​​CASE HIGHLIGHTS


ILLINOIS SUPREME COURT

Corbett v. City of Highland Park,

2017 IL 121536

​745 ILCS 10/3-107(b) of the Governmental Tort Immunity Act was intended to apply only to primitive or rustic trails. Skokie Valley Bike Path was a 10-mile-long, shared-use path, paved with asphalt and held out for the use of bicycles, pedestrians, and in-line skaters. It was not a "trail" within the meaning of the statute​.

Wilkins v. Williams, 
    2013 IL 114310 
Ambulance driver, who worked for ambulance service, was providing nonemergency medical services when an accident with plaintiff occurred. Based upon the Emergency Medical Services Systems Act, defendants were not civilly liable to plaintiff for negligence in performing the nonemergency medical services transport in this case.

Petrovich v. Share Health Plan
    (1999), 188 Ill. 2d 17
Landmark Decision holding that defendant, health maintenance organization, was vicariously liable for negligence of its independent-contractor physicians under apparent and implied authority doctrines; defendant held itself out as the health care provider.

Cirrincione v. Johnson
    (1998), 184 Ill. 2d 109
Case of first impression holding that punitive damages could be awarded against attorney under a theory of conversion for failing to secure chiropractor’s lien.

Simmons v. University of Chicago Hospitals
    (1994), 162 Ill. 2d 1
Trial court exclusion of evidence was proper where fact that subsequent children were born to plaintiffs was irrelevant to the issue of benefits the decedent might have been expected to contribute to appellees had the deceased lived.

Ziarko v. Soo Line R.R. Co.
    (1994), 161 Ill. 2d 267
Tortfeasor whose negligence was wanton and willful, but not intentional, who paid more than his pro rata share of common liability, could obtain contribution under Joint Tortfeasor Contribution Act from joint tortfeasor found only negligent.

Almgren v. Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Med. Center
    (1994), 162 Ill. 2d 205
The lower appellate courts lacked jurisdiction to review the merits of pretrial discovery orders entered by the trial courts where no right to appeal such interlocutory orders was provided by the state constitution or the rules of the supreme court.

Faier v. Ambrose & Cushing, P.C.
(1993), 154 Ill. 2d 384
The attorney was entitled to initiate claims for both contribution and implied indemnity; the applicable contribution act was grounded in tort and did not abolish the common law action of implied indemnity.

Kalata v. Anheuser-Busch Cos.
(1991), 144 Ill. 2d 425
An injured individual presented sufficient evidence to prove that the absence of a right handrail, which constituted a violation of the local ordinance, and the defective landing on a stairway proximately caused the injured individual's injuries.

Vogt v. Corbett
    (1990), 138 Ill. 2d 482
A couple's third party action which sought contribution from doctors was subject to the medical malpractice statute of repose and was, therefore, dismissed because it was filed more than two years after the expiration of the period of repose.

Estate of Johnson v. Condell Mem. Hosp.
(1988), 119 Ill. 2d 496
A hospital did not owe a duty of care to prevent release of a patient admitted under informal procedures and therefore was not negligent when the patient, pursued by police, caused a police vehicle to strike another vehicle, killing its occupant.

Goldberg v. Ruskin
    (1986), 113 Ill. 2d 482
Landmark Decision in which a child's action for wrongful life was properly dismissed for failure to state claim for which relief could be granted because relief sought would involve court system in making comparison between being born with a disease and not being born at all.




ILLINOIS APPELLATE COURT

Blockman v. McClellan and Vector Marketing Corp. and CUTCO Corp.,

2019 IL App (1st) 180420

$4.8 million judgment affirmed

Plaintiff successfully proved that the defendants were responsible for the admitted negligence of one of its CUTCO knife salesmen when the salesman used the G.P.S. on his cellphone to calculate how late he was going to be for his next, in-home knife demonstration sales appointment.  The salesman did so while driving on a highway and then crashed into a vehicle in front of him thereby killing the driver.  ​


Arient v. Yasser Alhaj-Hussein,

​2017 IL App (1st) 162369

$8 million judgment affirmed. 

Judgment entered against defendants in a medical negligence action affirmed where jury returned a general verdict on multiple theories of liability; defendants did not submit special interrogatories, and thus, the appellate court had no way of knowing upon which of the acts of negligence alleged against the defendant doctor the jury based its verdict rendering any claim of error, on one of the theories, legally irrelevant.​


Hoffman v. Dorlan Crane,

2014 IL App (1st) 122793
   
$28 million judgment affirmed.

