$24,775,000.00 was the largest personal injury verdict in the history of Kane County – the previous high verdict was $6,000,000.00. read more...
The verdict of $12,000,000.00 was reduced by 20 percent for Russ' comparative fault in refusing to pull over resulting in a judgment for $9,600,000.00. Russ' son, Robert Anthony Russ, Jr., who was not yet born when his father was killed, is the sole beneficiary of the estate. read more...
Policeman James Sauter was struck last Thursday in an explosive crash when a semitrailer truck struck his police cruiser on I-294 near Willow Road. Sauter, age 28, had stopped his car to assist a motorist and has just climbed back into his car when a tractor-trailer struck him from behind. Both vehicles instantly burst into flames and Sauter was pronounced dead at the scene.
Sauter had been a member of the police since 2008 and won the State Police’s Lifesaving Medal in his first year of service for helping save a female motorcycle crash victim who he saw on his way to the police training academy. Sauter is survived by his wife, Elizabeth and family.
“Trooper Sauter left a legacy of courage, honor and duty”, said ISP Director Hiram Grau. “Our hearts are heavy with grief, but they are also strengthened by Trooper Sauter’s brave calling and dedicated service.”
A Fox Chicago news correspondent reported that the driver of the tractor trailer sustained only minor injuries and is currently being investigated. Police believe that Sauter was parked on the left shoulder in the southbound lanes of I-294 near Willow Road when the vehicle burst into flames. Police confirm that Illinois law requires semi trucks to be in the two right lanes. Investigators are currently talking to witnesses and reviewing wreckage to recreate the accident and put together evidence.
The truck collision lawyers at Donald A. Shapiro, Ltd. have represented victims in numerous truck accident cases and are skilled at handling all the intricacies of truck collision cases. Semi-trailer trucks are unique motor vehicles and drivers are regulated by numerous federal and state statutes. Lawyers need to be conversant with all of the special considerations involved in truck accidents.
Our firm recently obtained a multi-million dollar settlement for a young woman who was struck and killed by a semi-tractor trailer that was driving on a restricted roadway on a dark, rainy night. Because of the height of the cab and the restricted vision around the cab, we had to prove that the driver was negligent despite his claim that he never saw the pedestrian.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident with a semi or any kind of truck, call the truck collision lawyers at Donald A. Shapiro, Ltd. for a free consultation.
A common problem the auto accident lawyers at Donald A Shapiro, Ltd. encounter in auto accident cases is when our clients get hit by drivers with no insurance or low insurance limits. You may be seriously injured and have the right to recover substantial damages but if the defendant can’t pay you face the prospect of receiving no compensation.
You can protect yourself to some degree by purchasing uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage which should be part of your regular insurance. Uninsured protects you if hit by a totally uninsured driver and underinsured protects you versus low limits drivers. But you need to have high limits for these coverages.
Let’s say you have $50,000 in UM/UIM protection. If you are hit by a negligent driver that has a $20,000 minimum policy your UIM coverage only provides an additional $30,000 in coverage as the driver’s limits are deducted from your limits. What if you suffer a broken leg in the accident, incur $75,000 in medical expenses and are off work for 2 months? A potential $50,000 recovery is not going to cover your out of pocket expenses let alone provide compensation for your pain and suffering.
We suggest that you talk to your insurance agent about raising your UM/UIM limits now. You need to protect yourself and your family. If you need a referral for auto insurance, let us know and we will hook you up.
As reported in the ABA Journal on February 21, 2013, an elderly, bedridden man used video chat technology Skype to testify against his estranged wife in court. His goal in testifying was to extend a protection order against her.
After a stroke left Emil Kogan too weak to stand, he was able to actively participate in this trial by using a lawyer provided Ipad in which the judge and other lawyers could both watch and listen to Kogan’s testimony.
Illinois’ state system has allowed judges “in compelling circumstances” to allow for “testimony in open court by contemporaneous transmission from a different location” since October, 2011. This is still an unusual and rare occurrence, however, similar examples of Skype testimonies have appeared in a few other states and Skype’s use is allowed in federal civil trials. With new Facetime technology becoming prevalent, it is only a matter of time before video chat testimonies become an even smoother process and more prevalent in the legal field.
Despite a few technical glitches in Emil Kogan’s Skype testimony, Kogan’s lawyer expressed that the use of live video technology was easier for everyone compared to the special arrangements needed to bring this bedridden man to the courtroom at an earlier proceeding.
