Civil Litigation

by Katie A. Fulara Vinge
On May 28, 2021, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed an amendment to 735 ILCS 5/2-103 allowing for prejudgment interest of 6% for personal injury cases. Since that time, Illinois attorneys have pondered how best to navigate these new waters and how exactly this amendment will impact their clients going forward. In response to the amendment, many legal defense committees drafted a variety of motions and other pleadings that attacked the constitutionality of the amendment. Every county in Illinois has approached these issues differently. Depending on the county, some judges have entered and continued motions until
Continue Reading The Illinois Prejudgment Interest Statute: Is It Unconstitutional?

This blog post was written by HeplerBroom Summer Associate Caitlin Jarman. Partner Elizabeth Dyer Kellett also contributed to the post.
The Takeaway
The Seventh Circuit’s decision on the distinction between “treatment” and “diagnosis” determined its application of the Illinois Tort Immunity Act.
Case Background
Glen Lash presented to Sparta Community Hospital District (“Sparta hospital”) with complaints of shortness of breath and chest discomfort. Lash v. Sparta Cmty. Hosp. Dist., 38 F.4th 540, 541 (7th Cir. 2022). Upon arrival, Lash’s vital signs were taken and were determined to be “abnormal.” Lash, 38 F.4th at 541. An EKG, blood work, and chest
Continue Reading To Err is Human: Seventh Circuit Holds that Hospital is Immune from Liability Related to Misdiagnosis

2015 Noneconomic Damage Cap
In 2015, RSMO § 538.210 put into effect a noneconomic damage cap for use in cases against healthcare provider defendants. This includes two different cap limits, one of which will apply to any given suit. The higher limit is reserved for “catastrophic” personal injury or death, and the lower limit is for all other “non-catastrophic” injury. The statutory limits are $400,000 for “catastrophic” personal injury/death and $700,000 for “non-catastrophic” injury. These limits increase by 1.7% each year for inflation and are determined as of the date the case is tried. Velazquez v. Univ. Physician Assocs., 625 S.W.3d 445,
Continue Reading Severe Burn Injury Leads to Application of Higher Noneconomic Damage Cap Limit after Plaintiff Verdict in Missouri Medical Malpractice Trial

by Isaac R. Melton
Most home and auto insurance policies contain one or more clauses implicating the coverage afforded based on the residency of a named insured or someone seeking coverage under the insurance policy. Although determining one’s place of residence may seem like a straightforward issue, it can require a very fact-intensive analysis under a variety of circumstances. Such an analysis is one of the main focuses in a 2022 Supreme Court Rule 23 Order from the Fifth District Appellate Court. In addition, through the Order, the Fifth District Appellate Court discusses issues involved with the presentation of claims
Continue Reading How and When to Present Residency Evidence Can Be Key to Trial Success

As news of asbestos-related diseases spread across the United States, the American public started to become increasingly suspicious of manufacturers who had, for so long, denied the dangers of asbestos exposure.
Asbestos companies that had previously learned about the long-term effects of inhaling asbestos fibers began to experience social and legal scrutiny, and asbestos-related claims made against them were overwhelmingly evident.
Mesothelioma in the Millennium
On July 12, 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a final ruling to ban most asbestos-containing products. Based on a 10-year study, the ban was placed on the distribution, import, manufacturing and processing
Continue Reading History of Asbestos, Pt. 5: Asbestos in the Present Day

On September 26, 2022, communities across the country will join together to celebrate the 18th annual National Mesothelioma Awareness Day, which is dedicated to bringing attention to this rare asbestos-caused cancer and raising funds for medical treatments.
The event coincides with the annual Miles for Meso 5K Run and 3K Fun Run & Walk, organized and hosted by Simmons Hanly Conroy since 2009. The race — which will take place both in-person and virtually this year on September 24 — raises funds for the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO).
Over the years, the law firm has raised hundreds of
Continue Reading Mesothelioma Awareness Day 2022: Hope, Help and Health

Pitfalls and Challenges in Obtaining a Tax Deed Most properties sold at the annual tax sale result in redemption. “Redemption” is the formal name for the repayment of the unpaid taxes by the owner or interested party. Depending on your Read More….
The post Pitfalls and Challenges in Obtaining a Tax Deed appeared first on Law Office of Andrew Szocka, P.C..
Continue Reading Pitfalls and Challenges in Obtaining a Tax Deed

This blog post was written by HeplerBroom Summer Associate Jocelyn Andersson. Partner Elizabeth Dyer Kellett also contributed to the post.

