jim coogan

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US House Passed the FAIR Act–Restricts Arbitration Law could Restrict Arbitration Clauses in Employment and Consumer Contracts Access to the Courtroom is the only real protection of your rights. This column has previously brought attention to the scourge of private arbitration contracts and how they restrict access to justice and unfairly tilt the playing field in favor of large companies and against individuals. An “Arbitration Clause” is language in a contract for goods or services that states that the parties agree to waive their rights to trial before a judge and jury. Instead, they agree to resolve contract disputes by…
A GREATER HARM The system is not comfortable discussing medical errors. RECENT STUDIES CONFIRM THAT PATIENTS INJURED FROM MEDICAL ERRORS SUFFER MORE THAN PHYSICALLY In the United States, medical errors are estimated to be the third-leading cause of death. Indeed, a study in the Journal of Patient Safety published in 2013 criticized outdated estimates, and put the number at approximately 440,000 annual deaths in the United States from medical errors.  You read that number correctly. It would represent one-sixth of American deaths, annually. This was an update from a 1999 study in ProPublica, “To Err Is Human,”…
The Incident A 61-year-old woman with lung and heart problems went to University of Chicago Medical Center in 2014 for her increasing shortness of breath. The doctor did a catheter procedure to measure pressures in her heart and caused damage to the access artery in the groin. After an attempt to fix the artery and 3 days of monitoring, she was discharged. The next morning, she began to bleed internally. After attempts to save her at another hospital, she was dead a day later. The Result James Coogan and Caroleann Gallagher presented the case before a jury that found the…
Be Careful Where You Park In a surprising decision from Illinois’ First Appellate District, the Court dismissed the case of a person who injured themselves stepping into a 5-foot pothole. The basis for the ruling? The location of where she parked her car. Her lawsuit was against the City of Chicago for negligent maintenance of the street in allowing an enormous pot hole and potential fall risk to remain in the street. But the Court focused on the fact that her car was parked in a way that partially extended into a section of yellow-painted curb, indicating a fire hydrant…
A Powerful Statement of Justice Following a two-week trial in Cook County, Illinois in May, 2019, the jury returned a verdict for $3,000,000. The Plaintiff in the case was an adult woman (with two young boys of her own) who lost her mother in July, 2014. Sarah Crayton was a 61-year-old woman who originated from the South Side of Chicago. She had returned to the area after retiring from a 30+ year career with the Post Office. She planned to be closer to her roots and care for her own elderly mother. Over many years, Sarah had experienced increasing symptoms…
Federal CMS Releases “Special Focus Facility” Candidates The Federal Government provides oversight for Nursing Homes in the United States. Part of this is because federal programs like Medicare and Medicaid provide funding for nursing facilities. In their role overseeing complaints about persistent care problems, the Government compiles statistics and investigates facilities. This had previously led to the development of the “Special Focus Facility” program, where facilities received extra scrutiny based upon persistent problems with resident care. Until recently, the Government only released the names of facilities with the SFF designation. Today, CMS released a full list of 395 facilities nationwide…
Drivers are Looking at their Phones Instead of the Road (CREDIT Copyright: Michael Heim). According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 3,166 Americans died in crashed caused by distracted driving in 2017. It is easy to say that those three-thousand one-hundred and sixty-six people simply did not have to die. Thousands more did not need to be injured as a result of distracted driving. It impacts anyone and everyone who rides on roadways in Illinois and around the busy, high-traffic areas in and around Chicago. However, surprising statistics from the Illinois State Police and Chicago Police Department depict…