Allison VanDerMaelen was riding on the back of a motorcycle that was approaching an intersection. A garbage truck driven by Robert Choinski for CWPM, LLC was traveling westbound while the motorcycle was eastbound.

Choinski’s garbage truck crossed the centerline and entered the eastbound lane crashing head on into the motorcycle.

VanDerMaelen suffered serious injuries including brain hemorrhaging, chest trauma, and multiple fractures. She underwent numerous surgeries and was hospitalized for almost three months. She then underwent six months of physical therapy, rehabilitation and additional leg surgeries. VanDerMaelen continues to suffer pain and restrictions in her daily living activities and uses a wheelchair or walker to move around.

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David Sikkelee was killed when a Cessna aircraft he was piloting crashed after taking off from North Carolina’s Transylvania County Airport. The plane had a Lycoming engine. In the lawsuit, his wife, Jill Sikkelee, alleged that the aircraft lost power due to defects in the design of the engine and its carburetor.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had issued Lycoming a type of certificate for the engine, certifying that the design performs properly and satisfies federal regulations.

Jill Sikkelee brought strict liability and negligence claims against Lycoming alleging design defects. On appeal to the U.S. Circuit Court for the 3rd Circuit, it was held that her state-law claims were not barred based on the doctrine of field preemption. On remand, the federal district court concluded that the claims were conflict-preempted and that Lycoming was entitled to summary judgment on Sikkelee’s strict liability and negligence claims based on Pennsylvania law.

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The contract clause of the United States Constitution restricts the power of states to disrupt contractual arrangements. It provides that “No state shall  pass any . . . law impairing the obligation of contracts.” U.S. Const., Art. I, ¶ 10, cl. 1.

This was a case about life insurance proceeds. It generated a single dissent in the U.S. Supreme Court about the Constitution’s contract clause, which prohibits states from enacting laws that impair the obligation of contracts.

Mark Sveen named his wife, Kaye Melin, as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy he purchased in 1998. A 2002 Minnesota statute automatically revoked the designation (as beneficiary) when the couple divorced in 2007. Sveen’s children from a prior marriage claimed the life insurance proceeds as contingent beneficiaries when he died in 2011.

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Blinderman Construction Co. was hired by the Public Building Commission of Chicago to be the general contractor for a construction project at an elementary school. Blinderman hired JM Polcurr Inc. as a subcontractor to do the electrical work on the project.

Following the contract, Polcurr purchased an insurance policy that named Blinderman as the additional insured from Hastings Mutual Insurance Co.

On July 19, 2011, Robert Woods, an employee of Polcurr, fell from a ladder while working at the school. He was rushed to a hospital; unfortunately he did not regain consciousness until a month later. He has not been able to work since that time due to his injuries.

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The plaintiffs, Brittany N. Hage and Joann M. Blackmore, appealed the dismissal of their Count VI of Hage’s Fourth Amended Complaint, which added Blackmore as a party plaintiff in the Hage cause of action. The suit was filed against the defendant, Trisha L. Pannkuk.

Because the allegations in Count VI did not arrive out of the same transaction or occurrence as Hage’s original complaint, Count VI was barred by the applicable statute of limitations.  Accordingly, the Illinois Appellate Court for the Second District affirmed the dismissal of Count VI.

This incident arose out of the Feb. 1, 2011 13-vehicle crash that occurred on Route 72 in Ogle County, Ill.  The weather conditions included snow on the roadway and blowing snow, which greatly reduced visibility. There were several other lawsuits that arose out of this incident.

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Matthew Martin, 19, was riding in the back seat of a Mini Cooper driven by his friend, Raymond Consul.  As they drove a winding road, Consul chose not to properly negotiate a curve.  He lost control of his car, which traveled off the roadway and hit a concrete barrier.

Martin suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and fell into a vegetative state. In addition, he suffered a spinal cord injury that caused paralysis. Martin had worked as an automotive detailer before this unfortunate crash.  Through a guardian, Martin sued Consul alleging that he was negligent in driving 60 mph in a 30-mph zone and in failing to maintain control of his vehicle.  The plaintiff guardian claimed lost wages for Martin totaling more than $138,200 and past medical expenses of $530,400.

The defendant argued that Martin’s injuries resulted from his choosing not to wear a seatbelt.

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The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago filed a complaint against Global Marketing Enterprises Inc., Lifeline Nutrients Corp. and Pronto Foods alleging that they violated the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

This act regulates the production and sale of drugs and dietary supplements, including how they are prepared, packaged and labeled.

A settlement was reached on Aug. 3, 2018 against these three Chicago companies, which were accused of selling misbranded dietary supplements and unapproved and misbranded drugs.

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Daniel Dumrauf was a director with Medix Staffing Solutions Inc., a Chicago-based staffing agency. Dumrauf, who worked at Medix’s Scottsdale, AZ, office, had an employment agreement containing a noncompete clause that restricted him from any affiliation “with the ownership, management, operation or control” of any business in competition with Medix either directly or indirectly.

The noncompete clause had an 18-month lifespan and covered a 50-mile radius.

On Aug. 10, 2017, he resigned from his position with Medix and informed the company he would be taking a position with ProLink, a direct competitor of Medix. In his resignation correspondence, Dumrauf noted that 90% of his activity with ProLink would be done in Ohio and Kentucky.

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Skylar Dimick was injured when he fell into a septic tank on the property owned by the defendant Scott Hopkinson. Dimick and his wife filed a negligence lawsuit against Hopkinson and his businesses, family trust and his wife, Chris Hopkinson.

In addition to the negligence count, the Dimick lawsuit also sought punitive damages for the defendants’ alleged willful and wanton misconduct.

The district court in this case granted summary judgment to all of the defendants concluding that: (1) Hopkinson and his businesses were protected by a valid release of liability that was signed by Dimick; (2) Hopkinson committed no willful and wanton act; (3) Chris Hopkinson (Scott’s wife) was neither a proximate cause of Dimick’s injuries nor was she engaged in a joint venture with Scott; and (4) the family trust of the Hopkinson did not exist.

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Plaintiff Mary Carmichael was injured in a car accident while she was riding in a six-passenger van owned and operated by Professional Transportation Inc. (PTI). The vehicle was being driven by Dwayne Bell. The van was used to shuttle Union Pacific employees between job sites.

Carmichael sued PTI, Dwayne Bell and others, but eventually dismissed PTI because evidence indicated that Bell’s sole negligence was the cause of her injury.

Bell had minimum liability insurance coverage required by the Illinois Vehicle Code of just $20,000 per person, $40,000 per occurrence.

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