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WGN Highlights Indoor Skydiving Risks News investigation featured our own Jim Coogan identifying legal issues for the recreational activity. Originally airing on November 26, 2019 during the WGN News at 9, WGN reporter Meghan Dwyer profiled the safety risks of iFly Indoor Skydiving. The piece examined some of the injury risk facing participants in the skydiving simulator. As shown in the video attached to the article, the company simulates free falling with a grated floor over a giant fan. Participants step inside a glass tube that funnels the air upwards. Consumers have reported several shoulder injuries resulting from the activity.…
VISION ZERO INITIATIVE–MIXED RESULTS In 2+ Years, Road Fatalities Fall, But Danger Remains It has been more than 2 years since the City of Chicago adopted a plan to make roads safer. The “Vision Zero” plan aimed to reduce traffic casualties by promoting better sight lines, safe zones, and protection for cyclists. As the Chicago Tribune reported, the numbers suggest progress. Traffic fatalities for the first 10 months of 2019 were down to 77 from 109 in the same period in 2017. The reality is that it’s getting safer to be in a vehicle, even in a crash–thanks to…
Ben Joravsky Show Podcast (11/2/19) Jim Coogan Discusses Impeachment & The Law Below is a link to a recent Bonus Edition of “The Ben Joravsky Show,” where Jim Coogan returns to the show answer Ben’s usual question: “How Is This Legal?” In this episode, Ben and Jim examine some of the legal arguments being put forth by the president’s lawyers outside of Impeachment. They also discuss the rapidly-developing evidence of wrongdoing by President Trump and the Impeachment process. Jim answers important questions about the uncommon legal issues that arise when Congress exercises its unique authority over Impeachment. Specifically,…
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,”…
If you were injured because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. In Illinois, that compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, as well as non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering. Since so much is at stake, it’s important to choose the right personal injury attorney. Here are a few things to look for when seeking the best attorney for your needs. Accessibility The attorney-client relationship works best when it is a partnership. Your partner should be accessible and ready to answer your questions. There are so many questions that…
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which handles workplace safety issues, is one of the smallest federal agencies. Even with its state partners, OSHA only has one inspector for every 59,000 workers. As a result, workplace injuries are fairly common. These victims have access to no-fault benefits that take care of their medical bills, lost wages, and other economic losses. Illinois workplace injury victims also have the right to choose their own doctors. So, a workers’ compensation attorney can connect victims with top physicians in a certain injury field. Yet despite their best efforts, some job injury victims never…
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…
If you sustain an injury that prevents you from performing your job, your employer’s insurance company likely has to pay you workers’ compensation benefits. Before the company will disperse your first check, however, you must undergo an examination by an employer-provided medical professional who will determine the nature and extent of your injuries. They will then classify it in one of four ways to help the insurer decide to how much compensation you are entitled and for how long. In this post, we’ll help you understand Temporary Total Disability (TTD) in workers’ compensation cases. At Dwyer & Coogan, our knowledgeable…
When a car crash occurs, it is not uncommon for more than just the driver to sustain injuries. If passengers are in the vehicles at the time of the incident, there is a good chance they too will endure injuries. But who is financially liable for passengers’ medical bills, lost wages, and other damages? Does insurance cover passenger injuries? Learn more below, and get legal help today. At Dwyer & Coogan, we advocate on behalf of victims of car accidents. If you or a loved one has sustained an injury as a driver or passenger, contact our firm today for…
Illinois sets a time limit on the time you have to file a lawsuit for compensation after an injury. This time limit is known as the “statute of limitations.” Once the time under the law to file expires, you forfeit your chance to bring a suit against the negligent party. Forever. There cannot be any recovery after time is up. The state of Illinois imposes different time limitations for different types of injuries. It is important that you understand what statute of limitations apply in your personal injury case so you can be sure to file before your time runs…
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…