wrongful death

State Appeals Court Refuses to Overturn Verdict On Basis of Blogging Juror

The Illinois Appellate Court refused to overturn a $4.75 million verdict against defendants Metra and BNSF Railway Co. in a 2009 trial involving a wrongful death claim.  The victim was struck and killed by a Metra train at a Metra stop in Berwyn.  During the trial, one of the jurors blogged about her jury experience online.  The defense contended that the juror discussed the matter with her spouse and had already made up her mind before the jury returned a verdict.  The appeals court rejected the argument, ruling that the defendants needed to show specific prejudice, which they failed to do.

Family Sues in Death of Firefighter

The children of a Chicago firefighter filed a wrongful death lawsuit accusing the owners of an abandoned building for negligence when the roof collapsed during a firefight.  The incident happened on December 22, 2010.  Edward Stringer responded to the fire at the site of the former Sing Way Cleaners.  Notably, the owner of the building had received numerous building code citations since 1987.

Illinois Supreme Court Overturns $43 Million Judgment in Wrongful Death Case

On November 22, 2011, the state high court reversed a $43 million jury verdict which was returned in Madison County, Illinois.  in 2003, John and Dora Jablonski weere driving a 1993 Lincoln Town car when they came to a stop on Interstate 270 in a construction zone in Madison County.  They were rear ended by another driver, and the Jablonski's vehicle burst into flames.  John Jablonski died, and his wife suffered burns on one third of her body.  Dora Jablonski and the Estate of John Jablonski filed a product liability suit against Ford Motor Company, arguing that the manufacturer was negligent in the positioning of the gas tank.  A jury awared $5 million to the estate, $23.1 million to Dora Jablonski and $15 million in punitive damages.  The high court reversed, reasoning that the plaintiffs did not provide sufficient evidence for the jury to conclude that Ford was negligent.

Estate of Porch Victim Death Settles for $975,000

The mother of Sean Heflin, who died as a result of a fall from a porch, has settled her wrongful death case against the owner of the property and the management company for $975,000. Heflin, then aged 24, fell from a second floor porch in July, 2007. He initially suffered brain damage and died about six months later. Heflin's mother alleged that the defendants were negligent in that the railings were ten inches lower than what the building code of the City of Chicago required. We often use deviations from municipal ordinances or violations of building codes to prove negligence claims.

City Settles Wrongful Death Case

The City of Chicago just approved the settlement of a wrongful death case for $1.3 million.  According to the allegations of the lawsuit, the Chicago police failed to get an inmate immediate medical help after he swallowed drugs.  In July, 2010, John Coleman, Jr. was allegedly taking part in a drug sale.  Once the police saw him, he ran, and the police gave chase.  Coleman struggled with the officers who then subdued him and placed him in a vehicle.  Coleman was in distress, but the officers failed to seek medical attention.  According to a city attorney, jury verdicts of up to $5 million have been awarded in similar cases of denial of medical care.  The Hollander Law Offices recently settled a wrongful death and civil rights lawsuit involving a jail suicide case against jail personnel and Shelby County.

Yale University Sued for Wrongful Death

On September 6, 2011, the parents of a murdered student filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Yale University, accusing the college of failing to protect their daughter, Annie Le, against a laboratory co-worker, who pled guilty to her murder.  According to the family's attorney, the university knew or should have known that the attacker, Raymond Clark, had demonstrated aggressive behavior and a violent propensity toward women.  The university denied the allegations, and stated that no reasonable security measures could have presented the tragedy from happening.  Le's body was found in a research lab on the day she was to be married.  Le's family contended that the college was negligent in hiring and retaining Clark for a job that gave him unsupervised access to students and staff and for negligently monitoring his activities in the lab building.  The Hollander Law Offices litigates similar claims.  Currently, we are litigating a claim of sexual abuse against Cultural Care, Inc. in federal court in Boston for failing to properly a monitor an au pair who sexually abused a host family's child.