Donald A. Shapiro, Ltd. is committed to exploring, utilizing and mastering new forms of technology to provide our clients the greatest opportunities for ease and legal success. We have used video evidence depositions in previous trials with great outcomes. Moreover, we were one of the first firms to use the Elmo visual presenter. This device allows us to project documents and x-rays on a giant screen in the courtroom. We firmly believe that a picture is worth a thousand words and that the jury seeing it as well as hearing it bolsters their understanding.
Medical malpractice lawyer Donald A. Shapiro shares that his new office space allows for clients to meet with him in a comfortable setting and easy to find location in Chicago, IL. Additionally, website revamping efforts are in place, allowing potential and current clients to find information easier and to discover all aspects of this firm’s various areas of expertise.
The website and newer blog feature www.dshapirolaw.com highlights Shapiro’s background as well as that of his legal staff.
“At Donald A. Shapiro, Ltd, our personal injury attorneys understand that your case is extremely important to you and thus, unlike many law firm “factories”, I am personally involved in every case.” The new and improved website is user friendly and provides detailed, clear information on the firms concentrated practice areas which are not limited to:
Medical malpractice, also known as medical negligence, that results in serious injury or death
Medical misdiagnosis of cancer or other diseases, including missed or delayed diagnosis, resulting in additional complications, conditions, and/or death.
Surgical negligence including mistakes made both before, during, or post surgery
Personal injury such as auto accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents or bicycle accidents
Social security disability
Please be sure to see our verdicts and settlements pages on our website http://www.dshapirolaw.com/verdicts-settlements/ to become informed on further details of past cases. These illustrate our strong track record in leaving no stone unturned to help families who experience malpractice or personal injury. We provide as much information as possible on our site to make it user friendly for current and potential clients.
Our recent blog addition features up to date articles on recent legal news and reports on issues on the latest in the legal community.
As reported in a recent Chicago Tribune article, a settlement is imminent in a pending lawsuit brought by Justine Francique, whose now three year old son was left with severe and irreversible brain damage after a recent hospital encounter. Francique’s young child Keith suffered cardiac arrest following a routine surgery to repair an undescended testicle at Stroger Hospital, located in Cook County, IL.
Baby Keith was recovering post surgery in December 2011 when he suffered a heart attack and lost his pulse. Medical personnel allegedly failed to initiate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until five minutes after his heart stopped. Due to the oxygen deprivation caused by the heart attack, Keith suffered permanent brain damage.
This lawsuit may result in a $20 million settlement. The settlement is structured to help ensure that this child has enough money to receive adequate health care and treatment for the rest of his life. Dr. Ramanathan RaJu, who has been the head of Cook County’s public health system for less than two years has put into effect a more extensive risk-management system, designed to steer clear of medical errors. Hopefully such efforts will assure a better quality of care for the many, mostly low income, patients who turn to Cook County’s health care system for their medical needs.
Our firm has had various cases against Cook County/ Stoger Hospital over the years, most notably the Estate of Carrie Dunklin case reported in the Settlement and Verdicts section of our website.
A new study from a University of Illinois expert in labor relations has concluded that most courts in the United States disregard a person’s immigration status in work related lawsuits. Michael LeRoy, professor of law and labor relations at Illinois, says that lower courts are essentially refusing to view lawsuits as an “occasion to enforce immigration laws.”
The study covered a 10-year period from 2002 to 2012 and analyzed federal and state work-related cases that cited the Supreme Court’s decision in Hoffman Plastic Compounds v. National Labor Relations Board. The research found that depending on the type of litigation, plaintiffs won between 60 and 77.5 percent of the time. Only 5 percent of the cases involved the outcome in the Hoffman Plastic case, where the court found a violation of an employment law but denied a monetary award because of the unlawful status of the plaintiff.
“Knowingly employing illegal aliens creates a cost-free way for employers to create a hazardous workplace where people get injured and the insurance rates don’t go up,” LeRoy said. “Someone gets injured—you cart them off, turn them over to immigration and report them as deportable aliens, then hire the next batch of illegal aliens and go on from there. This is exactly what a lot of lower courts were worried about—that it enables employers to violate the law without consequences, and thus encouraging more hiring of unlawful aliens. It’s also what the four dissenting Supreme Court justices in the Hoffman case were worried about.”
