Civil Litigation

Effective January 1, 2020, Illinois enacted a new statute in response to the increasingly pervasive use of artificial intelligence, also known as AI, software by prospective employers. Proponents assert such software allows employers to zero in on and hire the best candidates more quickly and efficiently. Typically, these AI products use mobile video interviews with algorithms analyzing the prospective employee’s facial expressions, word choice, tone, body language and gestures to determine a candidate’s work style, ethic, cognitive ability, and interpersonal skills. Other AI tools might include AI review of resumes and algorithms to analyze an applicant’s response to interview or…
In Ludgarda R. Castillo and Richard Castillo v Jeremy Stevens, M.D. and The Center for Athletic Medicine, LTD., 1029 IL App (1st) 172958, the Court reviewed several issues, and held that a plaintiff’s medical expert in a successful informed consent claim must testify to a breach of the applicable standard of care for the allegedly negligently obtained consent. Ludgarda Castillo sought treatment in 2004 after suffering from right knee pain and was diagnosed with a 17-degree valgus deformity of her right femur. To correct the valgus deformity, defendant Dr. Stevens performed a right distal femoral open wedge osteotomy, but during this…
Angela Higgins has been named President of the Kansas Bar Association’s Insurance Law Section. Founded in 1882, the Kansas Bar Association is a voluntary association of 7,200 member lawyers, judges, law students, and paralegals.  Insurance Law Section members are engaged in efforts to attain uniformity with respect to both legislation and administration in all matters within the field of insurance law. Higgins is a Member of the firm, with a practice dedicated to insurance coverage, commercial litigation, product liability, class action defense, and appellate practice. She is the editor of the firm’s Insurance Law blog, writing and editing blog posts on…
In Woods v. Amazon.com LLC and Johnson v. Amazon.com LLC, 2019 WL 2504093 (2019) & 2019 WL 2509122 (2019), respectively, two individuals, Andrew Woods and Michael Johnson (“Plaintiffs”) brought separate, but related personal injury actions against Amazon.com, LLC (“Amazon”), Duke Realty, LP (“Duke”) and Steel King Industries, Inc. (“Steel King”) (collectively, the “Defendants”). Defendants brought third-party contribution claims against Plaintiffs’ employer, Lakeside Rack Installer, Inc. (“Lakeside”). Both Plaintiffs suffered serious injuries when a forklift driver, employed by Lakeside, caused a steel shelving rack to collapse on them within a newly-constructed Amazon warehouse. Each Plaintiff alleged the structure collapse stemmed from…
Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice Managing Member Scott Kreamer has been selected to receive a Missouri Lawyers Media Law Firm Leader Award, an award given to chairpersons, managing partners or other law firm executives who demonstrated extraordinary vision, innovation and leadership during the year. Kreamer has overseen growth, including a recent merger, nearly doubling the size of the firm, while also serving as Chairman of the Board of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC), an invitation-only international organization consisting of accomplished defense attorneys, corporate counsel, and insurance industry executives who have achieved professional distinction during their careers. Kreamer…
The Missouri Court of Appeals (Western District) recently reversed a defense verdict because the trial court’s verdict directing instruction, taken from the Missouri Approved Instructions (MAI), didn’t accurately state the law applicable to Plaintiff’s claim.  In Gary Miller v. Norfolk Southern Railway Company, Plaintiff Miller sued his railroad employer based on the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (“FELA”).  Miller claimed to have sustained cumulative injuries caused by defective locomotive cab seats.  Specifically, he claimed that the railroad’s cab seats were “loose and wobbly” and they failed to protect him from excessive shock, jarring and vibration. This negligence caused him to suffer…
In Illinois, statutes provide protection to a disabled person with respect to the time within which a cause of action for personal injury will accrue. Under traditional legal thought, the cause of action begins to accrue and the statute of limitations begins to run immediately on the date of injury. In cases where the injury is not obvious enough to be discovered the moment it occurs, the date of accrual begins on the date the injured person “knows or should have known” a cause of action exists. Under the discovery rule, the plaintiff has the burden of establishing facts to…
Written by attorney Terry S. Lu William Dukes was incarcerated for 15 years, 6 months, 2 days, and 45 minutes for a crime he didn’t commit.  In 1993, a grandmother and her granddaughter were discovered dead in a bathtub. Based upon questionable witness testimony, the police focused their investigation on William. The police repeatedly pulled him into the station for questioning, interrogated him, dropped in on him unannounced at work, talked with the people who lived and worked around him, and generally made his life difficult. As a result of their investigation and these constant disruptions, William lost his job…
