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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) September 12, 2014 – The number of fatalities caused by defective ignition switches in General Motors vehicles may be much greater than the 13 that GM itself has linked to the problem.  A Reuters analysis of government data on fatal crashes indicates that there have been at least 74 deaths in GM cars with key similarities to the deaths already attributed to the faulty switches. “It’s unsurprising that an independent observer is finding more deaths caused by the ignition switch defect than GM found,” said Paul Greenberg, a Chicago wrongful death attorney. “There is a […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) September 5, 2014 – A wrongful death lawsuit over last year’s construction accident on the Northwestern University campus, which resulted in the death of an iron worker, is pressing forward. Michael Kerr, 57, was killed on May 16, 2013 when a crane knocked a 70-pound beam off the sixth floor of a new building being constructed on campus. Kerr was standing on the ground floor when the 16-foot beam struck him in the head and chest. He was pronounced dead two hours later at Evanston Hospital. Kerr’s son, also named Michael Kerr, has filed a […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) August 29, 2014 – In an at-will employment arrangement, an employer may terminate a worker any time for a wide number of reasons. An employee may also quit any time for any reason, but he or she should do so with respect and courtesy if possible. “If you are thinking about quitting your job, make certain you know if you live in an at-will employment state, such as Illinois,” suggested Chicago employment attorney Timothy Coffey. “In virtually all states (with the exception of Montana), workers are presumed to be at-will employees unless the employment terms […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) August 22, 2014 – Most states hire workers “at-will.” Even though employees may usually be laid off at any time without notice, state and federal laws protect workers in some circumstances. “It is good common sense to understand whether or not you are employed at-will in your state. It affects how any labor disputes may be handled. Illinois is an employment-at-will state,” explained Timothy Coffey, a respected Chicago employment lawyer. State and federal laws protect workers in some circumstances. For instance, if a worker in Illinois has an employment contract, they do not have at-will […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) August 8, 2014 – At-will employment means an employer may terminate a worker any time for many reasons. An employee may also quit any time for any reason, but should do so with respect and courtesy if possible. “If you are thinking about quitting your job, make certain you know if you live in an at-will-employment state, such as Illinois,” indicated Chicago employment attorney, Timothy Coffey. “For instance, in virtually all states, with the exception of Montana, workers are presumed to be at-will employees, unless the employment terms fit an exception to the prevailing rule, […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) August 7, 2014 – A personal injury lawsuit has been filed against the Chicago Transit Authority by a passenger in the subway train that jumped the tracks and careened up an escalator at Chicago O’Hare International Airport in March. The derailment, caught on a surveillance video, propelled the train up an escalator toward two men standing at the top. Due to the early morning hour of the accident, the platform was deserted and no one was killed. However, more than 30 passengers on the train were injured, including plaintiff Dalila Jefferson, who was on her […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) July 31, 2014 – As of late May, traffic fatalities in Illinois have fallen 23 percent compared to the same time period last year. There were 290 highway deaths in the state by May 23 this year, a decrease of 89 fatalities from the same period in 2013. “The decrease in traffic fatalities is welcome news, and hopefully, it is a trend that will continue,” said Paul Greenberg, a Chicago car accident attorney. The reasons for the decline in fatal accidents are unclear, but there are several likely possibilities. On January 1, a statewide ban […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) July 24, 2014 – In the decade after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has made more than $200 million in payments to settle nearly 1,000 wrongful death claims. According to VA data obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting, the payments have been made to the families of veterans who died as the result of misdiagnoses, neglect, suicide, botched surgeries and other negligence. “It is a tragedy any time a person’s death is caused by another’s negligence, but the government has a special responsibility to provide care for […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) July 10, 2014 – In 2008, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) changed the characterization of disability. Workers no longer need to prove they suffer from a physiological disorder and may claim obesity itself as a disability. “Obesity was thought to be a choice at one time and overweight individuals needed to prove they had a thyroid condition, diabetes or an underlying physiological disorder to claim disability. The Act was changed in 2008 by the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) broadening the definition of ‘major life activities’ and substantially limits relating to how obesity affected an […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) July 3, 2014 – When starting new employment, all documentation relating to company policies must be read and understood. Sometimes employee handbooks form the basis of a contract. “Most new hires get a copy of the company handbook on, or prior to, the first day of work. You must read this material even though it might not make sense in the beginning. Knowing and understanding what is contained in the employee handbook is an asset that may pay off later if you have workplace issues pertaining to harassment or discrimination,” says respected Chicago employment attorney, […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) June 13, 2014 – Any agreements signed upon employment should be vetted with an employment attorney. Be on the alert for a clause indicating arbitration. Employment agreements may have a provision in them that a worker must submit to arbitration should there be a workplace dispute. If that agreement is signed without speaking to an employment attorney, the signatory is agreeing to resolve any disputes with an employer by means of arbitration. The arbitrator would be a privately hired judge. “Agreeing to arbitration as a dispute resolution mechanism means you have signed away your right […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) June 10, 2014 – According to a criminal complaint filed against him, the truck driver charged in a crash that killed one person and critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan had not slept in more than 24 hours. Kevin Roper was behind the wheel of a Walmart tractor-trailer on the New Jersey Turnpike when he crashed into the back of a limo van carrying Morgan and his companions. Comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair died at the scene. Morgan was critically injured. Three other passengers, comedians Harris Stanton and Ardie Fuqua and Morgan’s assistant Jeff Millea, were […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) June 6, 2014 – Every state protects workers from various forms of discrimination. However, not all states protect transgender, lesbian, gay or bisexual workers from discrimination (LGBT). “Every state in the Union prohibits discriminating against workers based on their religion, race, national origin, gender and so forth. However, not every state offers the same kind of protection for LGBT employees,” outlines Timothy Coffey, an experienced Chicago employment attorney. Currently, there are 21 states and the District of Columbia that do offer protection to LGBT employees from discrimination. The remaining 29 states offer nothing in the […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) May 28, 2014 – Proponents of changes to Illinois’ workers’ compensation laws say that reforms passed in 2011 did not go far enough. Newly proposed legislation would exempt employers from paying for injuries suffered while traveling to work if the worker is not traveling specifically for work purposes. This and other changes are needed, proponents say, to reduce workers’ compensation insurance costs. Not everyone agrees. “The problem with saying that these changes will reduce insurance premiums is that it has not been borne out by the evidence,” indicates Robert Briskman, a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney. […]


