October 30, 2015

Chicago Bicyclist Struck at Lincoln Park Street Crossing

by Levin & Perconti

It’s becoming more and more common in the city of Chicago to use bicycles not just as a means for exercise or recreation, but as a method of transportation and a means to get from Point A to Point B. More frequently, Chicagoans are using bicycles for commuting to work and school or to travel for their chores and errands. The city has even recently seen the addition of bicycle lanes throughout major downtown streets. However, with more and more cyclists on the road, drivers and cyclists alike need to work together to learn to share the road and watch out for one another. When parties are negligent, accidents are almost always extremely serious, especially considering the difference is size and speed between a motor vehicle and a bicycle.

A recent article by the Chicagoist relayed some most unfortunate news about a Chicago bicyclist. An individual on a bicycle was struck by a car at a three-way intersection in the neighborhood of Lincoln Park. According to the original report, authorities believed that upon collision the cyclist died. Now, however, police are reporting that the cyclist survived the collision. Police stated that the individual is talking and in stable condition.

When the accident occurred, the cyclist was near the intersections of Lincoln Avenue, Fullerton Parkway, and Halsted Street around 12:30 in the afternoon – a busy lunch hour time in the city, where many leave work to grab a bite to eat. It is not uncommon for roads to be busy at this time, and all the more reason that everyone on the road needs to be vigilant drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists alike. At this time, the cyclist was hit by a car that was turning right on to Fullerton Avenue.

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October 16, 2015

General Motors Ignition Switch Flaw Linked to 169 Deaths

by Levin & Perconti

It is fairly easy to observe how much Americans rely on cars. Vehicles are so important to our way of life that we utilize them on a daily basis for work, school, errands, and leisure. Because they are so necessary in our lives, it is especially important that vehicles are safe to drive. This means it absolutely vital that manufacturers of vehicle use the utmost care in the design, assembly, and inspection of our vehicles. With vehicles being so high in volume throughout our country, when manufacturers are negligent in providing safe vehicles, this can easily lead to serious harm, such as death and injuries.

The International Business Times reported that a switch flaw in General Motors ignitions has caused 169 deaths. Recent personal injury settlements in civil class action lawsuits surrounding the flaw totaled over $575 million.

The report indicates that the switch flaw was in regards to small-car ignitions in particular, such as the Chevrolet Cobalt and other small cars. The flaw causes the ignition to slip out of the “on” position, which cuts power to the vehicle’s engine, steering, brakes, and air bags. In addition to the 169 deaths, several hundred other people have suffered injuries due to this flaw. This resulted in a class-action lawsuit consisting of 1,385 clients.

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October 8, 2015

Charter Bus and Tourist Vehicle Bridge Collision Results in the Death of Four People

by Levin & Perconti

When visiting a major city as a tourist, or even being a tourist in your own city, one of the most popular activities to do are taking a guided tour. Chicago has many varieties of tours, both on land and water. People can choose between architecture tours on boats, Segway tours, double-decker bus tours, and more. Because these activities are so popular and receive the patronage of so many paying customers, it is extremely important that these companies have fully operational and safe vehicles that are frequently inspected for flaws and problems.

A recent story by CNN exemplifies how serious a situation can become when popular tourism companies fail to keep their vehicles in properly working order, and as a result, fail to keep their customers and others on the road safe. A Seattle land and water vehicle, known as a “duck,” collided with a charter tour bus filled with international college students. The accident killed four and left others in critical condition. According to emergency responders, after the accident 44 people were hospitalized, with 12 in critical condition. The popular tourism land and water vehicles, the “Ride the Ducks of Seattle” is now closed until further notice, due to this accident.

According to a follow-up article also by CNN, federal investigators discovered that the amphibious tour vehicle had an axle that had been sheared off. The axle broke, which likely could have been a cause of the crash. Investigators found red fluid, likely from the transmission, splattered on the front left wheel well. One duck passenger described how it felt like the vehicle lost control, and she saw them heading toward the charter bus headed towards them. The accident occurred as the duck was crossing a six-lane bridge off of the downtown area.

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October 2, 2015

City of Aurora, Illinois Reports on 10 Highest Accident-Prone Intersections

by Levin & Perconti

Most often we blog about and discuss motor vehicle and truck accidents in and around the City of Chicago. Chicago is a large geographic area with a high volume population. This means there are many vehicles on the road at any given time, including people traveling in their cars, large semi-trucks en route on business, taxi cabs transporting people downtown, and CTA buses carrying commuters. However, it is not just the city of Chicago itself that is high density in population, and as a result motor vehicles, but the entire area of Chicagoland as whole is a high population and busy traffic region.