In Illinois Farmers Insurance Co. v. Godwin, the insured was in a car accident while driving his father’s car. Defendant Farmers denied coverage, arguing that the insurance policy’s exclusion clause applied because insured’s father’s car was not listed on the relevant insurance policy and either insured’s father was a member of insured’s household or he provided his car to insured for regular use.  The Illinois Appellate Court for the Third District found that insured’s father was not a resident of
Continue Reading Illinois Appellate Court Rules Policy Exclusion Clause Does Not Apply: Insurer Had Duty to Defend and Idemnify

Tradition holds that couples should exchange paper gifts on their first anniversary. The third anniversary gift is leather; the fifth, wood. And those fortunate enough to reach their tenth anniversary are advised to exchange aluminum or tin, symbolizing the strength and resilience of their bond. But for the parties in Petrone, et al v. Werner Enterprises, Inc., as their litigation approaches its tenth year, and a second mandate from the Eighth Circuit sends the case back to the District of Nebraska, an exchange of gifts is probably not top of mind.

In 2012, a group of plaintiffs filed a
Continue Reading After Ten Years of Litigation, Trucking Company and Former Drivers Head Back to Court, Again

Buying a Tax Lien – Understanding the process and obligations. There are three kinds of tax lien sales in Illinois; Annual, Forfeiture and Scavenger Sales.  The annual and forfeiture sales are similar in that the buyer purchases the tax lien Read More….
The post Buying a Tax Lien – Understanding the process and obligations. appeared first on Law Office of Andrew Szocka, P.C..
Continue Reading Buying a Tax Lien – Understanding the process and obligations.

The Missouri Supreme Court, in an en banc Opinion issued last month, reversed the Missouri Court of Appeals’ opinion and held in favor of a movant’s attempt to compel arbitration. The Missouri Court of Appeals had previously upheld the respective trial courts’ decision in companion cases, where Bridgecrest’s motion to compel arbitration was denied.
Framed within a somewhat unique procedural posture wherein the party compelling arbitration was the first to initiate suit, the Bridgecrest opinion is a helpful practice reminder that, although courts may look for factual bases to decline to compel arbitration, it is a tough sell to win
Continue Reading Arbitration Agreements Need Not Be Balanced

As soon as asbestos became an industrial commodity in the late 19th century, the clock began ticking. Sooner or later, the public would find out just how deadly this carcinogenic substance really was.

The only question was how long it would take, and how many people would have to suffer needlessly, before asbestos companies were no longer able to hide and deny a growing body of medical research proving the health hazards of asbestos.

From the early 1900s through the 1970s, the asbestos industry would find itself in a golden era — hailing asbestos a “miracle mineral” due to its
Continue Reading History of Asbestos, Pt. 4: Asbestos From Its Heyday to the Era of Regulation

by Eric Rosser
Our product liability clients are seeing an uptick in plaintiffs’ requests to depose their corporate representatives. More and more, these requests are directed to clients who rarely, if ever, have had to put a corporate representative up for deposition.
Whom should your client select? It’s a big decision. This individual will be the “face of the franchise,” so to speak; his or her testimony will become binding on the company and potentially be used in litigation for years to come. For best results, consider these key factors:
Key 1. Choose a corporate representative now.
Key 2. Choose
Continue Reading 3 Keys to Preparing for Corporate Representative Depositions

In Owners Insurance Company v. Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland, the Eighth Circuit was asked to determine whether a private construction payment bond containing the phrase “all sums justly due” requires a commercial surety to pay attorneys’ fees incurred by the bond claimant. Its holding was a resounding Yes, at least where the underlying contract between the bond principal and the bond claimant contains an attorneys’ fee provision.
As the court stated, this matter involved “a construction project gone wrong.” Ben F. Blanton, Inc. was hired by BCC Partners, LLC to build luxury apartments in the St. Louis
Continue Reading Feeding the Beast: In a Payment Bond, "All Sums Justly Due" May Include Attorneys' Fees

In the recent decision of State & 9 Street Corporation et al. v. Society Insurance; the Appellate Court of Illinois First Judicial District affirmed the circuit court’s judgment on the pleadings in favor of Society Insurance Company, finding the restaurant company plaintiffs were not entitled to business income, extra expense, civil authority, or contamination provisions in their property damage policies.
The pertinent facts are as follows: Plaintiffs own and operate 14 taverns in Illinois; On March 16, 2020 Governor Pritzker issued several executive orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including a suspension of on-premises consumption of food and
Continue Reading Illinois Court of Appeals Affirms Denial of Loss of Business Coverage Caused by COVID-19

In a recent blog (which can be read here), HeplerBroom attorney Stephanie Weiner highlighted the First District Appellate Court’s recent ruling in Alave v. City of Chicago and its impact on the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act. In Alave, the First District created a narrow exception to the Tort Immunity Act for bicycle riders near Divvy stations in Chicago. The First District did not wait long to limit this new exception when it issued its ruling in Babic v. The Village of Lincolnwood, 2022 IL App (1st) 210929.
Case Background
 In June 2018, Plaintiff rode
Continue Reading Local Governments and Cyclists Take Note: First District Limits Recent Exception to Tort Immunity Act