Articles Posted in Illinois statutes and Chicago Municipal Codes

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After less than a day of deliberation, a Chicago jury awarded Tierney Darden $148 million for a shelter collapse outside O’Hare Airport that ripped her spinal cord in half, leaving her permanently paralyzed from the waist down and in constant pain.

In August 2015, Tierney, her mother, and sister had just returned to Chicago after traveling to Minneapolis to pick out a wedding dress for her sister. The three were waiting outside O’Hare under one of several pedestrian shelters found at the airport. A storm caused the shelter to suddenly collapse, trapping Tierney, now 26. After the accident, CBS 2 investigators found corroded parts and missing bolts and screws in not only the shelter that collapsed, but in nearly all others. The discovery and exposure forced O’Hare to remove all pedestrian shelters.

Tierney, a former dancer at Truman College, told CBS 2 of the accident “I hate it. I hate that I have to wake up every day and see it.”

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It is always heartbreaking to hear that a child has been put in the way of danger and suffered injuries. However, it’s especially hard to learn about the death of the child, especially when the death was preventable but for negligent actions of another party. Unfortunately, our attorneys read all too often about these incidents involving the negligence of in hospitals, on roadways and by property owners and managers. Under premises liability law, a property owner may be held liable for one’s injury or death if it is found that the injuries were a result of owner negligence.

Common injuries on properties include slip and fall accidents, building fire injuries, dog bites, drownings, and exposure to toxic or hazardous substances like mold or lead. When a victim holds the landowner responsible in a premises liability lawsuit, the victim must prove that the property owner failed to maintain the property or created unsafe conditions that caused injury, knew about a hazard but did not alert those in the building or on the land, created unsafe hazards that attracted children, or neglected conditions that caused damage to the property and neighboring property.

According to recent news by the Chicago Tribune, a 10-year-old boy died in a fire in Chicago’s northwest side. The fire took place in an apartment building on North Kimball Avenue where the boy lived on the third floor with his family. In addition to the death of this boy, eleven other people were injured, five of whom were children. Two are now in critical condition at local hospitals. One resident awoke to someone breaking her kitchen window, smoke, and screams. She and her family had to jump out of the building. They never remembered the fire alarms going off in the building. According to the report, his is not the first fire that has occurred at this building either; another occurred just a few years ago.
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Our Chicago personal injury attorneys read with concern an article published by MSNBC regarding a very scary trend in recent health care that is plaguing Chicago.

The article reported that the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) estimates that – because of current economic trouble – states have cut $3.4 billion in mental health services in the past in the past three years. Nevertheless, largely because of those same economic difficulties, an additional 400,000 people sought help at public mental health facilities.

Said MSNBC, across the country, doctors are dealing with an increase in attempted suicides and severe cases of depression and psychosis as states slash mental health services during the country’s worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Moreover, “if the economy doesn’t improve, next year could be worse because many community mental health agencies are cutting programs and using up reserve funds,” says Linda Rosenberg, president of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. Many hospitals are simply not prepared for the increased caseload of psychiatric patients.

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In any given day an Illinois personal injury attorney may work with victims in a wide variety of situations, from those injured by the mistakes of their doctor to others who suffered debilitating workplace injuries. In virtually all cases, however, those involved simply seek basic fairness from the legal system so that they can get their lives back to normal for themselves and their families.

Unfortunately, big interests are virtually always working to undermine the legal rights of these victims. We have frequently discussed the medical malpractice “reform” that seeks to make it harder for patients to hold their doctors accountable for Illinois medical malpractice. Similarly, much talk has been made recently about Illinois workers compensation reform. The Bloomington Pantagraph recently published story by Illinois Trial Lawyers Association President Todd A. Smith that discusses the problems with the latest effort.

The potential abuses of the workers compensation system by a small group of violators are being used as cover to pass a sweeping proposal that would severely undermine the rights of all those who have legitimate workplace injury claims. Instead of empowering officials to root out abuse in the system, taking a hatchet to the entire system that has been in place for decades is being proposed.