While Chicago may be the largest city in Illinois, the nearby southwest suburb of Aurora is second largest in the state, according to Newsmax. In fact, several cities in close proximity to the Chicago area all have populations in the hundreds of thousands, which means there are millions of motorists on the Chicagoland roads every day. Our firm represents clients throughout the state and region, including those in Kane County, and are proud to have recovered the largest settlement ever recorded in a Kane County wrongful death case.

For this reason our attorneys feel that it is important to discuss, not just the dangers of traffic in Chicago itself, but in the suburbs too. According to a recent article by CBS, the city of Aurora has reported its 10 most accident-prone intersections. Just through the end of August, the city reported 360 crashes in these intersections alone. The intersection that ranked at the top of the list – Route 59 and Liberty Street – experienced 51 crashes. This intersection is a popular shopping destination, near many big-box and grocery chains, as well as a large local area shopping mall. The next most accident prone intersections, in respective order are Eola Road and Aurora Road/Indian Trail Road, Frontenac Street and Ogden Avenue/U.S. Route 34, Galena Boulevard and Orchard Road, Ogden Avenue and Illinois Route 59, Eola Road and Ogden Avenue, Eola Road and New York Avenue, Eola Road and Liberty Street, Indian Trail Road and Lake Street, and Farnsworth Avenue and Molitor Road. What is especially alarming is that the majority of these intersections are in very close vicinity to one another, some just blocks apart.

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September 21, 2015

Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Advocate Christ Medical Center

by Levin & Perconti

There are many times in our life when we must place our lives and trust in the hands of medical professionals. Because they have expert knowledge, we rely on them for our healthcare needs. That being said, when we turn to a medical professional for our health, we should be able to trust that we will be taken care of and that our best interest will be in mind. We should not have to have fear that we or our loved ones’ condition will be made worse, or that a new harm or injury will be introduced, or an illness undetected. Unfortunately, it is all too common of an occurrence that medical professionals breach our trust and their legal duty to keep us safe and healthy when in their care. In these instances, victims or their family members can hold negligent parties accountable through medical malpractice or wrongful death lawsuits.

An example of this comes from a recent article published by the Cook County Record, where a woman is seeking reimbursement and damages from Advocate Christ Medical Center for the alleged wrongful death of her mother. The hospital is located in the Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn. According to the complaint, the woman’s mother was admitted for anemia and while in the hospital suffered various injuries. One of these injuries included development of decubitus ulcers, which the woman alleges is the result of neglect during her mother’s stay. The ulcer progressed into a stage II sacral decubitus ulcer upon her released from the hospital, which later resulted in her death. According to the report, on the basis of these ulcers, the plaintiff is citing negligence in her lawsuit, and seeks damages over $50,000.

Our lawyers have filed hundreds of pressure ulcer lawsuits similar to this case. We believe that when patients are in the care of medical professionals, that their condition should only improve, and not be worsened by unnecessary negligence and carelessness. Our attorneys represent clients who have been injured by the careless or intentional acts of healthcare providers, or who have lost family members to this type of negligence. Such lawsuits can include a missed or delayed diagnosis, lack of informed consent, birth injuries, medication and pharmaceutical errors, and neglect.

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September 11, 2015

Deadly Worksite Injury Occurs at Vikings Stadium Construction Site

by Levin & Perconti

If you look around you at all the infrastructure in your city, like the streets, bridges, and high-rise buildings surrounding you, consider for a moment how they were built. Think about how much the materials weigh that make the foundations of these structures. Examine the great heights of the buildings that stretch into the sky. Consider the design and intricacy keeping a bridge stable over large bodies of water. All of these things required the hard physical labor of workers.

After thinking about and examining these structures, it is pretty evident that these massive structures require a lot of manpower, strength, and hard work to build. Because of this fact, workers should not have added dangers on top of the physical obstacles they already have to endure in construction jobs. These jobs already have enough inherent dangers with wear and tear on the human body as they are that there should be no room for recklessness, workplace negligence, and additional uncalled for hazards. Unfortunately, these all too common, and physical laborers are put in harm’s way and suffer from workplace accidents.

