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One Killed, Two Injured When Truck Crashes Into Kewanee Home

A car accident on a recent Sunday morning took the life of one man and injured two others.

According to police, 37-year-old Gary L. Vancil of Kewanee, Ill., died in the crash. Kenneth Armstrong, 38, and Fred Yelm, 37, both of Kewanee, were also injured.

Kewanee Police responded to a 911 call at approximately 1 a.m. to find that a truck had crashed into a home on East Division Street. According to police, the vehicle was traveling on South East Street toward East Division when it left the road and crashed into a garage.

The owners of the home, Greg and Janice Hutchinson, told KWQC that the impact shook their entire house.

Greg Hutchinson said that they “woke up to a giant thump, almost a boom.”

The couple said that the truck had come to rest on its side at the entrance to their garage, and the three men were trapped inside. They added that police and EMS arrived within minutes and had to remove the top of the truck cab to extricate the three men.

Vancil, a passenger in the vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene. Yelm, the driver, and Armstrong, another passenger, were transported to local hospitals.

The Hutchinsons told KWQC that they felt awful for the families of the injured, but felt fortunate to have not been injured themselves. They said that a large rock located in their front yard may have protected them and saved their home from further damage. The truck struck the rock, according to the couple, causing it to flip over and hit the garage.

Mr. Hutchinson said that if the rock had not been there, the truck would have crashed into their living room.

Paul Greenberg is a Chicago car accident lawyer and Chicago car accident attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit

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Illinois Mother Files Lawsuit Over Baby’s Death

An Illinois mother has filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court seeking damages for a birth injury that resulted in the death of her child. The plaintiff, Portia Williams, claims that Jackson Park Hospital and Medical Center and several attending physicians and nurses were negligent during the delivery of her child, and that this negligence resulted in the baby’s death.

The woman’s daughter, Naiyanna Edens, was delivered by Caesarean section, and the lawsuit alleges that medical mistakes made during the procedure caused her death.

C-sections are sometimes necessary to protect both the mother’s and child’s health, especially in cases of complications with the umbilical cord, hypoxia, fetal distress and other problems during delivery. If medical professionals fail to meet the standard of care required during a C-section, or delay making crucial decisions, the result can be cerebral palsy, brain damage or death.

According to the lawsuit, Williams was transported to Jackson Park by ambulance. She was in labor, but was made to sit in a waiting room for a significant time period. When she was examined, it was discovered that she was experiencing vaginal bleeding, but she was still made to wait.

The lawsuit claims that doctors performed an emergency C-section 96 minutes later, and that upon delivery, Naiyanna was non-responsive. Williams alleges that the failure to perform a timely C-section caused her baby’s death.

The lawsuit also alleges that the medical staff did not properly monitor the condition of mother and child, did not properly document fetal monitor strips, failed to have neonatologists and pediatricians on hand for the delivery and did not take proper action to resuscitate the child after she was found to be nonresponsive.

Robert Briskman is a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer and Chicago medical malpractice attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit

Birth Injury Lawsuit Filed Over Brachial Plexus Injury

The mother of a child that suffered a brachial plexus injury during delivery has filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court claiming that the attending physician was negligent during the pregnancy and delivery in 2004. The lawsuit states that the doctor’s negligence caused the child’s brachial plexus injury and other health problems.

Erin Burke, the plaintiff, is seeking damages for the injuries suffered by her son, Dylan Burke.

The brachial plexus is a collection of nerves that form a connection between the spinal cord and the shoulder and arm, and injuries to the nerves are most commonly the result of shoulder dystocia during a difficult delivery. In an effort to aid the delivery, a physician may exert pressure that damages the nerves, resulting in a birth injury. Injuries to the brachial plexus can also be caused by improper use of forceps or vacuums during delivery.

A brachial plexus injury can also result when a vaginal delivery is attempted even though a C-section could be safer, for instance if the baby is particularly large or is in breech.

The lawsuit alleges that the physician failed to provide proper antenatal care, failed to perform an adequate delivery and performed excessive manipulations that caused the injury.

As a result, the lawsuit states, the child suffered nerve damage, a skull fracture, intracranial hemorrhage and a neurological impairment. Burke alleges that her son now suffers from permanent injuries that will require medical care on an ongoing basis. The lawsuit seeks damages for medical expenses past and future, lost earning potential and loss of enjoyment of life.

