Archive for the ‘lawsuit’ tag

Son Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit after Fatal Crash

November 14th, 2013 at 10:29 am

By Staff Writer

On October 15th, three people were travelling in the Glenview neighborhood north of Chicago in the afternoon after visiting family.  They were driving east on Harrison Street when the car they were in was hit by a Skokie garbage truck by the Harlem intersection.  The 2006 Kia SUV became lodged underneath the truck and then caught on fire.

The three people in the car were badly burnt from the accident.  They were later identified as Won Suk Rim, 57, and his wife Jung Ran Min, 52, both from the 2500 block of West Farragut in Chicago.  The woman in the backseat was Gwi Rye Kim, a 65 year old from West Berwyn.  All three died from a combination of carbon monoxide poisoning, burns and blunt force trauma from the accident.

The driver of the garbage truck was unhurt in the car accident.  He was on his way to the Glenview transfer station in Glenview with a full load of garbage.  The Village of Skokie defended their driver saying that “the individual has been employed by the village of Skokie for 19 years and has an excellent performance record.”  He was not charged with a crime for his part in the accident.  That unnamed driver of the garbage truck is seeking counseling after being shaken up by the incident.

The eldest son of Gwi Rye Kim has decided to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the village of Skokie and the driver of the garbage truck.  The suit claims that the driver was remiss for driving too fast given the accident occurred in a school zone.  The driver was also negligent for not using care to lookout for danger or signaling when danger was imminent.

While a wrongful death suit cannot restore your loved ones, it can hold the negligent party responsible.  If they are proven responsible for an accident, they could be required to compensate surviving family members for funeral costs, lost wages from the deceased and the pain and suffering of losing a loved one.  Contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Hinsdale today if you have lost a family member due to the fault of another.

Ways to Avoid Common Errors that Occur at Hospitals

October 11th, 2013 at 8:00 am

By Staff Writer

Going to the hospital is scary no matter what age you are.  These visits are necessary if you are facing a serious illness or emergency situation.  The stakes are higher and any mistake could be costly and fatal.  There are a few common mistakes that can be avoided when you visit a hospital to make sure you get the best possible care.

1. Improper Medication

At the hospital, you may be required to take medication throughout your visit.  There are many other patients taking their pills also.  To safeguard yourself or loved one throughout the visit, make sure you ask your doctor to list the medicine you will take and what the medicine is for.  Later when you receive your dosage, you can verify that you are taking the right medicine.  Doctor James Merlino of the Cleveland Clinic said that “medication errors can and do kill people.”

2. Improperly Trained Doctors

Hospitals are training centers for students and recent graduates of medical school, who are referred to as residents.  Occasionally, they appear no different than senior staff doctors who are responsible for making decisions about your care.  If you are presented with options for your treatment, especially surgery, make sure you consult with the attending physician so you fully understand the risks of your decision.

3. Unresponsiveness to Call Signals

Each hospital bed is equipped with a button to call a nurse to your bedside, but there is no way of telling how long you will have to wait.  In 2012, the University of Michigan at Flint did a study of four hospitals about response time.  Overall, patients at those hospitals waited up to 18 minutes for a reaction.  To make sure you get help with emergencies, ask your nursing staff about the procedure to call the rapid response team.  Normal requests like bed adjustments can wait as they are not life threatening.

4. Understaffed Nurses

The primary caregivers at hospitals are the nursing staffs.  But they are also a controllable cost for directors at each hospital.  A study in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that patients at understaffed hospitals are two percent more likely to die because they do not receive the care they need.  Before choosing a hospital, review the ones that nurses prefer, often called “Magnet Hospitals”.  That way you can ensure you receive timely care from a happy nursing staff.

There are ways to protect yourself while you are receiving medical care.  Ultimately, the hospital staff is responsible if anything bad does occur.  If you or a loved one have received improper care, then contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Hinsdale today.

Misleading Information Rampant in Pharmaceutical Ads

October 9th, 2013 at 8:00 am

By Staff Writer

Drug commercials run constantly on every channel.  Sometimes it is unclear what is ever being treated by some of these medications.  If the purpose of the product is sometimes unknown, then what else is improperly presented by commercials for drugs?

A research team comprised of academics of the University of Wisconsin at Madison and Dartmouth College looked to answer that question.  They reviewed the veracity of TV commercials that drug companies run in the United States.

