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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Jonathan Cunningham, a foreman for Troy Construction, was operating a pickup truck on his way to a job site. He drove through a red light and into an intersection at 36 mph striking the pickup truck driven by Jose Lara Sanchez. The crash caused Sanchez’s truck to strike a light pole, ejecting him from his vehicle.

As a result, in addition to fractures, Sanchez suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage that necessitated an emergency craniotomy. Sanchez also required an endovascular repair of a traumatic transection of his descending thoracic aorta.

After a three-week hospitalization, he was transferred to a skilled nursing facility for five months of aggressive rehabilitation. As a painter, Sanchez was unable to return to his job at which he earned approximately $28,000 per year. His medical expenses totaled $1.3 million.

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Aundre Hobbs, 15, was a passenger in a car driven by his friend, another teenager, Armon Jones.  Armon reportedly turned left at a green left-turn signal and crashed into a car driven by James Gorham.

Aundre suffered a traumatic brain injury that required several life-saving surgeries. Aundre is now 17 years old.  He has lost the ability to speak, swallow, or chew solid foods and has severely diminished mobility, requiring a wheelchair and a walker. Aundre’s medical expenses were more than $1.46 million.

Aundre’s parents, on his behalf, sued James Gorham claiming that he chose not to heed a red light at the intersection and was responsible for the crash. The lawsuit also maintained that Gorham was driving 50 mph through the intersection, 10 mph over the speed limit, according to black-box evidence obtained from his vehicle.

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Relying on Paragraph 3 of the power of attorney statement that Billy D. Collins signed about a week before he died, Patricia Noltensmeier made herself the beneficiary of Collins’s $45,000 Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

The power of attorney given to Noltensmeier included the power of an attorney-in-fact, the “power to make gifts, exercise powers of appointment, name or change beneficiaries under any beneficiary form or contractual arrangement.”

However, the original beneficiaries of the IRA, Kenny Collins and Linda Richard, who agreed to pay their attorney a one-third contingency fee, sued Noltensmeier for breach of fiduciary duty and conversion.

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The plaintiff, Maria Papadakis, was injured when she slipped and fell on an unsecured piece of equipment while exercising at the defendant health club under the supervision of the personal trainer. The court was found to have erred in dismissing counts alleging willful and wanton acts by the personal trainer; it was sufficiently pleaded in the complaint of respondeat superior liability for willful and wanton conduct and negligence of the personal trainer.

Papadakis sued the health club, its corporate affiliate and the personal trainer, Chad Drake, for negligence and willful and wanton conduct. She also sued the Fitness 19 Defendants under a theory of respondeat superior for the conduct of their employee, Drake.

The trial court dismissed the direct claims of willful and wanton conduct against the Fitness 19 Defendants but left intact the willful-and-wanton allegations against the personal trainer, Drake. That was the ruling that was challenged in this appeal.

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In August 2013, Matthew and Marcia Seebachan bought a used 2010 Honda Fit from a car dealer relying on a CARFAX vehicle report that showed that the car had a clean history with no structural repairs or hail damage.

Unbeknownst to the Seebachans, the Honda’s previous owner had taken the vehicle to John Eagle Collision Center in 2012 to repair hail damage to its roof.  Instead of being welded with a new steel roof using 108 welds, as specified by the Honda Corp., this collision center used a glue-like adhesive to attach the new roof.

In December 2013, the Seebachans were traveling on a highway when a Toyota pickup truck hydroplaned and struck the Honda head on. On impact, the Honda’s roof separated from the body of the vehicle. The roof separation set off a chain of structural failures: the safety cage collapsed, the driver’s side roof rail deformed; and the rocker panel underneath the vehicle collapsed, puncturing the gas tank beneath the driver’s seat.

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