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May 2014 Archives

Understanding Your Back Pain

As a result of an injury, either on the job or the result of negligence from another, including a car accident, lower back pain is a very common occurrence. It is important to understand the source of the lower back pain and to be sure that you are receiving the appropriate medical care in obtaining the proper diagnosis of this pain. Many people are familiar with lumbar based pain that can result from conditions such as a herniated disc, a protruding disc, nerve injury as well as a strain or sprain to the lumbar spine. These conditions are treated by injections, physical therapy and in very extreme situations surgery.

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Physicians Can't Hide Behind Good Samaritan Act

The Illinois Supreme Court has recently taken away a significant defense from careless and/or negligent physicians in Illinois. The Good Samaritan Act, generally, protects physicians who "volunteer" their services in emergencies from liability for negligent and/or careless acts or conduct in responding to the emergency situation. However, the Illinois Supreme Court has recently ruled that the Act does not shield on-duty emergency room doctors who don't bill a particular patient. See Home Star Bank & Financial Services v. Emergency Care & Health Organization, Ltd., 2014 IL 115526 (2014). In a patient-supportive decision, the Court held that physicians are held to the same standard of care when they treat patients at medical facilities whether or not they bill a patient for a procedure. The ruling by the Court was unanimous in holding that the Act cannot be used as a liability defense by an emergency room physician who was sued for negligence after he attempted to intubate a patient who subsequent suffered permanent brain damage.

Appellate Court Reinstates Verdict Against Phillip Morris

In a recent Illinois Appellate Court decision by the 5th District, a multi-billion dollar verdict in a class-action lawsuit against cigarette make Phillip Morris USA was reinstated despite having been previously thrown out by the Illinois Supreme Court. Phillip Morris USA immediately filed a petition to have the verdict reviewed by the Illinois Supreme Court once again. The original verdict, for $10.1 billion, was entered in 2003 favor of the class-plaintiffs finding that the cigarette maker had broken Illinois State laws by misleading consumers about "light" and "low tar" labeling on cigarette packages. The lawsuit alleged that the use of those terms on packaging and in marketing misled consumers to believe that these cigarettes were "safer" than others.

What is Vocational Rehabilitation - Part I

There are many misconceptions held by injured workers as to what exactly vocational rehabilitation is. Some believe that vocational rehab means that the employer will pay for them to attend college and get re-educated or to attend some type of trade school to acquire new skills. Some believe that vocational rehab means that they will have to search for and find a job.

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