Steven Frosch was working for the New York City Department of Sanitation operating a street sweeper. He was at the city department garage greasing the brushes on one of the street sweepers when his coworker, Antonio DiCaro, stopped another street sweeper next to him. As DiCaro was waiting, he reached down to unplug his Bluetooth radio. DiCaro’s vehicle then lurched forward, crushing Frosch between the two sweepers.

Frosch suffered multiple internal crush injuries, including a severed spinal cord, ruptured diaphragm and spleen and kidney damage. Tragically, he was pronounced dead at the scene within just ten minutes. He was 43 years old. Frosch was survived by his wife and four minor children.

Colombina Frosch, his wife, individually and on behalf of her husband’s estate, sued DiCaro and the City of New York alleging that DiCaro was negligent in choosing not to put his vehicle in park before reaching for his Bluetooth radio.

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On Oct. 25, 2013, Joseph Wasielewski and Anthony Stazak were in a car that was eastbound on Interstate 80 near Harlem Avenue in Tinley Park, Ill. It was then that the defendant, Cindy Guttman, 18, drove a car that rear-ended their vehicle.

Wasielewski claimed a cervical strain, lumbar strain and aggravation of spondylosis at L3-4.  According to the report of this case, his medical expenses were $39,736.

Stazak claimed that the rear-end collision caused aggravation of his prior L4-S1 fusion requiring revision surgery and lumbar radiculopathy. At trial, it was shown that Stazak’s past medical expenses were $15,461 with future medical expenses expected to reach $125,000.

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The defendant in this federal lawsuit owned two homes. One was in California and the other was in Wisconsin. Craig Cunningham filed a lawsuit against Michael Montes and tried to serve Montes at his Wisconsin address. No one came to the door. The process server called Montes; he refused to provide his current location. After an ex parte submission by Cunningham, the U.S. District Court judge authorized service by publication.

Cunningham published notice in periodicals that circulate only in the Midwest. When Montes did not answer the complaint, the district court entered a default.

After learning of the lawsuit from a defendant in another of Cunningham’s lawsuits, Montes asked the court to set aside the default. The judge declined, stating that Montes had persistently tried to evade service in both California and Wisconsin. The judge then entered judgment for more than $175,000. Montes appealed.

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This case was based on the distinction between brand name drugs and generics as decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in Wyeth v. Levine, 555 U.S. 555 (2009) and PLIVA v. Mensing, 564 U.S. 604 (2011).  The federal district court judge in Chicago, the Northern District of Illinois, dismissed failure-to-warn claims made against Pfizer, the manufacturer of Depo-T, a testosterone therapy that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classified as a generic drug.

In the Wyeth case, it was ruled that federal law does not pre-empt state law claims based on allegations that the manufacturer of a brand name drug failed to provide an adequate warning label. When a drug manufacturing company that produces a brand name drug realizes its warning label is inadequate, it can invoke a changes-being-effected regulation to immediately provide beefed-up warnings without prior FDA approval.

But because federal law requires the manufacturer of generic drugs to use the warning label approved for the brand-named version, Mensing ruled that conflict-pre-emption bars claims that the manufacturer of the generic version failed to provide adequate warnings.

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Teresa Mroczko was employed by A & R Janitorial to do custodial work.  On Aug. 17, 2012, she was injured while working at an Illinois Blue Cross/Blue Shield building. A desk, which had been moved during the renovation of the building, fell on her and she was injured.

Pepper Construction Co. had been hired to renovate the building and had subcontracted for replacing the carpets to another defendant in this case, Perez & Associates. Perez had moved the desk in the course of replacing the carpets.

Mroczko filed a workers’ compensation claim against A & R Janitorial, her employer and was granted relief, although the claim is currently being reviewed on appeal.

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Robert D. Kreisman of Kreisman Law Offices has donated the hardbound books of the Illinois Reports and volumes of the Illinois Digest to the Illinois Department of Corrections located at Stateville, Ill.  Arrangements for the donations were made by the John Howard Association in coordination with Mr. Kreisman.

The Illinois Department of Corrections Stateville Prison has a law library, but it prevents inmates from accessing the internet to conduct their own legal research. Accordingly, these law books should be useful for those interested in reading Illinois case law and accomplishing legal research utilizing the encyclopedia-like Illinois Digest.

A total of 16 banker boxes representing these 327 volumes were delivered by agreement of the principals of the Illinois Department of Corrections on Feb. 8, 2018.

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During the discovery of this lawsuit, Scarlett Palm argued that she was entitled to the medical records of defendant Ruben Holocker based on the exception to the physician-patient privilege for “action brought by or against the patient . . . wherein the patient’s physical and mental condition is an issue.” 735 ILCS 5/8-802(4).

She was injured when she was struck by the vehicle driven by Holocker when she stepped into a crosswalk. Palm invoked the “at issue” exception based on evidence that, in the 20 years before Holocker allegedly injured Palm, he was involved in seven or eight auto accidents; he also accumulated a dozen traffic tickets; and, because of his diabetes, he had to submit a physician’s “letter of approval” to qualify for a driver’s license.

The trial court agreed with Palm and granted her motion for permission to subpoena Holocker’s records from his physician — identified by the Illinois Appellate Court as “Dr. Nau” – and the Illinois secretary of state.

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Frank Barnai was injured while he was working for Summit Fire Protection Co. on a construction project. He sued the general contractor, International Contractors Inc. (ICI), the owner, Wal-Mart and electrical subcontractor, Nuline Technologies.  These defendants then brought a third-party action against Summit Fire Protection Co. for contribution.

Summit did not contribute when ICI, Wal-Mart and Nuline settled with Barnai for $5 million. As part of that settlement, the defendants assigned to Barnai their contribution claims against Summit.

Over Summit’s objection, the presiding Cook County judge granted Barnai’s motion for a good-faith finding even though the judge was not informed about how the settlement agreement allocated the $5 million payment between the defendants.

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Steven Meier, a security guard, was walking through the warehouse at PennySaver USA when Oliver Cervantes backed into Meier with his forklift truck. The forklift dragged Meier about 15 feet, trapping and crushing his right leg and ankle. According to the report of the case, employees of PennySaver had to bring in a second forklift truck to dislodge Meier’s leg.

Meier was 59 years old at the time and sustained serious crushing injuries to his right leg and ankle and a degloving injury to his lower leg. He underwent multiple surgeries as well as medical procedures to stabilize the fractures, repair nerves and tendons and to fight off infection of that injured leg. About a year and a half after this incident, Meier suffered a severe infection requiring amputation of his right leg below the knee.

He has since undergone three revision surgeries to the stump on that right leg before being fitted with a temporary prosthesis.  Meier likely will require at least one additional revision surgery.

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Keith Turley and his wife Joy Ann Turley filed a complaint in 2015 against some 50 defendants. The complaint alleged that Turley has asbestos-related disease caused by exposure to asbestos-containing products, including valve gaskets, during his 36-year employment at Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).

During the discovery process and particularly with respect to interrogatory responses, Keith Turley stated that he was exposed to the asbestos-containing pipe products supplied by Familian Corp., the defendant in this case, including “asbestos cement, transite pipe, pipe collars, gaskets, elbows, pipe-repair products and other asbestos products.”

Familian moved for summary judgment arguing that Turley could not show exposure to asbestos in a Familian-related product. Turley submitted a declaration from a third-party witness who had been deposed. The trial court allowed the witness testimony. Familian used portions of the deposition in its reply brief. The court concluded that the deposition testimony “conclusively negates” the witness declaration testimony as to exposure, the court refused to consider it and granted summary judgment.

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