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Lincolnshire, IL (Law Firm Newswire) May 23, 2014 Lincolnshire, IL (Law Firm Newswire) May 23, 2014 – At its Conference & Expo in Toronto this week, the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) inducted its board of directors for 2014-15. Leading the association and serving as President for 2014-15 is Paula Barnes of Burr & Forman in Nashville, Tennessee and Paul Farnsworth of Woods Oviatt Gilman, LLP in Rochester, New York continuing his service as Past President of the Board. The Board includes the following individuals: President: Paula K. Barnes Burr & Forman, LLP Nashville, TN President-Elect: Teresa Walker Waller Lansden […]


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Lincolnshire, IL (Law Firm Newswire) May 23, 2014 Lincolnshire, IL (Law Firm Newswire) May 23, 2014 – The Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) presented The “Outstanding Association Volunteer Award” to five ALA members for his/her exceptional and continued service at ALA’s 2014 Annual Conference & Exposition in Toronto. 2014 Outstanding Association Award recipients include: 1. Roslyn Hazzard, Human Resources Director of Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP, Indianapolis, Indiana. (Indiana Chapter) Hazzard has served in both regional and national leadership roles since 1993, including Regional Officer and Region 3 Director. She also participated on the 2010 Conference Committee and most recently on […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) May 21, 2014 – In January, a truck driver’s semitrailer crashed on Interstate 88 in Aurora, causing the death of an Illinois Tollway worker and serious injuries to a state trooper. Renato Velasquez was charged with operating a commercial vehicle while fatigued or impaired, driving beyond the legal time limits for truckers and with falsifying driving records — all felonies. The driver had worked for 37 straight hours, but his attorney denied that sleepiness was a factor in the crash. “Fatigue is often a factor in truck accidents,” says Paul Greenberg, a Chicago truck accident […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) May 14, 2014 – A federal judge in Portland, Maine recently heard arguments on whether Illinois or Maine will be the proper jurisdiction for a recent, tragic wrongful death case. Nineteen wrongful death claims have risen from the July 2013 derailment of a Montreal, Maine and Atlantic (MMA) Railway train in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada. The accident resulted in at least 42 deaths. The trustee overseeing MMA during bankruptcy proceedings moved to transfer the wrongful death cases to Maine. The company hopes to consolidate actions associated with its bankruptcy.  Attorneys representing the victims’ families opposed the […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) May 13, 2014 – Unless an employment contract exists, an individual is likely an “at-will” worker. An “at-will” worker may be terminated virtually anytime, for any reason. “Although an at-will worker may be fired just about anytime and for many reasons, those reasons must not be discriminatory. If you were fired for discriminatory reasons, this is wrongful termination and you need to seek the services of a competent employment attorney. If you have been wrongfully terminated, you have solid legal protection offered by the federal government,” points out well-known Chicago employment attorney, Timothy Coffey. Discrimination […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) May 7, 2014 – The Illinois Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the state’s Employee Classification Act. The Employee Classification Act protects construction workers from being misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees. In the case, Bartlow v. Costigan, the state high court rejected a constitutional challenge by a roofing company that claimed the law was impermissibly vague and violated due process rights. “This is an important ruling for workers,” states Robert Briskman, a Chicago work injury attorney. “When employees are misclassified as independent contractors, their employers avoid paying worker’s compensation premiums, unemployment insurance […]


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