Donald A. Shapiro, Ltd. is proud to have successfully litigated one of the first Illinois cases addressing the issue of whether an injured worker’s immigration status is admissible at trial. In 2007, Francisco Garcia was killed on the job at an Archer Daniels Midland plant in Decatur, Illinois when he was scalded with boiling liquid. At trial ADM tried to offer evidence that raised questions about Francisco Garcia’s immigration status. ADM’s lawyers even cited the Hoffman Plastic Supreme Court case to justify the use of such evidence. But the trial court agreed with our legal arguments and barred any such evidence. The Court of Appeals—firmly in line with the national trend uncovered by Professor LeRoy— also agreed with us that any reference to the alleged illegal immigration status of Mr. Garcia was unfairly prejudicial and irrelevant. Francisco Garcia’s case was a victory for the safety of workers everywhere.
As reported from CNN.com, a hospital in Canon City, Colorado, argues that a fetus is not legally a person until it is born. This hospital is being sued in a wrongful death case. Lori Stodghill was 28 weeks pregnant and arrived at the emergency room of St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City, short of breath, vomiting, and went into cardiac arrest right there in the hospital’s lobby. Lori Stodghill tragically died at age 31, with her unborn twins perishing with her. That was on New Year’s Day in 2006. To make things even sadder, Stodghill left behind her two year old daughter, motherless. Husband Jeremy Stodghill sued the hospital and it’s owner, Catholic Health Initiatives for the wrongful deaths of his wife and unborn twins.
Defense attorneys have given a shocking statement saying that under state law an embryo is not a person until it is born alive. Stodghill lost his initial case. The hospital and doctors have counter sued him for legal fees and have attempted to garnish his wages. Stodghill is appealing his case with the Colorado Supreme Court. We find it hypercritical that a Catholic hospital would completely reverse the Catholic Church’s position on abortion and when life begins just to try and defeat a legitimate medical malpractice claim.
Illinois law already provided that physicians must protect the life of a fetus when there is “a reasonable likelihood of sustained survival of the fetus outside the womb, with or without artificial support.” Thus, in Illinois, a hospital would not be able to defend on this basis.
Legislation to provide driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants recently passed the Illinois House and will be sent to Governor Quinn’s office for signature. He has indicated that he will sign the bill. Although some people object to providing any privileges for immigrants who may be illegal, we think it benefits the public and our clients to have this legislation. Whether or not they obtain licenses, many undocumented aliens are going to drive anyway. We think it is better to provide them with training regarding our rules of the road (necessary to obtain the license) and provide a means for them to obtain insurance. We have experienced cases where our clients were hit by illegals who had no insurance. While one can protect themselves against uninsured drivers by purchasing uninsured motorist insurance coverage, it is often better to have an insured defendant.
Donald A. Shapiro, Ltd. Backs a Bill to Allow Illegal Immigrants to Drive Legally
Politicians in Springfield are getting together to pass a bill that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, undergo driver training and to obtain insurance. Opponents claim that giving immigrants these privileges will only encourage illegal immigration to Illinois but Donald A. Shapiro, Ltd. backs the legislation for the following reasons. First, no one is going to move to Illinois just because they can get a driver’s license here. There are far more complicated reasons why people want to immigrate to the United States and they locate within the U.S. where they have relatives and where there are jobs – not where they can get driver’s licenses. Second, whether they are given driver’s licenses or not, immigrants need to get places and they are going to drive whether or not they are licensed. Would it not be better to have them properly trained in the rules of the road and properly licensed? Third, from the perspective of our firm, if one of our clients is hit by an illegal immigrant, they often have no insurance which presents a significant problem for the injury victim. Allowing illegal immigrants to purchase insurance will help them and will help any potential victims of an accident. So let’s be realistic and practical and pass this legislation.
In January, 2012, the Illinois Supreme Court announced a pilot program to allow TV cameras and photographers in Illinois courtrooms. The experiment is proceeding on a county by county basis and has not yet been implemented in Cook County. However, several trials have already been televised downstate and this week, arraignment of Elzbieta Plackowska, the Naperville resident accused of killing her son and a girl she was babysitting, is expected to televised. The presiding judge of Cook County has indicated that he approves of the concept and we expect to see televised proceedings here in Cook County in the near future.
Advocates of televising judicial proceedings argue that doing so promotes the public’s right to know and that it will help keep the judicial system above board and honest. Detractors are concerned that televising preliminary proceedings may prejudice potential jurors and that attorneys, judges and even witnesses may play to the cameras instead of focusing on the task at hand. But there is no question that the televising of judicial proceedings is a trend that is gaining momentum. Thirty states now allow cameras in the courtrooms. So in the future we may not be able to tell jurors that real life trials are different from what they see on TV – they may already be seeing real life trials on TV.
Donald A. Shapiro
inverviewed by Insider Exclusive
Donald A. Shapiro
inverviewed on Money For Lunch