Written by attorney Richard C. Baker  It’s that time of year again and high on the list among the things that a church should be considering at year’s end is the housing allowance for its ministers for the next calendar year, 2020. The housing allowance is a very important tax benefit for ministers but, without proper attention, can be lost or diminished for a specific year. By way of review, in cases where the church does not provide a parsonage, the IRS’s Code allows a church to provide for a housing allowance to both ministers who own their residences and…
Charitable solicitation is more complex than just asking for donations. In fact, there are a number of essential regulatory procedures that nonprofits must stay up to date with to stay off the charitable solicitation “naughty list.” Currently 39 states and the District of Columbia have charitable solicitation laws requiring a nonprofit organization to register prior to soliciting or accepting donations from residents in that particular state. To ensure that your nonprofit organization is good this holiday season, keep the following information in mind as you plan and develop the organization’s fundraising activities. Registration Prior to Solicitation Most states define solicitation…
The Twelve Days of Lawyers for Jesus Podcasts You Need to Hear this Christmas Mauck & Baker produced a record amount of 113 Lawyers for Jesus shows this year! We’ve appreciated the support of our listeners every step of the way, and had a lot of amazing guests. Although every interview was special, we’ve chosen the “12 days of Lawyers for Jesus” that will be especially inspiring to you this Christmas season.   In the first month of 2019… We listened to the riveting testimony of Louis Dooley, author of “Prison Saved My Life.” Louis told us his radical…
Our firm is comprised of many diverse lawyers. On this page, you’ll learn the languages, cultural backgrounds, and voices of Mauck & Baker through popular Christmas songs. Enjoy! Sorin A. Leahu – Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (in Romanian) [embedded content]“What I like about that song is that it is one of the most, if not the most, theologically rich and gospel centered Christmas songs. ‘Mild he lays his glory by, born that man no more may die; Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.’” Soo Yeon Lee – It Came Upon a Midnight…
On December 4, 2019, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) published in the Federal Register an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking titled “Addition of Certain Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances; Community Right-to-Know Toxic Chemical Release Reporting.” 84 Fed. Reg. 66369. USEPA is currently considering a rule proposal to add certain polyfluroroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the list of toxic chemicals subject to reporting under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (Right-to-Know Act) and the Pollution Prevention Act. This list is also known as the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), and chemicals within the TRI are known as “listed chemicals.” PFAS are synthetic…
BSCR successfully defended a negligence lawsuit involving an alleged shooting where Plaintiff alleged Defendant shot a firearm at his head while standing over him. Plaintiff initially pled both intentional tort and negligence but chose to submit only on negligence. In response, we successfully argued that Plaintiff initiated the physical altercation, had Defendant in a headlock, and Defendant shot one round in the air to deter Plaintiff’s attack. In closing, Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury for an amount in excess of $1 million dollars and an additional award of punitive damages. After a four-day trial, the jury returned a verdict in…
On October 29, 2019, the Supreme Court of Missouri, in State ex rel. Key Insurance Company v. Roldan, held Missouri courts may exercise personal jurisdiction over a foreign corporation when the corporation has made at least one contact with Missouri and Plaintiff’s tortious cause of action arises out of that contact. Plaintiff Phillip Nash, a resident of Missouri, was involved in a motor vehicle collision with Josiah Wright in Jackson County, Missouri. Defendant Key Insurance Company, a Kansas corporation, insured Nash’s vehicle, through its policy issued to Nash’s daughter, a Kansas resident. Key Insurance denied Nash’s claim for coverage. Wright…
If you enter into contracts in Illinois, you should at least be aware of the Frauds Act. Illinois law limits certain claims and actions if they are not supported by a writing signed by the party to be charged with the claim or action. This statute is known as the Illinois Frauds Act. It states in section one: “That no action shall be brought, whereby to charge any executor or administrator upon any special promise to answer any debt or damages out of his own estate, or whereby to charge the defendant upon any special promise to answer for the…