Latest from HeplerBroom Blog

Paulette Anthony was driving down the road when a truck crossed into her lane, causing her to crash into Lisa Hearn’s vehicle. Hearn sustained serious injury. Hearn claimed to have interacted with the truck driver following the accident, but the truck driver fled the scene before police arrived. The truck and its driver were never identified. However, Hearn claimed that the truck bore ABF signage. Hearn and her husband, Daniel, sued ABF for negligent operation…
Property insurance policies typically contain provisions requiring the insured to cooperate with the insurer in the investigation and adjustment of the loss. As part of those post-loss obligations, the insured may be required, if requested by the insurer, to submit to an examination under oath and produce documents and records related to the claim. The typical policy provision is phrased as follows: Your Duties After Loss After a loss to which this insurance may apply,…
“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!” –Michael Corleone, The Godfather Part III Al Pacino probably doesn’t know it, but his iconic line from The Godfather Part III encapsulates the plight of hospitals pulled into medical malpractice suits due to negligent credentialing claims. That’s because plaintiffs sometimes assert this claim when they cannot prove a deviation from the standard of care on the part of any hospital employee or agent—so…
A person injured by another’s negligence is entitled to recover the reasonable value of the necessary medical care she received for her injuries. Although most injured parties have their medical care paid for by a third party—either health insurance or a government program—which settles the medical bills for a significantly discounted amount, in Illinois the injured party can submit the actual billed charges with a proper foundation to seek recovery of more than was actually…
A wide variety of employment-related statutory changes went into effect in Illinois this year. These include important amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA), such as P.A. 101-0430, which, effective July 1, 2020, expanded the definition of an employer to cover any person employing at least one (not fifteen) employee(s). Additionally, P.A. 101-0221—which enacted the Workplace Transparency Act, the Sexual Harassment Victim Representation Act, and the Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act and which…
Any defense practitioner who frequently litigates in Illinois state court has seen this situation before. You are defending an action, and at some point, and for whatever reason, the plaintiff moves for a voluntary dismissal under 735 ILCS 5/2-1009. The dismissal order includes language giving plaintiff “leave to replead, with costs to be repaid upon refiling, etc.” Oftentimes, plaintiff does in fact refile the action within one year, pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/13-217, in the…
The Illinois Department of Insurance cannot adjudicate employment status disputes relating to insurance premium calculations. That is the ruling from the Illinois First District Court of Appeals in a significant decision with ramifications for trucking companies utilizing owner-operator agreements. The case, CAT Express, Inc. v. Muriel, 2019 IL App (1st) 181851, concerned whether truck drivers retained under an owner-operator agreement are employees or independent contractors for the purpose of workers’ compensation insurance. CAT Express (“CAT”),…
The old maxim that “bad facts make bad law” is only a precursor to the conclusion that “bad facts and bad law make very bad results.” Bronx Honda engaged in almost inexplicably bad behavior by engaging in discriminatory and deceptive practices related to its vehicle financing practices for minority customers. In a case that has broad industry implications, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took note and put the pedal to the metal on stopping these…
By now, most of us have seen a funny warning sign or two, either in person or perhaps as a meme on social media. While these warnings may give us a quick laugh, can they also be useful in shielding against liability for bodily injury claims? The Third District of the Illinois Appellate Court thinks so, as set forth in its recent decision in Smith v. The Purple Frog, Inc., 2019 IL App (3d) 180132.…
A product liability claim can survive a motion for summary judgment under three theories. For a plaintiff’s product liability negligence claim to proceed, the plaintiff must: (1) allege the product had a design defect, (2) allege there was a manufacturing defect, or (3) claim the product did not have proper warnings for consumers. When a plaintiff alleges a design defect, he or she must claim the product’s design made it unreasonably dangerous. If alleging a…