Almost everyone who was growing up in the 1980s and 1990s dreamed of one day cruising around the hoverboards from Back to the Future II. Many companies decided to capitalize on the concept's popularity by manufacturing versions of a similar device. These hoverbaords, which actually have wheels, have been incredibly popular.
On December 1, 2016, the Illinois Supreme Court issued its opinion in the case of Pamela Murphy-Hylton v. Lieberman Management Services, Inc., et al., 2016 IL 120394. The case arises out of a claim by the Plaintiff, Pamela Murphy-Hylton, that she slipped and was injured while walking on the sidewalk outside her condominium. Ms. Murphy-Hylton alleged that a defective condition and negligent maintenance of the property created an "unnatural accumulation of ice" that caused her to fall. The trial court initially granted judgment in favor of the Defendants, Lieberman Management Services, Inc. and Klein Creek Condominium finding that the Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act (745 ILCS 75/0.01) provided protection and immunity to the defendants. On appeal, the judgment was reversed. The matter was appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court, who has agreed with the appellate court.
We have recently come across a problem that is affecting several of our clients and potential clients. We have had several situations of cases where potential clients are being told by their employers to report to their medical providers that an accident that occurred at work actually occurred at home or some other place that has nothing to do with the work place. The employers are attempting to do this in order to avoid making a workers compensation claim against their insurance or other coverage. However, in our experience most of the employers who are taking these kind of actions generally have some kind of problem with their workers compensation insurance or they make empty promises about how they will pay any medical bills that are generated from workers comp related medical treatment out of pocket instead of turning it into insurance.
The Illinois Supreme Court (the highest court in the State) received voted to abolish the common-law "public duty rule." Illinois's long-standing public duty rule provided local governmental entities and their employees with immunity from lawsuits by holding that they owed no duty of care to provide governmental services. This meant that local governmental entities could not be sued for failing to provide police and/or fire protection to individuals or groups, such as failing to arrive within a certain time.
I am often asked about how a client's worker's compensation or personal injury claim will be affected if they decide to file bankruptcy. When asked that we always have to sit down and discuss the specifics, but what does not often come up is what impact a new worker's compensation or personal injury claim may have on a previously filed bankruptcy.
An injured boat worker was recently awarded a record-setting $7.5 million settlement in a Jones Act lawsuit that had been filed on his behalf. The worker was severely injured when an air tank in the engine room exploded, throwing the worker into the air and causing him to land on his head injuring his spine. The boat had been docked while undergoing repairs and restoration.
At common law in Illinois, if a person was bitten by a dog and suffered an injury, he could only recover for his damages if he could prove the dog had previously shown a disposition to "bite mankind," and that the dog's owner had notice of this disposition, such as knowledge that the dog had bitten someone before. Absent evidence of a dog's vicious propensities, he was presumed to be "tame, docile, and harmless." Additionally, the injured person could not recover for his injury if he knowingly approached the dangerous dog, or provoked him. The liability of the dog owner was through an act of negligence, and only if he harbored a "vicious dog". The burden of proof was on the injured person.