A recent report by the Chicago Tribune describes such an incident of unnecessary danger where a construction site worker plunged to his death at the new Vikings Stadium construction site in Minnesota. The article describes how the worker plunged about 50 feet to his death and a second worker who was working with him suffered serious personal injuries. The man who died fell from the edge of the roof into a snow gutter on the north side of the stadium only 45 minutes into his shift. The other man did not fall from the roof but was injured on top of it and required hospitalization.

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September 1, 2015

IDPH Reports Two Veterans Killed by Legionnaires’ in Quincy Veterans’ Home

by Levin & Perconti

The elderly and veterans are valuable members of our society. They have contributed a lifetime to the area and years of service and defense to the country and our liberties. For that reason, they need to be protected and cared for, as they have done for us. Oftentimes, these individuals have conditions that require a great amount of care in which they no longer live independently but in cared facilities. Because they are under the care of a facility, they are owed a legal duty of care to be protected and kept safe from harm and neglect.

According to a recent article by the Chicago Tribune, two residents of an Illinois veterans’ home recently died of Legionnaires’ Disease. The home is located in Quincy, Illinois – approximately 300 miles southwest of Chicago. The two residents were among 23 others who had been diagnosed with the disease at this facility.

For those unfamiliar, Legionnaires’ Disease is a severe form of pneumonia. It consists of lung inflammation usually caused by an infection. It is not transmitted from person to person, and many people contract the disease by inhaling the Legionella bacteria.

This instance is now considered so severe that the Adams County Health Department Director of Clinical and Environmental Services has iterated that the state health department is recommending that elderly people, anyone sick, and anyone who has immunity problems should not visit this home. These people would be extremely vulnerable to the disease and could easily catch it, as the Legionella bacteria is now very prevalent. The official also stated that normally this bacteria is found in such small doses that people do not become ill. However, when a cluster of people become ill, there is likely one source point. The health department is confident the disease is contained to this single veterans’ home.

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August 28, 2015

Massive Turkey Recall For Kraft Heinz

by Levin & Perconti

While food poisoning and product recalls are always a call for concern, they are especially alarming when this occurs in regards to a large company and common household name. In these instances, the affected products, and by result number of potentially at risk individuals, is a significantly larger pool due to the immense size of the negligent company.

This is the exact issue and cause for concern in a recent post by the International Business Times. Kraft Heinz has recalled more than 2 million pounds of Oscar Mayer turkey bacon. This occurred after customers began reporting illnesses after consuming the product, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The article explains that the packages may expire sooner than what is inscribed on the label and could be adulterated.

There have been three varieties of turkey bacon at issue. These were produced between May 31st and August 6th. The specific products are the Oscar Mayer Selected Uncured Turkey Bacon, the Oscar Mayer Smoked Cured Turkey Chopped and Formed in the smaller size, and the Oscar Mayer Smoked Cured Turkey Chopped and Formed in the larger size. The Selects Uncured Turkey Bacon comes in 56 oz. cardboard boxes containing four plastic-wrapped packages and consists of plant number P-9070 and UPC 044700076330. The smaller size of the cured turkey comes is 36 oz. cardboard boxes with three plastic-wrapped packages with plant number P-9070 and UPC 071871548748, while the larger size comes in 48 oz. cardboard boxes with four plastic-wrapped packages and plant number P-9070 and UPC 071871548793.

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August 26, 2015

Food Poisoning Affects Dozens of Chipotle Patrons

by Levin & Perconti

One of the most popular fast foods these days is the burrito. This choice of food has been continuing to grow in popularity, and we have seen a growth in franchises opening that offer this food. While these tend to be big in size and can make one feel the slang-termed “food coma” after consuming one, what a burrito should not do is make you feel violently ill.

However, there was a recent widespread food poisoning outbreak tied to a Chipotle location, according to CBS. In fact, not only were there multiple reports of people falling ill, but dozens of people suffered illness. All of these cases were tied to the same restaurant location too. Customers reported throwing up, stomach pains, diarrhea, and severe dehydration. These are all common symptoms of food poisoning.

The restaurant then closed down for a period of time after there were several similar reports. However, they reported via a sign posted on their door that they were closed due to a staff shortage. At the same time as the closing due to low staff, a popular food poisoning website “Iwaspoisoned.com” received more than a dozen people posting the exact same symptoms after consuming Chipotle.

Food poisoning is unfortunately very common, particularly in some of America’s favorite fast food restaurants. When manufacturers or employees who partake in food preparation are negligent, food can easily become contaminated and cause illness to those who eat it. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year approximately every 1 in 6 Americans get sick from food poisoning. This converts to being roughly 48 million people who get sick every year. Additionally, 128,000 people are hospitalized, and 3,000 people die of foodborne illnesses. These are by far no small numbers, and exemplify why food poisoning is such a serious matter.