Plaintiffs suffered catastrophic injuries resulting from the defendants' truck driver who crashed into the plaintiffs' vehicle. Appellate court held that the verdict and the various theories of liability, vicarious liability and joint venture, were proven with ample evidence. 


Browning v. Ektelon Division v. Williams
    (2004), 348 Ill. App. 3d 830
$3.525 million Judgment affirmed.
After three appeals, salesman's judgment, entered 13 years earlier, against sporting goods/firearms company affirmed.


Vanderhoof v. Berk,
    2015 IL App (1st) 132927

$910,742.79 judgment affirmed.
Doctor proven to have been negligent in cutting patient's bile duct.  


Foley v. Fletcher
    (2005), 361 Ill. App. 3d 39
$15,225 million Judgment Affirmed
Medical negligence verdict against doctor and health care providers affirmed for causing injuries to baby while being born thereby resulting in cerebral palsy.


Kramer v. Szczepaniak,
2018 IL App (1st) 171411
Obtained reinstatement of case against UBER and one of its drivers for negligence when driver ordered the plaintiffs-passengers out of the vehicle in a Chicago neighborhood, rather than delivering them to the destination for which UBER was paid to transport them, resulting in another vehicle hitting and injuring the passengers.


Klesowitch v. Smith,
2016 IL App (1st) 150414
Affirmance of summary judgment entered in favor of the plaintiff on liability in automobile collision case; case remanded for a trial on damages only that the plaintiff sustained. ​


Bolden v. Illinois Central Gulf RR. Co.,
    2015 IL App (1st) 140110-U
In FELA action, summary judgment entered in favor of defendant reversed where plaintiff’s osteoarthritis damages accrued within the statute of limitations.

In re Parentage of L.S.
    2015 IL App (2d) 150314
Primary residential custody awarded to mother of minor child.

Doe v. Township High School Dist. 211, (“Doe II”)
    2015 IL App (1st) 140857
Plaintiffs sued defendants for their failure to have prevented one student from having sexual relations with a special needs student.  Appellate court held that defendants must produce special education director’s notes and certain video recordings. 

Doe v. Village of Schaumburg, (“Doe I”)
    2011 IL App (1st) 093300
Claims were properly dismissed against villages, village police departments, and village police officers, who had immunity under 745 ILCS 10/4-102 and 745 ILCS 10/2-205 for not sharing information about alleged sex offender's prior arrest; former statute lacked willful and wanton exception and latter statute immunized failure to enforce the law.

Johnson v. Ingalls Mem. Hosp.
    (2010), 402 Ill. App. 3d 830,
    appeal denied (2010), 238 Ill. 2d 652

Trial court properly granted 735 ILCS 5/2-1005(c) summary judgment to health care providers on mother's wrongful death and survival action; while she claimed not to have received required prenatal care, insufficient evidence supported causal nexus between alleged standard of care deviations, and resulting injury and subsequent death of minor child.

Berglind v. Paintball Bus. Ass’n 
    (2010), 402 Ill. App. 3d 76
An insured's 11-month-delay in notifying its insurer of a child's eye injury at the insured's paintball facility was “not unreasonable” as a matter of law under an insurance policy requiring notice of an occurrence "as soon as practicable."

Matarese v. Buka
    (2008), 386 Ill. App. 3d 176
Trial court properly refused to give jury instruction in medical malpractice action based on Ill. Pattern Jury Instructions (IPI) Civ. No. 105.01 (2006) as IPI 105.01 left out language requiring jurors to consider whether professional possessed and applied knowledge and used the skill and care ordinarily used by a reasonably careful professional.

Resurgence Financial, LLC v. Kelly
    (2007), 376 Ill. App. 3d 60
Appellate court did not have jurisdiction to consider alleged debtor's appeal following assignee's motion for voluntary dismissal of case against alleged debtor pursuant to 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-1009(a) because there was no basis to address merits of other nonfinal orders entered by a trial court before granting a voluntary dismissal.
     


Prouty v. Advocate Health & Hosps. Corp.
    (2004), 348 Ill. App. 3d 490
Mother's choice of forum for medical malpractice action against hospital and others that misdiagnosed baby's serious illness was entitled to deference, especially since defendant hospital, not mother, selected hospital that finally treated baby.


