News in the Law

Safety Devolution: Bike law and Illinois roadways

In 1909, the Illinois Supreme Court found that bicyclists had the same right to safe roads as horse-drawn wagons and even that new-fangled contraption, the motor car. The story was different in 1998 in a supreme court case marked by a 5-4 split decision with a stinging dissent.

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In the Event of a Severe Bike Crash

Bicyclists and others must make decisions quick in the wake of a serious crash. Here’s advice on what to do, put together by William Lazarus in preparation for a presentation to the south suburban bicycle club, Folks on Spokes.

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High court rejects immunity claim

A West Chicago striptease club, argued it could not be held responsible in a wrongful death lawsuit alleging that it forced a sick, drunk customer to drive away. The Illinois Trial Lawyers Association submitted a friend-of-the-court brief to the Illinois Supreme Court. The brief, written by William Lazarus, begins: “On Stage Productions, Inc. banks on its own lawlessness in arguing that its wanton behavior is immune from the rule of law.” On March 18, 2010, the high court ruled in plaintiffs’ favor, allowing the case to proceed. Simmons v. Homatas, 236 Ill.2d 459 (2010). The body of ITLA’s brief follows.

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High court to decide pathological gambling claim

The casino wants treble damages for bounced checks on a gambling debt, but its patron alleges the casino lured her into blowing $125,000 in one evening, knowing that she was a pathological gambler. The trial court allowed the woman’s counterclaim, but the appellate court dismissed it. Now the Indiana Supreme Court will decide the issue.

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Uninsured motorist claim reinstated

More than two years after suing his insurance company for underinsured motorist benefits, Ezra Bradshaw amended his complaint to add a claim for uninsured motorist benefits.  The trial court granted the insurer’s summary judgment motion, and the Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that neither the discovery rule nor Trial Rule 15(C) rendered Bradshaw’s amended complaint [...]

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SJ denial under review in parking lot assault case

Lu Ann B. Plonski sued Kroger Co. after she was assaulted in the parking lot of an Indianapolis Kroger store where she often did her grocery shopping. Kroger filed for summary judgment, arguing that based on affidavit evidence showing a lack of criminal activity in the area, it had no duty to protect Plonski from [...]

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High court to review sentence in plea bargain conundrum

Julie Gardiner  no longer faces the prospect of spending the next 20 years in prison instead of likely being free on a suspended sentence due to a standard, but inadequate plea bargain and a rigid sentencing scheme. In a case-of-first-impression decision issued on April 30, 2010, the Indiana Supreme Court determined that due to its [...]

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Weather and a slip and fall at school

Roach Walker sued the Gary schools  over her slip and fall on school property. At trial, the Lake Superior Court rejected the school corporation’s motion for a directed verdict on grounds that it was entitled to immunity under the Indiana Tort Claims Act because the fall was caused by a temporary condition on a public [...]

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Induced confession / incest

Anderson Police Detective Cole gave Larry L. McGhee some misleading advice as he was investigating a criminal incest allegation. McGhee first denied having sex with his 25-year-old niece, and then the following exchange took place: Cole: What I do know is, that we’re starting, me and you, man to man talking about this, I’m telling [...]

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Termination of parental rights disputed

A mother who gave up her parental rights could not obtain guaranteed visiting privileges as part of the arrangement, the Indiana Supreme Court held. But it found that the parent who made such an arrangement had the right to a hearing before  visitation was then cut off. Visitation would be determined based on the best [...]

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