Paul Greenberg is a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer and Chicago medical malpractice attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit

Firefighter Will Not Receive Workers Comp Benefits After Horseplay

A firefighter/paramedic who was injured after giving a coworker a bear hug will not receive workers’ compensation benefits, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) has ruled. The commission decided that the worker’s personal actions constituted horseplay and voluntarily increased his risk of being injured. The injury did not arise from the worker’s employment and is therefore noncompensable.

In the case, Kaschub v. Darien-Woodridge Fire Protection District, the firefighter was excited to learn that he would not have to work overtime and could therefore take a scheduled vacation to go snowmobiling. He came up behind a coworker and gave him a bear hug. The coworker’s arms were pinned to his sides and he was startled and twisted away, causing both men to fall to the ground and the firefighter to become injured.

The workers’ compensation arbitrator found that the firefighter did not prove that the injury arose out of his employment, and therefore denied him benefits. The arbitrator’s decision was affirmed and adopted by the commission.

The commission ruled that the firefighter offered no evidence that his actions were part of his work duties or that his injury was caused by his job duties or work environment. Rather, according to the commission’s decision, his injuries were caused by his personal actions.

Robert Briskman is a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney and Chicago workers compensation lawyer with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit

Number of Workers Comp Cases Is Decreasing

The number of new workers’ compensation cases filed is decreasing in Chicago and throughout the state of Illinois.

According to data from the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC), in fiscal year 2010, 20,272 new workers’ comp cases were filed in Chicago, down from 21,705 in 2009, and a peak of 22,818 in 2008. About 40 percent of the state’s workers’ comp cases are filed in Chicago, with the rest being spread among hearing locations throughout the state.

Statewide, 50,854 new cases were filed in 2010, a decrease from 55,497 in 2009 and 57,515 in 2008. According to the IWCC, approximately 200,000 Illinois workers are injured on the job each year, but in most of those cases, the worker does not lose time from work and does not file a workers’ compensation claim. The IWCC tracks only cases in which a claim is filed.

Most observers agree that the decrease in claims is due at least in part to the high rate of unemployment. Fewer jobs means fewer on the job injuries. Beyond that, business and labor disagree about the reasons for the drop in new cases, each side accusing the other of acting in bad faith.

Business groups claim that the poor economy has led to a reduction in “frivolous” or fraudulent claims, because workers are happy to have any job and do not want to risk losing it. Attorneys representing injured workers say that indeed, workers want to hold onto their jobs, and are hesitant to file legitimate claims for work-related injuries, for fear of retribution from their employers.

Paul Greenberg is a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney and Chicago workers compensation lawyer with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit

Doctor Burnout Leads to More Medical Mistakes

According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a large number of doctors in the U.S. suffer from burnout at work, which can lead to dangerous mistakes as well as medical malpractice lawsuits.

The study surveyed close to 7,300 doctors, and found that almost half suffered from at least one symptom of burnout. Emotional exhaustion was found in 38 percent of the doctors, and there were high depersonalization scores in 30 percent, which is double the rate in other professions. Depersonalization refers to a tendency to view patients less as human beings and more as objects.

Physicians working in the front lines of care, such as emergency rooms, family medicine or general internal medicine, were most likely to suffer from fatigue. In these specialties, the rate of doctors experiencing burnout was close to 60 percent.

More than 40 percent of the physicians surveyed reported dissatisfaction with their work-life balance, compared to 23 percent for other working adults.

One cause of burnout is long work hours. The average work week for doctors was 50 hours, and nearly 60 percent reported working a 60 hour week.

The authors of the study said that the burnout rate was increasing at an alarming rate, as polls in previous years had measured the doctor burnout rate at 30 to 40 percent. According to the authors, physician fatigue affects patient care, as doctors suffering from burnout are more prone to making errors, which can cause patients to suffer, and lead to medical malpractice lawsuits.

Robert Briskman is a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer and Chicago medical malpractice attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit

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The Chicago Illinois personal injury law firm of Briskman Briskman & Greenberg represents injured people throughout Illinois, including Chicago, the Chicagoland area, Joliet, Waukegan, Cicero, Evanston, Arlington Heights, Wheaton, Bolingbrook, and Naperville, as well as other cities within Cook County, Will County, DuPage County, Lake County and McHenry County.
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