Prowell v. Loretto Hosp.
    (2003), 339 Ill. App. 3d 817
Issue of fact existed as to whether emergency medical technicians were willful and wanton, causing decedent to fall off stretcher. There was evidence that, despite warning that stretcher was not secure, technicians attempted to move decedent.

Theofanis v. Sarrafi
    (2003), 339 Ill. App. 3d 460
Proper way to correct wildly inconsistent jury verdict in malpractice action was to grant new trial, not change the judgment to make the result consistent; physician's notes of conversations with disabled patient were barred under Dead Man's Act.

Malkin v. Malkin
    (1998), 301 Ill. App. 3d 303
When there was no evidence of undue influence or other coercion in the waiver of an attorney's fees hearing, and there was no evidence at the time that fees were excessive, a vacatur hearing should not have been granted based on excessive fees.

Hartford Cas. Ins. Co. v. Medical Protective Co.
(1994), 266 Ill. App. 3d 781
Policy issued by defendant that expired and was renewed for successive years could not be stacked to cover a continuous tort where separate negligent acts constituting the tort happened in each of the renewal periods.

Simers v. Bickers
    (1994), 260 Ill. App. 3d 406
A directed verdict was not appropriate to dismiss an action by a patient against a businessman who fit the patient with contact lenses because whether his failure to be licensed under the Optometric Act directly caused injury was for the jury.

Green v. University of Chicago Hosps. & Clinics
(1994), 258 Ill. App. 3d 536
Judgment to a patient in her medical malpractice action against a hospital and doctor was proper. Patient's counsel was allowed to refer to insurance in closing argument and references to "Dr. Frankenstein" did not rise to level of reversible error.

Leonardi v. Loyola Univ.
    (1994), 262 Ill. App. 3d 411
In a medical malpractice action, evidence concerning conduct of the decedent's attending physician who was not a party to the action was properly admitted because the evidence was relevant to establish the care and treatment the decedent received.

Tarin v. Pellonari
    (1993), 253 Ill. App. 3d 542
g were barred by laches, while his claims for misappropriation of a trademark by company directors was dismissed.

Rosenberg v. Miller
    (1993), 247 Ill. App. 3d 1023
A general dentist was competent to testify as an expert witness in a medical malpractice action against a periodontist because he had experience in making diagnoses from x-rays and had a sufficient familiarity with the standard of care.

Leavitt v. Farwell Tower Ltd. Ptshp.
    (1994), 252 Ill. App. 3d 260
Summary judgment was properly granted to building owners and elevator repair company because the administrator of the decedent's estate could not establish that the breach of any duty that may have been owed to decedent was the cause of his death.

Herron v. Anderson
    (1994), 254 Ill. App. 3d 365
Defendants doctor and medical association did not file the requisite cross-appeal and so they waived a dismissal issue in a medical malpractice case where the judgment was fully satisfied prior to trial under an agreement made between the parties.

Farner v. Brunswick Corp.
(1993), 239 Ill. App. 3d 885
The Coast Guard's regulations for recreational boats decided that propeller guards should not have been required and to award damages to the victim would have been tantamount to recognition of a state requirement that they be installed.

Gilmore v. Zion
    (1992), 237 Ill. App. 3d 744
Dismissal of a city's third-party complaint against a school district was proper where the school district owed no duty to a student to provide a crossing guard in front of the school and the school district was immunized for any negligent conduct.

Dumenric v. Union Oil Co.
    (1992), 238 Ill. App. 3d 208
Lower court properly granted summary judgment for company in its action alleging that, by virtue of the acts of its broker, insurer was estopped from denying insurance coverage to the company, even though coverage was not actually in effect.

Foster v. Kanuri
    (1992), 241 Ill. App. 3d 677
In a wrongful death and survival case, a doctor was entitled to a setoff for amounts paid to the decedent's administrator by settlement with other dismissed defendants pursuant to the Contribution Act.

Thomas v. University of Chicago Lying-In Hosp.
    (1991), 221 Ill. App. 3d 919
In a medical malpractice action, patient's expert was not competent to testify about standard of care owed by obstetrician where expert was not board certified in obstetrics or gynecology and had not practiced in those areas since medical school.

Reynolds v. National R.R. Passenger Corp.
    (1991), 216 Ill. App. 3d 334
A hospital and doctors did not owe a legal duty to a decedent that was shot by a former patient. There was no special relationship between the decedent and the hospital and doctors, and the shooting was not foreseeable.