The basis of the study was that the number of claims against an allergy medicine Claritin became six times as likely when it no longer required a prescription.  That stat led Adrienne E. Faerber to run the following test and publish the results in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Faerber compiled over 160 commercials; half consisted of prescription medicines ads and half over the counter.  Each commercial had been aired on nightly news shows between 2008 and 2010.  Each ad was reviewed to identify claims that were made as well as the evidence to substantiate those claims.  Each was given a final report of being either “objectively true”, “misleading” or “false”.

The results that they found were scary.  There was a rampant disregard for the truth in most commercials.  Of prescription drug ads, 60 percent were found to include misleading statements.  The number for over the counter drug ads is greater as 80 percent were found to contain false information.  “There were cases of blatant lying, but these half-truths form more than half of our analysis,” said Faerber.

While the Food and Drug Administration monitors these prescription pharmaceutical commercials but doesn’t stop them from airing.  Once the commercials are airing, then they step in and report dishonest claims.  The Federal Trade Commission is responsible for over the counter medication, but they are less specialized.

It is difficult for the two organizations to monitor all the new commercials that are aired.  At least for prescription drugs, your doctor should be skilled enough to mitigate any possible adverse reactions.  When a doctor is negligent when prescribing medicine, it could be dangerous.  If you or your family has been affected by an improperly prescribed pharmaceutical, then contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in DuPage County to review your possible medical malpractice lawsuit.

New Illinois Law Targets Boating and Drinking

August 30th, 2013 at 8:00 am

By Staff Writer

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn authorized a bill that aim to make waterways safer in July of 2013.  He was supported by the Borcia family of Libertyville.  Last summer, they lost their son during a family outing on a lake.

Tony Borcia was ten years old last year when he was struck and killed by a boat.  Prior to the accident, Tony had fallen off a tube that was being pulled by his parent’s pontoon boat.  While he was wading in the water for his father to turn the boat around and get him, David Hatyina ran him over.  Tony unfortunately died from the injuries he received from the accident.

It turned out that Hatyina was under the influence of alcohol and cocaine at the time.  This is not an isolated incident either.  A spokesperson from the Governor’s office said that in 2012, there were over 100 boating-related accidents which caused 77 injuries and 17 deaths.  Alcohol was a contributing influence to 13 of the accidents and five of the fatalities.

At the signing, Governor Quinn stated that “people enjoying our magnificent waterways shouldn’t have to worry about reckless, drunken boaters when they’re out tubing, swimming or paddling.” The law signed should make boaters think twice about drinking alcohol before or while driving any watercraft.   The law requires that any pilot of a boat that is involved in an accident must consent to drug and alcohol tests.  If they decline, surpass the blood alcohol content limit, or have drugs in their system, then they could lose their driver’s license.

While this law should limit the boating accidents that occur and punish those pilots who drink and drive, it does not make up for the lose of a family member.  Consider filing a wrongful death suit to minimize at least the financial burden of losing a loved one due to the negligence of another person.  This legal recourse is in place to lessen the blow of the high costs of medical bills, funeral expenses and the suffering this lose has caused.  Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Cook County today to discuss your potential case.

Should You Shovel the Sidewalk in Front of Your House?

August 28th, 2013 at 10:04 am

By John Martoccio

The answer sounds simple, doesn’t it? If you said “yes” and you live in Illinois, you might want to think twice about actually shoveling snow or ice from your sidewalk.

Someone who slips and falls on a walkway that has not been shoveled cannot sue the landowner since the owner is not responsible for natural accumulations of snow or ice even if it later freezes over and causes a personal injury.

There are exceptions by local rules such as town ordinances. So where you live in Illinois becomes important. Oddly enough, even businesses who maintain sidewalks are generally not responsible for injuries caused by natural accumulations of snow or ice. So if you are walking through a parking lot, for example, after snowfall and slip in the parking lot, the owner generally will not be responsible to pay for your medical bills or injuries.

While great mounds of white snow are commonplace in Illinois throughout the winter, snow and ice rules are not as simple as black and white. Consider a recent case in which the landowner hired a contractor to plow the snow in his parking lot. The natural accumulation of snow which was better left untouched, was piled by the snowplow into mini mountains. The mini mountains re-froze into ice. When someone walked across the now unnatural ice skating pond and fell, the owner became negligent when he took what was a natural accumulation of snow and made it into a mini ice rink.

