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A federal lawsuit against L’Oreal, Revlon, Dark & Lovely and other companies alleges that the businesses that sell hair straightener products, knew, or should have known, that the use of the dangerous chemicals in the products would increase the risk of cancer. They marketed and sold them anyway without so much as a warning label.  
As of March 2024, there were 8,334 hair straightener lawsuits pending in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, in Chicago. With its background in class action lawsuits and product liability, Smith LaCien LLP was asked to serve as co-counsel on some of these
Continue Reading Users of Hair Straighteners Who Got Cancer Seek Compensation

CHICAGO, IL, February 26, 2024 – Carla Colaianni, a plaintiff’s trial lawyer and co-chair of the medical negligence practice area at Smith LaCien LLP, was named by Crain’s Chicago Business to its 2024 Notable Women in Law. She was featured in the Feb. 20 issue of the weekly magazine.
The 141 lawyers who were selected practice law across a wide range of practice areas. They serve as mentors for other women in their firms and bring their expertise to their communities and nonprofits.
Carla represents clients in complex medical negligence and birth injury cases in both the trial and appellate courts.
Continue Reading Carla Colaianni Named by Crain’s Chicago Business To its 2024 Notable Women in Law

Large Malpractice Verdict Amounts Against Physicians Increase
 A surge in large medical malpractice awards targeting physicians and hospitals is part of new data released on February 2, 2024, by the global reinsurance company TransRe.
In 2023, a record number of 57 medical malpractice verdicts of $10 million or more were recorded in U.S. Of these, slightly over half reached $25 million or more. This surpasses the range of verdicts from $10 million or more from 2012 to 2022, which ranged from 34 in 2013 to 52 in 2022.
The statistics “blew away every record previously set among high medical malpractice
Continue Reading Large Malpractice Verdict Amounts Against Physicians Increase

CHICAGO, February 2, 2024– Brian LaCien, a founding partner of Smith LaCien LLP – Trial Lawyers, has been named by Super Lawyers as one of the “Top 100” Illinois lawyers. The state has more than 94,000 attorneys.
LaCien has been recognized as a Super Lawyer every year since 2016 and was a Super Lawyer Rising Star from 2011 to 2015. Super Lawyers evaluates lawyers in every state, using criteria such as peer nominations, independent research and peer evaluations. Eligible nominees from more than 70 practice areas are considered.
LaCien has served in a leadership capacity in several national, regional and
Continue Reading Smith LaCien Founding Partner Brian LaCien Named a ‘Top 100’ Lawyer by 2024 Illinois Super Lawyers

CHICAGO, January 24, 2024 – Chicago trial lawyer Todd A. Smith, a founding partner with Brian LaCien of Smith LaCien LLP, has once again been named by Super Lawyers as one of the “Top 10” Super Lawyers in Illinois. The state has nearly 97,000 licensed attorneys.
Smith has been on the Illinois Super Lawyers list since its inception in 2005 and is regularly ranked in the Top 10. Super Lawyers evaluates lawyers in each state, using criteria such as peer nominations, independent research and peer evaluations by Illinois lawyers. Eligible nominees from more than 70 practice areas are considered.
A founding partner of
Continue Reading Smith LaCien Founding Partner Todd A. Smith Again Named a Top 10 Lawyer by Illinois Super Lawyers

Illinois was one of 16 states that did not allow for the recovery of punitive damages in wrongful death cases – until now. Last year, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law HB 219, which amended the former law to allow punitive damages to be recoverable in wrongful death cases.
The new law makes Illinois the 35th state to allow the recovery of punitive damages in wrongful death actions. The legislation will significantly affect wrongful death cases statewide by enabling those who lost a loved one to receive financial help beyond the basic compensatory damages.
What Are Punitive Damages
Damages refer
Continue Reading A Victory for Plaintiffs in Wrongful Death Lawsuits

A sharp rise in deaths from heavy truck crashes, which are up almost 50 percent in the last 10 years, has federal officials more eager than ever for solutions. Many know what needs to be done and have a federal Administration willing to cooperate, but a lack of consensus prevents any real movement forward.
The Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are still considering whether new big rigs should be required to have automatic emergency braking systems and devices that limit how fast trucks can go.
Speed Limiters and Breaking Systems
A proposed rule
Continue Reading Truck Fatalities Crisis Calls for Bold Solutions

CHICAGO, IL, December 11, 2023 – Carla Colaianni, a plaintiff’s personal injury trial lawyer at Smith LaCien LLP, was among a group of elite women lawyers who were honored by Law Bulletin Media at a reception at the Westin Hotel in downtown Chicago on November 28.
The 2024 honorees were selected based on their legal experience and success, as well as their work to advance other women in the profession. Colaianni represents clients in complex medical negligence and birth injury cases in both the trial and appellate courts.
Colaianni has cultivated relationships with leading female experts in the medical and scientific fields
Continue Reading Carla Colaianni Named a 2024 Women in Law Honoree

