statsinger in 1996. The transfer took place with Jonathan, Terry, their daughter, Statsinger and Statsinger’s husband being present.

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Scott Stevenson, 52, was driving his utility van on a busy interstate highway when his vehicle rear-ended a broken-down truck that had been stopped in the middle lane for fourteen minutes.

Stevenson died from the injuries he sustained in the impact of the vehicles. He had been a self-employed plumber earning about $120,000 per year. Stevenson was survived by his wife and adult daughter.

The Stevenson family sued the truck driver, Richard Delcore, and Simpson Group Inc., which leased the truck and employed Delcore.

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Janet Pulver, 66, was several yards away from an intersection when a vehicle driven by Bennett Dunbar crashed into Pulver’s car head-on.  Pulver suffered serious injuries, including traumatic brain injury, and died only 28 hours later. She had been retired but was taking care of her grandchildren everyday. She was survived by her two adult children and grandchildren.

Pulver’s family and estate sued Dunbar alleging that he was driving recklessly and traveling at almost 80 mph in a 40-mph zone at the time of the crash.

Dunbar lost control of his vehicle, which crossed the center line of the highway and hit Pulver’s car head-on. The report of this case inexplicably stated that defendant disputed the plaintiff’s damages claim.

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John Deatherage, 51, was on an elevator when it suddenly dropped and came to a violent stop.  Deatherage, who had two previous surgeries at L5-S1, suffered a spinal injury that required a fusion surgery at that level. He continues to experience back and spine problems.

He sued Schindler Elevator Corp., alleging that it chose not to maintain and repair the elevator. Deatherage maintained that Schindler had a contract with the casino’s owner, under which it was paid a flat fee for preventative maintenance at the casino but failed to determine why the elevator was malfunctioning so frequently.

Deatherage’s attorneys argued that Schindler’s mechanic never determined the cause of the problem and would not follow up. There was no claim by Deatherage for medical expenses or lost income.

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St. Louis City Circuit Court judge refused to grant Johnson & Johnson’s motions following the July 13, 2018 jury verdict of $4.7 billion against Johnson & Johnson for injuries suffered by 22 women. This verdict was the largest by far against Johnson & Johnson in cases against it brought by women who have claimed that ovarian cancer was caused by use of the baby powder. The St. Louis City Circuit Court Judge Rex Burlison concluded in his opinion that there was “substantial evidence” to support the $550 million in compensatory damages and that punitive damages that totaled more than $4 billion were constitutional.

Judge Burlison added: “First, substantial evidence was adduced at trial of particularly reprehensible conduct on the part of defendants (Johnson & Johnson and others), including that defendants knew of the presence of asbestos in products that they knowingly targeted for sale to mothers and babies, knew of the damage their products caused, and misrepresented the safety of these products for decades.” The judge also said, “Second, defendants’ actions caused significant physical harm and potential physical harm, including causing ovarian cancer in plaintiffs or plaintiffs’ decedents.”

Judge Burlison also noted that the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act was a law that also provided for potential penalties against Johnson & Johnson.

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In a pending appeal from a jury verdict in favor of defendants Capital Fitness Inc. and a personal trainer, the plaintiff Gabriela Sosa-Gaines appealed the verdict handed down by a DuPage County Circuit Court jury on Aug. 4, 2017 and entered by the trial court.

The principal basis for the appeal was that the trial court denied the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and refused to instruct the jury on assumption of risk, the risk that the plaintiff could never have imagined when signing the two exculpatory- laden agreements.

It was argued in the briefs and in oral argument, which took place on Dec. 14, 2018 at the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District in Elgin, Ill., that there was no genuine issue of disputed facts that the “mild adjustment” that herniated plaintiff’s disks at the thoracic spine level was not an activity covered by the exculpatory clauses found in the Capital Fitness/XSport Membership Agreement and the Physical Training Agreement. Both documents have broad exculpatory clauses that would make a claim for negligence against these defendants unsustainable should any one of the delineated activities injure the plaintiff.

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Reginald Bush a/k/a Reggie Bush, a former Heisman Trophy winner, had a successful professional football career and was named as starting running back for the San Francisco 49ers. While he was playing against the then St. Louis Rams at Edward Jones Dome in 2005, whose turf playing field was surrounded by a slippery concrete surface, Bush ran out of bounds while returning a punt and slid on the slippery surface, falling awkwardly. As the play ended, and while trying to slow down, Bush slipped on the concrete and suffered a left lateral meniscus tear.

Reggie Bush required surgery and extensive rehabilitation and did not return to play that season. Although Bush subsequently obtained a one-year contract with a different team, he was unable to play. He has not signed another professional football contract. Now he is 33 years old and still has problems with his left knee.

Bush sued the Los Angeles Rams LLC , alleging it was responsible for the St. Louis Rams LLC’s failure to warn of and fix a dangerous condition at the Edward Jones Dome.

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