The lesson here is if you take on the duty of removing snow make sure you remove all of it and keep the area where you worked hazard free for walkers. Also don’t forget to check your local town or city ordinances for specifics.

If you are in need of a slip and fall personal injury lawyer, contact the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio at (630) 920-8855 located in Hinsdale, Illinois.

Man Charged in DUI Death

June 22nd, 2013 at 1:34 pm

By Staff Writer

An 18 year-old Barrington Hills man is being held on $100,000 bond “following a March 3 crash that killed a 61-year-old Elgin man and seriously injured his fiancée,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Karsten Eilersten is facing charges of aggravated DUI involving death and aggravated DUI involving great bodily harm. These are both Class 4 felonies in Illinois. According to the Illinois State Police Department, in convicted, Eilersten faces a minimum of one-year loss of full driving privileges, a maximum fine of $25,000, and possible imprisonment for up to 12 years.  According to the Tribune, Eilersten was forced to surrender his passport, “abstain from drugs and alcohol and submit to random drug tests if he posts bond.”  

The accident occurred on Highway 59. Authorities told the Tribune that Eilersten was northbound on the road when he sideswiped a southbound car. After this, Eilersten drove head-on into a car that was being driven by Ronald P. Zioloa. “Ziolo was killed and his 44-year-old fiancée, Mary Matziuw, suffered serious leg injuries,” according to the Tribune. The double charges increase the chance that prosecutors will seek the maximum punishment for Eilersten, despite his age. When police searched the car, they found Lorazepam, which, according to the Tribune, is a “potent prescription sedative.” Eilersten’s blood tested positive for the sedative, though he does not have a prescription. “Police also found a bong and other drug paraphernalia,” reports the Tribune.

According to a recent Fox News report, “while drinking and driving may be on the decline, prescription drug abuse is up.” Unless tragedy strikes, as it did for Eilersten, the abuse of prescription drugs while behind the wheel is much more difficult to detect than alcohol. Some states have begun special training sessions so that traffic officers are able to pick up on the subtle signs of prescription drug abuse on the road.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident such as this, you may be eligible for compensation. Don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Chicago personal injury attorney today.

Image courtesy of vongvanvi / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Family of Hockey Player Suing NHL for Wrongful Death

May 17th, 2013 at 10:21 am

By Staff Writer

It is now the second round of the NHL playoffs.  While most people are enjoying the championship level hockey, a family is searching for closure after losing their son, Derek Boogaard.  Boogaard was on a couple of different professional teams as an enforcer or goon, someone who would protect their teammates at any cost.

In May of 2011, Derek died of an accidental overdose in Minneapolis.  The cause was due to a deadly combination of pain pills and alcohol.  Painkillers that NHL teams prescribed to him so that he could deal with the trauma that he endured by fighting other players.  It is estimated that in the 2008 season, Boogaard received over 1,000 pain pills, sometimes taking as many as 10 per day.

The family of Boogaard filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Cook County against the NHL.  They claimed that the doctors who treated his injuries prescribed pills even while knowing that he had developed an addiction.  They also said that they never informed Derek of the dangers of his position as a goon.  The effects of nearly nightly abuse was uncovered  after his autopsy which showed CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

The language of the claim is very specific in how the NHL is at fault.  “Prior to and during Derek Boogaard’s career, the NHL knew, or should have known, that the Enforcers/Fighters in the NHL had an increased risk of brain damage due to concussive and sub-concussive brain trauma and were particularly susceptible to addiction issues,” reads the lawsuit.

If one of your loved ones has experienced an injury or worse due to the negligence of a third party, it is important to receive some closure.  A personal injury lawsuit can help you recoup costs associated with the treatment of these injuries as well as the emotional damage to a family left behind.  Contact an experienced personal injury attorney in DuPage County to receive a consultation about your damages today.

image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Man Driving Home during Storm Dies in Fatal Crash

March 23rd, 2013 at 8:00 am

By Staff Writer

Dhirajlal Ratanpara, of Hanover Park, was remembered fondly at the Daily Herald Printing Center in Schaumburg where he worked since 2010 after emigrating from India via England.  Nicknamed DH by his co-workers, he worked tirelessly and moved between 200,000 to 300,000 lbs. of paper each day.  His manager commented that he was so “happy-go-lucky” that no one knew he had such a grueling job.