Carrillo v. Pepper Constr. Co.
    (1990), 201 Ill. App. 3d 647
The Illinois Structural Work Act could impose liability for the placement of an instrumentality that was covered under the Act where the placement of the instrumentality was a proximate cause of a worker being injured while dismounting from it. 

Fisher v. Slager
    (1991), 201 Ill. App. 3d 480
There was sufficient evidence from which a jury could find that the damages claimed in a survival action resulted in whole or part from the deceased's rejection of medical advise and failure to follow the advised rehabilitation plan.

Bernstein v. Gottlieb Mem. Hosp.
    (1989), 185 Ill. App. 3d 709
A child's medical malpractice complaint was barred by the Illinois statute that permitted a plaintiff to refile his claim only once before the expiration of the statute of limitations and the child filed a total of four complaints.

Schroth v. Norton Co.
    (1989), 185 Ill. App. 3d 575
A manufacturer of safety glasses had no duty to warn an injured worker that a blow such as he received to his face would have been likely to have knocked his spectacles askew because that likelihood was obvious.

International Amphitheatre Co. v. Vanguard Underwriters Ins. Co.
    (1988), 177 Ill. App. 3d 555
Because construction of insurance policy presented only question of law that could properly be decided by summary judgment, appeals court's sole function was to apply summary judgment standard of review in declaratory judgment suit against insurer.

Dolido v. Zenith Radio Corp.
(1988), 177 Ill. App. 3d 281
The widow's standing to assert her wrongful payment claims against her deceased husband's employer could not be determined on appeal because a complete copy of the relevant profit sharing plan was omitted from the record.

Bachtell v. Illinois Farmers Ins. Group
    (1988), 176 Ill. App. 3d 148
Recovery should have been allowed under an uninsured motorist provision because there was a direct causal connection between a hit-and-run vehicle and an insured's vehicle, carrying through by a continuous and contemporaneously transmitted force.

Kohlmeier v. Shelter Ins. Co.
    (1988), 170 Ill. App. 3d 643
Insurer was liable for its rescission of insurance policy, but damages awards were improper, as daughter was not intended third-party beneficiary, punitive damages were preempted, and insurer's refusal was based on good faith judgment.

Aetna Life & Surety Co. v. Northern Trust Co.
    (1988), 169 Ill. App. 3d 678
The insurer was not required to defend the insured in an underlying action as the underlying complaint was not founded on legal theories of malicious prosecution or abuse of process, which the insured's policy would have covered.

Competitive Food Systems, Inc. v. Laser
    (1988), 170 Ill. App. 606
Where facts admitted to more than one conclusion, including a conclusion unfavorable to movant, such facts could not support summary judgment.

Cuellar v. Hout
    (1988), 168 Ill. App. 3d 416
Landmark case holding that retrograde extrapolation of blood alcohol tests to show an injured's blood alcohol level at the time of accident was admissible. The trial court correctly excluded testimony of a highway commissioner that was beyond the scope of direct examination.

International Minerals & Chemical Corp. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co.
    (1988), 168 Ill. App. 3d 361
Insurers properly granted summary judgment in suit to determine their obligation to defend pollution complaints; accidental discharges of pollutants were not so abrupt as to constitute "sudden" events for purposes of pollution exclusion exception.

Blonder v. Watts
    (1988), 166 Ill. App. 3d 633
A patient was not entitled to rely on the tolling provision for medical malpractice where the fact that the patient's medical problems recurred after the physician claimed that he repaired the damage should have caused her to discover the fraud.

International Amphitheatre Co. v. Vanguard Underwriters Ins. Co.
    (1988), 166 Ill. App. 3d 369
Trial court improperly dismissed an insurer's counterclaim against an insurance broker where the insurer's action for indemnity stemmed from contract and agency theories of liability, not tort liability.

Jacobson v. Natonson
    (1988), 164 Ill. App. 3d 126
In the patient's malpractice action against the dentist, the trial court erred in having excluded the patient's evidence of events more than 4 years old but having admitted the dentist's evidence of events over the entire 15 years of treatment.

Pierce v. Hobart Corp.
(1987), 159 Ill. App. 3d 31
In a products liability action, the minor's age was not determinative of the foreseeability issue, rather the court looked to the physical characteristics of those injured and the physical characteristics of the product in question.

