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When representing an insured, trial attorneys must be attentive and recognize the circumstances under which opposing counsel may or may not present evidence that their client carries liability insurance. More importantly, attorneys must understand the actions that must be taken to preserve the record and protect the client. The Eastern District Court of Appeals recently granted a new trial based on a finding that the plaintiff made repeated, improper references to the defendant’s liability insurer…
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,…
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…
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…
We’ve all heard of, or even litigated, those cases where someone does something ridiculous on another person’s property, injuring him or herself in the process, then sues the property owner as if it was somehow the owner’s fault. Rest assured, Illinois’ Second District Appellate Court was having none of this in its recent decision in Lee v. Lee, 2019 IL App (2d) 180923. The decision is noteworthy not only because the court applied the open…
In determining whether a lawyer must report a potential malpractice claim on a professional liability “errors and omissions” renewal or application form, must the insured attorney foresee how Missouri appellate courts would interpret a legal issue never before addressed? Based on a recent Missouri Court of Appeals opinion, the answer seems to be perhaps yes. In Ruiz v. Bar Plan Mutual Insurance Co., 2019 WL 4145480 (E.D. Mo. 2019)(Sept. 3, 2019), the Missouri Court of…
Grauer v. Clare Oaks, et al, 2019 IL App (1st) 180835, is noteworthy to all counsel who regularly encounter fee-shifting statutes in their practice. Grauer was borne out of a verdict against a nursing home, but the court’s analysis as to the reasonableness of attorney’s fees and what constitutes “costs” in the context of the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act is important to all practitioners. The Nursing Home Act provides that “the licensee shall pay…
  The Missouri Supreme Court recently affirmed a trial court’s order denying an insurance company’s motion to intervene and set aside a judgment that was entered following the plaintiffs’ contract with a defendant to limit recovery of the judgment against the insurance company pursuant to Missouri Statute Section 537.065. Desai, M.D., et al. v. Seneca Specialty Insurance Company, SC97361. Plaintiffs Dr. Neil Desai and Heta Desai filed a lawsuit for personal injuries against defendant Garcia…
Anyone who has spent time reviewing claim forms and bills submitted by medical providers has probably encountered at least some of the more typical fraud schemes: overbilling, false claims, or maybe even kickbacks and bribery. Sophisticated technology, investigative techniques, and data analytics let us zoom in – and out – to identify these traditional forms of fraud at the individual claim level and on a system-wide scale. But a recent opinion by the New York…
On September 9, 2019, Midwest Generation, LLC (“MWG”) asked the Illinois Pollution Control Board (“Board”) to reconsider its interim order of June 20, 2019, in the enforcement case of Sierra Club v. Midwest Generation, LLC (docketed as PCB 13-15). That decision may have far-reaching implications for any party that has entered into an environmental compliance or remediation agreement with regulators incorporating Groundwater Management Zones (“GMZs”). According to MWG, the Board misconstrued the Illinois Environmental Protection…