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1.6 Million dollars awarded in wrongful death lawsuit against group home

A jury awarded $1.6 million to the family of a woman who died of severe brain damage after falling repeatedly at her group home. The verdict is the highest in a wrongful death action in Stephenson County, Illinois. In 2012, Rebecca Ruiz, the victim’s sister, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Willowglen Academy-Illinois Inc. and …

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New silica dust rules aim to save lungs of construction workers

The Department of Labor issued controversial new rules on March 24 to protect workers from silica dust exposure, one of the oldest known workplace hazards. Silica dust is a common mineral found in construction materials such as stone, brick and concrete. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the fine grains can cause …

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Concert organizers sued for attendee’s fatal fall

A mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against concert organizers in the aftermath of her son’s death from a fall during a concert at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, Illinois. Denise Kirchhoff filed the complaint in Cook County Circuit Court on March 10 as the independent administrator of her son Kyle Kirchhoff’s estate. She named …

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Age Restriction in Park Not a Liability Shield

The Chicago Park District must do more to publicize playground age restrictions if it wants them to be the basis of legal immunity, a state appeals panel has ruled. The First District Appellate Court, in an unpublished order decision by Justice Robert E. Gordon, found that signs must be posted at the park and that …

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Appellate court rules worker’s injury in fall compensable

The Appellate Court of Illinois reversed the judgment of a trial court in a workers’ compensation case, ruling that the worker’s injury in a fall was compensable. The claimant, Jane R. Brais, suffered an injury to her wrist when she tripped on a faulty sidewalk outside the Kankakee County courthouse, where she worked in the …

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Special Hazard Rule Covers Employee in Workers’ Compensation Case

In an unpublished opinion, The Illinois Appellate Court held that a bus driver’s injury — resulting from tripping over a mat while leaving a work meeting — arose out of her employment. The bus driver claimed an injury to her leg while attending a compulsory meeting for 200 workers held at a school. The driver …

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Illinois Supreme Court Allows Mailbox Rule in Workers’ Compensation Case

The Illinois Supreme Court upheld the “mailbox rule” as it applies to workers’ compensation cases. The court held that the petitioner’s appeal to the circuit court was timely filed because it was postmarked by the filing deadline. Justice Robert R. Thomas, writing for the majority in the 5-2 decision, said that upholding the rule in …

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Employee Claims Retaliation for Filing Workers’ Compensation Claim

An Illinois woman claims she was fired from a retail store because she filed a workers’ compensation claim. Cynthia Hewitt filed a lawsuit against Casey’s General Store in Maryville. According to the lawsuit, Hewitt began working at the store in September 2011. She claims that she fell and injured her back while moving a tall …

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