Oldenburg v. Hagemann
    (1987), 159 Ill. App. 3d 631
Subcontractor did not have negligence cause of action against contractor because parties had contract and therefore remedy for subcontractor was based in contract and not tort. Subcontractor also did not have tort cause of action against architect.

Hale v. Murphy
    (1987), 157 Ill. App. 3d 531
In a action for a wrongful death caused by medical malpractice, plaintiff had two years from when he knew or should have known of the malpractice to bring the claim, regardless of whether that was more than two years after the decedent's death.

Goldstein v. Lustig
(1987), 154 Ill. App. 3d 595
A client failed to state a cause of action for legal malpractice against an attorney because the complaint alleged merely an error in judgment, and the client could not establish causation.

Alop v. Edgewood Valley Commun. Ass’n
    (1987), 154 Ill. App. 3d 482
The owner and manager of a playground owed no duty as a matter of law where the child was permitted to play unsupervised on a slide which posed an obvious risk to her.

Johnson v. Libertyville
    (1986), 150 Ill. App. 3d 971
Where a daughter's surviving spouse resisted bringing a claim for loss of society by her parents in a wrongful death action he filed as executor of her estate, the parents were entitled to be appointed special administrators to advance their claim.

Curry v. Chicago Housing Auth.
    (1986), 150 Ill. App. 3d 862
A housing authority, which provided elevator services in its apartment building, did not owe a duty to provide continuous services by virtue of the fact that it undertook to provide such services, nor by virtue of any public policy or regulations.

Johnston v. St. Anne’s Hosp.
    (1986), 146 Ill. App. 3d 763
A patient's relatives did not state a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress against a hospital because they were not in the zone of physical injury when they went to visit the patient and, without warning, discovered him dead.

Kemp v. Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis Hosp.
    (1986), 143 Ill. App. 3d 360
The act of an independently employed nurse in causing a glass IV bottle to injure a patient superseded the hospital's allegedly negligent act in using the glass IV bottle. Thus, the bottle's use was not the proximate cause of the patient's injury.

Maimon v. Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis Hosp.
    (1986), 142 Ill. App. 3d 306
A hospital's notice that was posted to advise of the end of a physician's staff privileges was not libel per se because under the innocent-construction rule, the notice could have been construed as based upon non-disparaging reasons.



United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Spencer v. Lee
    (1989), 864 F.2d 1376 (en banc)
A private physician and a private hospital involved in committing the mentally ill were not state actors, and the commitment of the mentally ill had not historically been an exclusive state function.


Cooper v. Eagle River Mem. Hosp. 
    (2001), 270 F.3d 456
Dismissal of mother's medical malpractice action against hospital for death of premature son was upheld as negligence per se instruction was improper where regulations were not "safety statutes," and court had discretion to admit expert testimony.

Aetna Casualty & Surety Co. v. Chicago Ins. Co.
    (1993), 994 F.2d 1254
An excess insurer was not entitled to recover policy limits of a primary liability policy through subrogation because tender was never made, and thus, the policy coverage was never triggered.

Ross v. Creighton Univ. 
    (1992), 957 F.2d 410
A student failed to state a claim for educational malpractice because courts were not qualified to pass judgment as to the attainments of a student and would not review a decision of school authorities relating to academic qualifications.

Pirela v. North Aurora
    (1990), 935 F. 2d 909
A policeman's race and national origin discrimination claims as to his suspensions and termination constituted the same cause of action as contested in his state discharge proceeding, so they were barred by res judicata.

Rathert v. Peotone
    (1989), 903 F.2d 510
Male police officers failed to demonstrate a violation of any free association or protected liberty interests to wear ear studs or that allegations of public intoxication and dereliction of duty were pretextual reasons for disciplining them.

Chathas v. Smith
    (1989), 884 F.2d 980
Policemen, court deputies, and city attorney did not violate constitutional rights in restraining either former police officer or his attorney, where they had probable cause to believe the former officer posed a danger to himself and others.

Garde v. Inter-Ocean Ins. Co.
    (1988), 842 F.2d 175
Summary judgment was sustained when there was no dispute that an insured misstated information on a life insurance policy and the misrepresentation was deemed material in that it affected whether the insurer would have accepted the risk.

Ross v. Creighton Univ.
    (N.D. Ill. 1990), 740 F.Supp. 1319
University was not negligent for recruiting athlete incapable of performing academic work then enrolling him in remedial elementary school program. Student-athlete's claim based upon educational malpractice could not be enforced through a lawsuit.