Despite having one of the most advanced healthcare systems in the world, the U.S. currently has the highest pregnancy-related death rate among developed nations. Maternal deaths rose 40% in 2021 from the previous year. Black women are particularly vulnerable, dying at significantly higher rates than other groups.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has deemed it a public health crisis, and the Biden administration has announced a call to action to improve parental and infant health outcomes.
Barriers to Care
Among the barriers to quality care are inadequate access to clinical care, health facilities with limited experience with
Continue Reading U.S. Calls Pregnancy-related Death Rate a Public Health Crisis

Chicago, IL, November 8, 2023 – Jason Williams, an attorney at Smith LaCien LLP, served as chair of a highly intensive two-day conference –“Mastering the Medicine: Birth Injury and Medical Negligence” – hosted by the American Association for Justice (AAJ) on Nov. 2 and 3 at the Waldorf Astoria Buckhead in Atlanta, Ga. A prominent list of doctors and lawyers spoke about the latest trends and updates in birth injuries and medical malpractice cases. Trial lawyers from around the country attended the gathering.
Smith LaCien LLP concentrates in catastrophic personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, trucking litigation, birth injuries
Continue Reading Smith LaCien Lawyer Chairs Two-Day AAJ Conference

CHICAGO/November 2, 2023 – Smith LaCien LLP -Trial Lawyers has been recognized by Best Lawyers as a Tier 1 “2024 Best Law Firm” in two practice areas: Aviation Law and Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs. The firm also ranked high in mass/class action, medical malpractice and product liability. They served as co-lead counsel in the nation’s largest auto recall – the Takata Airbag explosion litigation and also Sterigenics ethylene oxide litigation.
The rankings can be found at
The firms in Best Law Firms are recognized for their professional excellence with consistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving
Continue Reading Smith LaCien LLP Ranked by Best Lawyers As a 2024 Tier 1 “Best Law Firm”

Last year, over 7,500 pedestrians tragically lost their lives while walking on roads. The number of fatalities shot up a whopping 77%, hitting a 40-year high.
What’s behind this disturbing trend? One major factor is the proliferation of massive trucks and SUVs. They are bigger and bulkier than their predecessors, making them harder for drivers to handle and causing huge blind spots in the front and rear. They need more time to stop and maneuver because of their size and weight.
Truck Accident Causes
In addition to a truck’s size, the condition of the driver may be a factor in
Continue Reading Trucks, SUVs Behind Soaring Rise in Pedestrian Deaths

Falls are a major cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the U.S., affecting the elderly more than any other age group, just ask our Chicago brain injury lawyers. 
Seniors lose their balance more easily and fall off a ladder or slip on the ice more readily and lose the spring in their step. Some 80% of falls account for almost half of emergency department visits for brain injuries. People older than 65 and children under age 17 experience the most fall-related TBIs, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
An estimated 1.5 million Americans survive a traumatic brain injury. Of these,
Continue Reading Falls a Leading Cause of TBI Among Seniors

Labor Day weekend may be one of the last major times of the year for recreation on the Great Lakes, but that doesn’t mean the end of potential hazards on the lakes.
Data from the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project shows that since 2018, roughly 20 people per year drown in one of the five lakes between September 1 and December 31.
And maps maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that more than half of the deaths that occur in Great Lakes surf zones — the areas of relatively shallow water near the shore where waves
Continue Reading Great Lakes Surf Zone Hazards: What You Need to Know

The birth of a child should be a time of joy, but when complications arise and birth injuries occur, it can lead to a heart-wrenching and challenging situation for families.
In such cases, parents may find themselves facing not only emotional turmoil but also the daunting task of understanding their legal rights. This is where a birth injury law firm like Smith LaCien LLP can provide invaluable assistance.
Understanding the Legal Implications
Birth injuries occur during pregnancy, labor or delivery when medical experts fail to diagnose a condition or prevent infection, make an incorrect diagnosis or treatment, misread lab results,
Continue Reading When Should You Hire a Birth Injury Lawyer?

In a significant step towards improving pedestrian and cyclist safety, a three-month-long project has culminated in a noteworthy transformation of the bicycle lanes and pedestrian crossings on Augusta Boulevard, in the Chicago neighborhoods of West Town and Ukrainian Village. The primary aim was to create a safer corridor for all road users.
One of the most striking changes is the relocation of bike lanes from a position adjacent to traffic lanes to a more secure position between parking spaces and the curb. In addition, the speed limits on the boulevard have been reduced from 30 mph to 20 mph, a
Continue Reading Recent Upgrades Aim to Make Chicago’s Street, Bike Lanes Safer