The 57 year old was traveling home from work on the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway late on November 12 of 2012.  Slick road conditions from the first wintery mix of the season caused him to get into a minor car accident.  He was not alone in having an accident as a dozen of accidents and spinouts caused closures around the O’Hare Airport.  Unfortunately, when he was out of the car and assessing the damage on an exit ramp, he was hit by car.

He is survived by his wife Mina and daughter Rima Koradia who live in the States and his son Ashit Ratanpara who still resides in India.  Dhirajlal’s family was upset that the woman responsible for the death of their patriarch was not charged with any crime because it was ruled an accident.

They have decided to bring a lawsuit against Teresa Arroyo for her part in the accident.  They are seeking $50,000 dollars for one count of wrongful death and another for the mental and physical suffering of Ratanpara up to his ultimate death.  It is commonplace for families to seek restitution for the loss of their major breadwinner.  If you have lost a loved one, a personal injury suit can ease the transition into a life without them.  Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in DuPage County today.

Cook County Approves $20 Million Settlement

February 13th, 2013 at 10:47 pm

By Staff Writer

Keith Francique is now 4 years old, but his life has not been the same since visiting Stroger Hospital.  Keith had a testicle which needed to be removed from his body cavity, which occasionally happens to young boys if their testicles don’t descend.  A routine surgery turned terrible in December of 2011 for the Francique family.

The sedation used during the surgery may have contributed to Keith suffering from cardiac arrest.  He was taken to a recovery room after surgery and left alone for minutes when he stopped breathing.  The medical staff at Stroger Hospital initiated CPR after his heart was stopped for at least five minutes.  There was no pulse for at least 15 minutes until he was revived.

The damage done by oxygen deprivation has left baby Keith severely brain damaged.  He is unable to walk, talk, hold his bowels, eat or take care of himself at all.  This is very far away from the carefree boy that would run and call after his mother and father over a year ago.

The medical malpractice suit brought by his mother Justine was settled on February 5th for $20 million.   Given the specifics of this case, the Cook County commissioners approved a settlement that was one of the top ten most expensive payouts in the history of the county.  Yet, they admitted no wrongdoing as part of the settlement agreement.

This benefits paid to the Francique family will pay for therapy, surgeries and around the clock care for baby Keith.  It is unfortunate when errors occur in medical care as it can have horrible consequences.  If your family has experienced any medical malpractice such as misdiagnosis, anesthesia errors, or surgical errors, then you should seek a consultation with a legal professional.  Contact a skilled personal injury attorney in Hinsdale today.

Former Boy Scout Alleges Abuse

December 21st, 2012 at 2:16 am

By Staff Writer

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “a man who claims he was routinely molested by a scoutmaster in Burbank during the 1980s is suing the Boy Scouts of America and the Chicago Area Council for failing to protect him from the man, who is now in prison.” In this bombshell injury case, Thomas Hacker, a former scoutmaster, who is currently serving a 100-year prison term for molesting a different member of a Boy Scout troop in the 1980s, is now facing new charges. Hacker, who was arrested in Indiana “for sexual assault and battery of boys in 1970” later moved to Illinois and was able to hide his record and become a troop leader once again. An attorney representing the victim on this case issued a written statement declaring that “this is an egregious case of our client being let down by the informal and ineffective system Scouting had in place to protect its members.” 

Illinois isn’t the only state in which Boy Scout of America leaders have come under fire this year for hiding records, enabling many comparisons of the recent revelations regarding child abuse and the Catholic Church. This summer, according to the Los Angeles Times, “the Oregon Supreme Court ordered the release of 1,247 confidential Boy Scouts of America files, the first step toward publically lifting the veil on 20 years of alleged child sexual abuse by troop leaders and others within the organization.” The decision came after an Oregon man, who claimed to have been molested by his scoutmasters in the 1980s and accused the Scouts of failing to protect him, won a massive $20 million settlement.

Child molestation suits have different statutes of limitations depending on which state, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). In Illinois, there is a special statue of limitations for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. According to the NCSL, “an action for damages for personal injury based on childhood sexual abuse must be commenced within 10 years of the date the victim discovers that the act of childhood sexual abuse occurred.”

If you or someone you know is seeking a personal injury suit due to child sexual abuse, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Illinois personal injury attorney today.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net