For example, if passed these claimed “reforms” would force all injured workers to be treated by a “company doctor” who will have the financial incentive to get the employee back to work as soon as possible. Other changes would make it more difficult for all workers to receive support for their families following workplace accidents.
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The Chicago nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti are happy to share that the State of Illinois is stepping up its nursing home safety push, according to a recent Chicago Tribune article. The Illinois Attorney General stated that her office and the local police are working to protect Illinois nursing home residents by visiting Chicago and Illinois nursing homes unannounced and also conducting safety checks at troubled Illinois nursing homes.

Chicago police have joined forces with investigators and medical experts from the Illinois Attorney General’s office to find unregistered felons and sex offenders living in Illinois nursing homes. When visiting Illinois nursing homes unannounced, authorities are also interviewing nursing home residents and nursing home staff at the Illinois facilities with histories of serious resident safety breaches. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is also working to introduce a comprehensive package of nursing home safety-reform bills in the near future.

The nursing home injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti are glad that vulnerable nursing home residents are finally getting the attention they need and deserve. For too long, residents have been neglected, being abused under the radar. Recently, Governor Quinn’s Nursing Home Safety Task Force completed a 52-page plan to overhaul our state of Illinois’s troubled nursing home system. The task force was formed after a Tribune investigation documented rapes, attacks, and murders at Illinois and Chicago nursing homes that serve the area’s poorest residents. Particularly troublesome in Illinois is its reliance on nursing homes to house younger psychiatric patients, including more than 3,000 with felony records. This is an issue that Levin & Perconti has often highlighted in its Illinois nursing home abuse blog. More than a dozen early nursing home safety bills have already been introduced by nursing home advocates and the nursing home industry.

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Personal injuries and burn injuries can result from the use of tap water that is too hot for the human body to handle. It is estimated that nearly 5,000 individuals seek treatment from the emergency room on an annual basis relating to burn injuries they have received. In order to prevent serious personal injuries and burn injuries it is recommended that homes have water heater thermostat’s set no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. In order to prevent burn injury liability and to prevent a burn injury lawyer from seeking damages for injuries on behalf of housing tenants a landlord in control of water thermostat should make sure the thermostat is set properly. Landloards in apartment buildings must take reasonable steps to make sure water temperatures are safe to prevent burn injury lawsuits from occurring. Tenants who have suffered burn injuries and personal injuries and want to file a burn injury lawsuit against a landlord or housing management company may have the right to do so if the recommended water temperature safety standards are not followed . To read more about recommendations on keeping your home burn injury free information can be found here from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

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Hoping to lower Illinois workers’ compensation claims, the city of Springfield has approved a collective bargaining agreement that will pay employees for not getting hurt. Workers covered by the contract will get $250 per year for the first four years of injury-free employment, then $750 in the fifth year. The amount paid steadily increases. For example, an employee who worked for 30 years without getting hurt would get a lump-sum payment of $3900 upon retirement, in addition to the $21,750 the city would pay out in annual installments over three decades.

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A gate accident that caused serious injuries and death to a young Chicago, Illinois boy has turned into a lawsuit. A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the negligent management company who was responsible for the gate. Construction accidents and premises liability lawsuits occur when management and property owners are negligent and do not make sure their machines and their properties are in safe conditions. The Chicago, Illinois gate accident has resulted in the wrongful death suit on behalf of the boy who was only three when he perished. Chicago municipal code violations may also be investigated further in the case. To read the most current update on this story click here.

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Building code violations in a Chicago, Illinois building may have caused the death of a three year old child who died after suffering premises liability injuries. Chicago code violations in the area surrounded the iron gate that killed the boy. Faulty repairs to the gate may have caused the gate premises accident. As questions remain on the liability for the boy’s death one thing remains clear that an innocent Chicago, Illinois boy died on Chicago Housing Authority grounds. The management company of the premises may be liable for the faulty housing area. To read more on this story click here.

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Levin & Perconti have filed a personal injury lawsuit against the City of Chicago seeking damages in excess of $50,000 after a woman was injured by a dangerous and improperly-maintained sidewalk on the city’s south side. The plaintiff broke her leg and sprained her foot, requiring surgery and extensive rehabilitation. Levin & Perconti claim that the City failed to maintain the sidewalk, that the City failed to inspect the sidewalk, and that the City failed to take reasonable steps to maintain the sidewalk in a safe and usable manner.