After turning right onto a northbound roadway, Victoria Waits Cofer’s vehicle was struck on the driver’s side by a fully loaded tractor-trailer that had just changed lanes.

Cofer, 56, suffered a brain bleed, abdominal injuries and multiple fractures. She died approximately 2½  months later. Cofer’s medical expenses totaled $500,000. She was survived by her husband and two adult children.

Cofer’s estate sued ABF Freight Systems Inc., which owned the tractor-trailer, alleging that the truck’s driver made an ill-timed and unsafe lane change, was speeding and chose not to keep a proper lookout or yield the right-of-way. There was no claim for lost income in this lawsuit.

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Patricia Carr, 61, was driving on a two-lane highway when Jenny Jung Ah Yim’s vehicle turned left from a driveway and crashed into Carr’s vehicle. The collision caused Carr to suffer a burst fracture at L2, which required surgery. Carr, a teacher, was earning approximately $70,000 per year. She was unable to return to work due to problems with walking and stability.

Carr sued Yim, alleging Yim was negligent in choosing not to yield the right-of-way.

The jury signed a verdict for more than $6.2 million. With prejudgment interest, the amount of the verdict became over $7.2 million. A motion for attorney’s fees is reported to be pending.

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A U.S. District Court judge in Chicago has ruled that the federal law prohibiting drug addicts and people who illegally use controlled substances from possessing firearms does not violate the Constitution’s Second Amendment. U.S. District Court Judge Robert W. Gettleman of the Northern District of Illinois acknowledged the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2022 had adopted a new standard for determining whether particular conduct may be regulated by the government without running afoul of the right to bear arms.

The U.S. Supreme Court in New York Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, 142 S.Ct. 2111 (2022), narrowed the category of firearm-related acts that the government can regulate.

“When the Second Amendment’s plain text protects certain conduct, the government can regulate such conduct only if it can demonstrate that the regulation is consistent with the historical tradition of firearm regulation in the United States. Otherwise, the courts must conclude that the individual’s firearm-related conduct is protected because it falls within the Second Amendment’s ‘unqualified command.’”

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The Illinois Supreme Court reversed a dismissal by the appellate court and affirmed the circuit court judgment in a personal injury case in which the following issues were considered:

  1. whether an employer who admits liability under the doctrine of respondeat superior may be independently liable for its own negligence, even if the jury finds that the employee was not negligent, and
  2. whether the trial court erred in granting the employer’s request for a new trial after the jury rendered legally inconsistent findings.

The Illinois Supreme Court concluded it is “settled law” that a plaintiff may plead and prove multiple causes of action. The state high court also ruled that it is “settled law,” so long as there is a good-faith factual basis for a plaintiff’s claim of direct negligence against an employer; in that case, the plaintiff is allowed to pursue the claim in addition to a claim of vicarious liability.

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Pedro Flores, a 34-year-old laborer, was on a construction crew that was building a sensor median along several streets. While he was bent over fixing a plastic lane divider, the driver of a parked cement truck pulled forward several feet, hitting Flores. He suffered a labral tear to his hip, which required several surgeries.

Flores also suffered post-concussion syndrome, which had led to migraines and PTSD.

His medical expense totaled $204,000. His back and hip pain have prevented him from returning to his former job. He was earning $28 per hour at the time of this incident.

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The Illinois Appellate Court for the First District reversed and remanded a court decision from the Cook County Circuit Court. In this case, a car driven by Jamie Lichter was rear-ended by the vehicle driven by Donald Christopher on Feb. 27, 2016. On Jan. 19, 2018, Lichter filed a personal injury lawsuit against Christopher. However, Christopher had died in June 2017 and Lichter was not aware of his death. No Letters of Office were ever issued to or on his behalf, so in April 2018, Lichter moved to have the trial court appoint a special representative to defend her action on behalf of Christopher.

Kimberly Porter Carroll was appointed, who is an attorney for State Farm, Christopher’s insurer.  Carroll entered an appearance as special representative on behalf of the deceased defendant.

In early March 2020, Porter Carroll moved to dismiss with prejudice, arguing that under Illinois Code of Civil Procedure section 13-209, Lichter was required to sue the personal representative of the estate, not the special representative. Now that it was past the two-year statute of limitations in which Lichter could file the lawsuit, it was argued that the case should be dismissed with prejudice.

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Chung I. Huang had a California will and owned real estate in DuPage County, Ill., that was worth more than a $1 million.  When he died, his daughter, I-Chih Amy Huang, petitioned for probate in DuPage County. The judge there instructed her to start first in California and then ask for “ancillary proceedings” in Illinois.

I-Chih Amy Huang appealed and the Illinois Appellate Court reversed because the California will qualified for probate in DuPage County.

After first denying the petition for probate in DuPage County, on appeal Huang asserted that the will met all statutory requirements for admission to probate and that the circuit court was therefore required to do so and erred in denying her petition. Section 5-1 of the Illinois Probate Act provides that probate, if the decedent had no known residents in Illinois, 5-1 “in the county where the greater part of his or her real estate is located at the time of his or her death.” Section 7-1 of the Act allows foreign wills to be admitted to probate in Illinois where either the will has already been admitted to probate outside the state or where “the will was executed outside of this state and in accordance with the law of this state.”

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The plaintiffs in two copyright infringement cases assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Gregory H. Woods in the Southern District of New York want to use email to serve summons on dozens of defendants located in the People’s Republic of China.

Woods was concerned about the validity of email service, which U.S. District Court Judge Joan B. Gottschall considered in Luxottica Group v. Partnerships & Unincorporated Associations identified on Schedule “A,” 391 F.Supp.3d 816 (N.D. Ill. 2019). The judge asked for help from a professor and director of Hong Yen Chang Center for Chinese Legal Studies at Columbia University Law School, for “disinterested legal advice regarding whether a foreign plaintiff may, under relevant Chinese law, properly serve via email a defendant located in the People’s Republic of China.”

A pre-internet treaty, the 1965 Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (“treaty”) was designed to simplify and standardize the serving process abroad. Each member nation of the Hague Convention is supposed to designate a central authority to receive service of process.

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Joseph Cargal, 68, was operating a tractor-trailer early one rainy morning on a four-lane roadway.  David Forehand, a FedEx truck driver, was traveling in the opposite direction when he swerved to avoid a branch in the roadway. His truck collided head-on with Cargal’s truck.

Cargal suffered blunt force trauma and severe burns and died at the scene. He was survived by his wife and two adult sons.

The Cargal family sued FedEx Freight Inc. and Forehand, alleging that Forehand was speeding and chose not to maintain his lane or swerve right to avoid oncoming traffic.

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John Rooney, 51, was performing masonry work on the Longfellow Bridge when he fell 5 feet through a 2-foot gap in the scaffolding. He fell onto a pile of concrete debris.

Three weeks later, he was diagnosed with disk herniation in his lumbar and cervical spinal regions.  Rooney underwent seven surgeries; he continues to experience chronic pain that affects his daily activities.

In addition, Rooney suffers from nerve damage to his bladder and bowels, resulting in incontinence.  Rooney had earned $79 per hour, but he is now disabled and cannot work.

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