Many commuters consider 2018 as “the year of the scooter” with Bird and Lime having started an electric battery-operated scooter service in California late in 2017. With a maximum speed of 15 mph, these short-range electric vehicles consist of a narrow platform on which the rider stands with 1 foot in front of the other and a waist-high rod with handlebars for steering. After kicking off initially with 1 foot, riders accelerate and brake the scooter using triggers activated with their thumbs. The e-scooters are located and unlocked using a downloaded smartphone application, rides are paid for by the minute, and the ride can be ended anywhere the rider decides.
On March 14, 2019, the Illinois House passed Senate Bill 1596 by a vote of 70-40-1. The Bill creates a statutory exception to the workers’ compensation exclusive remedy provision for occupational injuries otherwise barred due to the Acts’ repose provisions. [Read more…] about Illinois State Legislature Passes Bill That May Allow Increased Civil Claims Against Illinois Employers
By now, most motor carriers1 should be familiar with electronic logging devices (ELDs) or alternative on-board recording devices (AOBRD). As of April 1, 2018, inspectors for the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration (FMCSA) may issue out-of-service orders to drivers for failure to install or use an ELD. [Read more…] about Motor Carriers and ELDs: How to Avoid a Complaint Of Harassment From the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration Under 49 CFR § 386.12.
The Law Division of the Cook County Circuit Court rang in the New Year with a new HIPAA Qualified Protective Order (QPO) following Judge John Ehrlich’s memorandum opinion in Shull v. Ellis, No. 15 L 9759. The New HIPAA QPO requires a party claiming personal injury to consent to an explicit waiver for other parties, including insurance companies, to use that party’s private health information (PHI). The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) does not apply to property and casualty insurance companies. However, the Cook County Law Division’s new HIPAA Qualified Protective Order will affect property and casualty insurance companies in the following ways:
Plaintiff Charles Krik, a life-long cigarette smoker, alleged that his lung cancer was caused, in part, by exposure to asbestos attributable to his work as a pipe fitter at an Exxon Mobil refinery. At the trial level, the judge barred plaintiff’s expert Dr. Arthur Frank and his opinion that “any exposure” to a given substance adds to one’s cumulative dose, and that the cumulative dose is the alleged cause of the claimed injury. (Charles Krik v. Exxon Mobil Oil Corp., et al., No. 15-3112, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 16795).
Justice Alito delivered the opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 19, 2017 in Bristol-Myers Squibb Company v. Superior Court of California. The case concerned over 600 plaintiffs who brought suit in California state court against Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) alleging injuries from taking the drug Plavix. The vast majority of the plaintiffs were not California residents. The California Supreme Court concluded that California courts had specific jurisdiction to entertain the nonresident claims. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the decision. This decision will have an impact on future mass tort litigation cases.
Talc seems harmless enough. It is used in countless cosmetics and is a staple for infant care. Known as the “world’s softest mineral,” talc is mined from the ground like any other mineral. However, increasing evidence is showing that mined talc can be intermingled with asbestos. Recent court decisions throughout the country could be an indication of the addition of talc-related cases handled by attorneys practicing mass tort litigation defense.
Take home, or secondary exposure, asbestos cases have increasingly become the norm in toxic tort asbestos litigation in the last 10 years. Secondary exposure occurs when a worker is exposed to asbestos at a job site and brings the asbestos-containing clothes home to be laundered by a family member. As a result, the family member handling the contaminated clothing becomes the victim of secondary exposure to asbestos. [Read more…] about Secondary Exposure to Asbestos: When Taking Your Work Home Can Be Actionable
A frequently relied upon defense in insurance defense cases such as product liability and toxic tort cases in Indiana has been the statute of repose. Plaintiffs had two years from the date they knew or should have known they suffered harm to file a lawsuit based upon the state’s statute of limitations. The statute of repose placed a 10-year limit on how long a plaintiff had to actually discover the harm before the claim would be barred. [Read more…] about Restriction on Statute of Repose Defense Results in an Increase In Asbestos Claims Being Filed in Indiana
A new method of construction delivery has developed to accommodate the needs of owners, designers and contractors. Traditional design-bid-build methods that have been the mainstay in construction are giving way to a design-build method. Lawyers practicing in the area of construction law must be aware of the legal implications this change creates for their clients.