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August 20, 2015

Wood Dale Festival Goers Suffer Injuries and Death After Tent Collapses in Storm

by Levin & Perconti

People in the Midwest know that our summer storms are no laughing matter and can often be very dangerous. These are not the types of soft rains you see in movies where someone curls up with a coffee and good book. These are the types of storms that often consist of such high winds, torrential downpours, and lightning, that people need to seek emergency shelter for extended periods of time. At times, these storms escalate to dangerous levels so quickly that people do not have time to travel to the safest location, such as a basement. When this occurs, and where people are still out in the open outside, they can be at serious risk for injury or death.

Unfortunately, such was the case in a recent accident in the Chicago suburbs at a local festival, according to Fox News. More than a dozen people were injured, and a man was killed, during a recent severe storm. When a storm ensued, people sought shelter in a tent. The storm then blew off the tent’s moorings, causing it to collapse on some of the crowd at the suburban festival. According to the deputy police chief of Wood Dale, three people suffered serious injuries, and fifteen people required hospital treatment. The fatality was a young 35-year-old Wood Dale resident.

The sudden storm took people by surprise as it brought on high winds, hail, and rain to the Prairie Fest. One individual witnessed the storm move in and the winds blow the tent up into the air and then land. When the tarp landed on people, emergency responders had to come to the rescue by cutting holes to get people out.

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June 26, 2015

Apple Beats Pill XL Wireless Speaker Recalled For Fire Hazard

by Levin & Perconti

In the age of technology and information, digital products are extremely popular, and arguably often a necessity in some cases, such as phones and computers. If you take a moment and simply look around you, try to count how many pieces of technology you use on a daily or weekly basis you would be surprised.. With such a high use of digital products among the majority of people, it is imperative that these products we use in our daily lives are safe and danger free for our use. However, when companies and manufacturers fail to use the diligence and care required of them by law in making a product, consumers often suffer personal injuries. In these instances, companies can be held liable under a product liability lawsuit for failing to inspect a product for dangers, failing to warn consumers of known dangers, or failing to timely remove a dangerous product from the stream of commerce.

In a recent report by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission the popular technology brand Apple known for the ipod, iphone, and Mac computers, has recalled some of its popular speakers. The product at issue for the recall is the Beats Pill XL Portable Wireless Speakers. They are the subject of recall for the potential of fire hazard. According to the report, the battery in the speakers can overheat, having the potential for fire to start. There are about 222,000 of these units in the United States. The Beats Pill XL portable wireless speakers are plastic, capsule-shaped speakers that are about 4 inches tall by 13 inches wide by 4 inches deep. They have a plastic mesh grille on the front and a built-in carrying handle in the back. They can be identified by the “b” logo on the grille and the “beatspillXL” inscribed on the handle. As of recently, Apple has received eight reports of the speakers overheating. One of these reports included a burn incident, where a consumer suffered burns to their fingers and damage to their desk. Consumers should immediately stop using the product.

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June 22, 2015

Young Girl Recovering After Near-Drowning at Warrenville Lifetime Fitness Pool

by Levin & Perconti

Summertime is in full swing in Chicagoland, and what better way to beat the heat than hitting your local parks and pools. It is a common sight to see the children of the greater Chicago area playing in local fountains like Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park, but especially kicking back and spending the day at local pools with family and friends. Both Chicago and the surrounding suburbs are filled with many recreational swimming pools for exercise, leisure, and fun. However, since these locations are popular spots for summer fun, they can often become very crowded as well. With increased popularity, this means these locations need to maintain extra vigilance and enforce safety procedure, as they are legally responsible for their guests under premises liability law.

Negligence by pool owners and operators happens far too often. As a result, members of our Chicagoland community, particularly young ones, can suffer serious personal injuries and even death from drowning. According to a recent report by the Chicago Tribune, a young girl is recovering after a near drowning at a Warrenville Lifetime Fitness pool. The four-year-old girl was found unresponsive at the bottom of the fitness center pool. Fortunately she is now able to answer questions and recall her family members and pets, according to the Warrenville Fire Protection. At the time of the incident, firefighters responded to a call of a drowning victim at the health club, and she was not breathing. The firefighters immediately began trying to resuscitate the girl through CPR and suctioning water out of her airway. What is alarming is that this near drowning occurred during open swim while lifeguards were on duty.

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