Mary Mitchell, 62, was riding her bicycle in a crosswalk at an intersection.  Steven Anderson pulled out of a supermarket parking lot, drove through the intersection, and hit Mitchell, causing her to suffer a fractured right hip and wrist.

Mitchell had surgery on her wrist and hip and later required physical therapy.

Several years after this incident, Mitchell was diagnosed as having bursitis in her right hip resulting from the impingement of a surgical screw onto a bursa.  Mitchell’s injuries limit her physical activities. She is limited in her ability to walk, garden and play the piano.

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William Keck III, 48, was playing in a paddle tennis tournament at the Bel-Air Bay Club on a hot and humid day. He entered the club’s locker room, which was not air conditioned, and told an attendant that he had cramps in his leg. The attendant began to massage Keck on a locker room bench and later on the floor. However, Keck’s cramps continued and spread to his other leg and to an arm.

This cramps persisted for several hours. Keck began to turn red despite drinking ice water. The locker room attendants called the club’s athletic director, a manager, and the head of security to check on Keck.

More than four hours after Keck entered the locker room, the athletic director of the club called 911 when Keck began to suffer breathing difficulties and turned blue.

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Doe, age 26, was driving on a highway when a wheel detached from a truck driven by a trade school student on the opposite side of the road. The detached wheel crashed through Doe’s windshield killing him. Doe was survived by his parents.

Doe’s parents sued the trade school and the truck driver, alleging that the driver and her classmate had improperly secured this wheel to the truck. The truck belonged to the driver but was used at the trade school four days before the incident. It was also claimed that the students’ work had been unsupervised and was not inspected.

The Doe family claimed that the torque wrench used to do the work had been improperly calibrated and that the wheel had been under-torqued before its separation.

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The Illinois Appellate Court for the 1st District affirmed the decision of a Cook County judge who granted summary judgment. The ruling came in favor of John Gearhart on the declaratory judgment that trust assets were to be distributed by David Gearhart, one of the grantor’s (Lloyd E. Gearhart) sons. Lloyd Gearhart died on Jan. 9, 2012, one week after making the final trust amendments leaving David Gearhart as trustee.

John Gearhart, another son, filed suit against David on Nov. 2, 2015 seeking declaratory judgment that the trust’s principal was to be distributed per stirpes among his children. He also sought an order restoring assets, alleging that David made distributions to the other two children but then insisted that John was only an income beneficiary of the trust and distributed the remaining trust assets to himself.

At trial seeking the order restoring assets, John argued that David had distributed assets to the other two children as though the trust’s assets would be distributed four ways and then denied John his portion of the assets, effectively claiming 50% of the trust’s assets for himself.

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Dominic Consolazio suffered from a seizure disorder that was unresponsive to medicine at times. He was employed by Southern California Gas Co. in a position that required him to drive a company truck.

One morning, he was driving on a Los Angeles County street en route to a job site when he suffered a seizure. He lost consciousness and rear-ended a motorcyclist, Jason Lo, 32, who was stopped at a red light. Lo’s motorcycle became lodged under Consolazio’s truck, which continued traveling another 436 feet. Consolazio attempted to leave the scene.

Lo suffered massive blood loss, a degloving injury to his right leg, and a torn femoral artery.
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Machaela Matthews-Bell was driving on an interstate highway when a van in front of her stopped to avoid hitting an animal on the roadway. Matthews-Bell brought her vehicle to a controlled stop. Jagdip Bhullar, who was driving a tractor-trailer owned by Jawala Mukhi Transport Inc., rear-ended Matthews-Bell’s vehicle, causing her to collide with a van.

Matthews-Bell sustained injuries to her head, neck and back. She has undergone extensive medical care, including neck surgery, and anticipates future surgery on her cervical spine. Her medical expenses alone were more than $100,000.

Matthews-Bell sued Jawala Mukhi Transport and Bhullar, alleging liability for Bhullar’s choosing not to keep a proper lookout and failing to maintain control of his tractor-trailer.

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Jonathan Miron and Edyerch Ramirez, both 26 at the time, went with friends to the Arts District Brewing Co. in Los Angeles. After leaving the bar, Ramirez asked to re-enter to use the bathroom. The bar personnel refused his request.

Ramirez then walked across the street and stood behind a car, intending to urinate. Two of the bars’ security guards ran toward him, and the parties began having a heated discussion.  Jonathan Miron, seeing what was happening, walked over to Ramirez. The two security guards went back inside the bar and returned with another two or three security guards.

One of the security guards punched Miron in the face, causing him to fall to the ground, hit his head on the concrete and lose consciousness. The security guards also punched and kicked Ramirez in the head, breaking his jaw.

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Brandon Jackson, 27, was driving his 18-wheeler truck on an interstate highway when he drove over a ladder that had fallen off a Charter Communications’ work van.

After driving over the ladder, his truck suffered three tire blowouts, which caused him to lose control of his truck. It overturned and hit a tree. He suffered fractures to his pelvis, right hip, and ribs, which required surgery and five months of rehabilitation. He remains in pain and has physical limitations.

Jackson was unable to return to his job; he had been earning approximately $30,000 per year. He now earns $12,000 a year driving a school bus. Following this crash, he was obligated to spend approximately $303,000 in medical expenses.

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Sara Agate, who was the winner of the Kreisman Law Offices scholarship for the year 2019, has been hired as an associate attorney in the health-care and life sciences practice group of the law firm Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff, LLP.  The Benesch law firm is a national law firm with multiple offices across the United States, including an office in Shanghai, China.

The Kreisman Law Offices law school scholarship is awarded each calendar year to applicants who have displayed exceptional academic skills, writing ability and legal reasoning.  Sara Agate was Kreisman Law Offices’ proud winner of this coveted award.

Sara is a cum laude graduate of the Chicago-Kent College of Law of the Illinois Institute of Technology. In addition, Sara has a master’s degree in health policy and administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago as well as an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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Margaret Decharinte, 93,  was ruled to be competent to act as administrator of the estate of her late husband, Frank Decharinte. A hearing was conducted in 2018 hearing on objections made by her step-daughter, Joanne Bartolone. Bartolone’s attorney reported that she had interviewed Decharinte and that Decharinte “doesn’t know what year it is,” “thinks it’s 2014,” “doesn’t know what season it is,” “didn’t know what day of the week it is,” “doesn’t handle her own personal finances,” and “doesn’t know what her bank is.”

When Decharinte was questioned by the DuPage County Circuit Court judge, she gave some befuddled answers but insisted that she could handle the job with help from her daughter, Laurie. The judge ruled, “She’s competent enough to handle this with the assistance that she has.”

That decision was appealed to the Illinois Appellate Court for the Second District, which affirmed, explaining that the test for determining whether someone is competent to serve as an administrator under the Illinois Probate Act is the same as the standard for testamentary capacity: “the ability to know and remember the natural objects of his or her bounty, to understand the character of his or her property and to plan a disposition of that property.”

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