Published on:

Second District Judge Mike DiReda found that Sara Loving was owed $250,000 in damages from defendants James and Cindy Davis for injuries she sustained in the July 2012 attack.

The Standard-Examiner of Ogden reported Loving was visiting the couple’s home when their Rottweiler burst into the living room and bit her thigh. It took several minutes for the owners to make the dog let go. Loving was hospitalized and underwent multiple surgeries. A certified nursing assistant at the time, she has been unable to work since.

(Source: InsuranceJournal.com)

Published on:

Toyota has initiated a recall of the more than 8.5 million affected vehicles with potentially faulty accelerators. The vehicles may be prone to sudden uncontrolled acceleration, which is alleged to have caused a number of crashes and 34 deaths. Congressional hearings are pending on a probe initiated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration into whether Toyota acted in a timely manner to initiate the recalls.

Toyota is facing a few different types of potential lawsuits such as class action, claims to recover “lost value”, shareholder suits and traditional product liability claims initiated on behalf of people killed or severely injured in crashes allegedly caused by the accelerators. As an injury lawyer in Chicago, I pay closest attention to these individual product liability cases. As a matter of fact, this Toyota recall highlights a primary reason why I chose this profession. I get great satisfaction from representing individual families and giving them a voice against the large and powerful corporations and insurance companies. And, it angers me to know that neither Toyota nor federal regulators did anything significant to prevent the problem until enough people started dying. The LA Times reported that, based on its review of federal records pursuant to a Freedom of Information Request, there were 2,600 Toyota and Lexus car owner complaints of sudden acceleration from 2000 to 2010. Furthermore, CBS reported that Toyota was aware that its sudden acceleration defects were related to computer software, not to floor mats, as far back as 2005.

Published on:

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) contribute to a substantial number of deaths and cases of permanent disability annually. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that at least 5.3 million Americans currently have a long-term or lifelong need for help to perform activities of daily living as a result of a TBI. Approximately 75 percent of TBIs that occur each year are concussions or other forms of mild TBI.

One specific group at risk is youth athletes playing in organized sports. Most sports related traumatic brain injuries, TBIs, can be classified as concussions. Repeated mild brain injuries occurring over an extended period (i.e., months or years) can result in cumulative neurological and cognitive deficits, but repeated mild brain injuries occurring within a short period (i.e., hours, days, weeks) can be catastrophic or fatal. The latter phenomenon, termed “second impact syndrome” has been reported more frequently since it was first characterized in 1984.
Continue reading →

Published on:

I came across another interesting write-up from the folks in Berkeley on their website titled Science Today pertaining to new technology and understanding the brain. If I didn’t represent brain injury victims in my law practice, I would probably think that magnetoencephalography would only come up in a New York Times or Chicago Tribune crossword puzzle. Physicist Robert Kraus of the Los Alamos National Laboratory has helped develop a helmet of sensors that can be used with a technique called magnetoencephalography to observe tiny electrical currents in the brain.

Brain Map Image.jpgExplained by Mr. Kraus, when you think, when you move a hand, when you see things, large numbers of brain cells or neurons fire in your brain all together – simultaneously. That produces a current. That current results in a magnetic field; that magnetic field comes out of your head and we measure the magnetic field all around your head with a sensor system.

Often times, in a brain injury case, you will have expert witnesses offering opinions as to the severity of the plaintiff’s brain injury. These professional opinions naturally have an element of subjectivity, so I insist on understanding the science and medicine so that I may intelligently represent my clients. Magnetoencephalography could provide the brain activity measurement results to strengthen a brain injury case.

Published on:

I am interested in technology and science. I believe an understanding of science is crucial to being a successful personal injury lawyer. Whether to better understand the science of medicine or the physics and engineering principles of a complex machine, science is crucial to our practice of law.

I came across an interesting topic titled Quiet Hybrid Cars Pose Risk To Pedestrians that was aired on Science Today. Hybrid cars on city streets are very quiet. If you live in the Chicago, I am sure that you will appreciate anything that would make life easier on the ears; however noise plays an important role in protecting and warning pedestrians that are walking across streets in the city. This is especially true for pedestrians with disabilities. Blind pedestrians rely upon hearing for almost every aspect of their daily lives. Luckily visually disabled persons have resources available to assist them in living independently. Organizations such as The Chicago Lighthouse are there to help.

Published on:

In this blog, I will periodically post links to recent literature that I find important in my practice. This is one of those blogs and the article that caught my eye is called Committing Single Events To Memory, from Science Today at the University of California.

Structure of the brain showing hippocampus.jpgWhen I first started handling traumatic brain injury cases (TBI) I was amazed at how much of the brain we do not understand. I find that due to this lack of knowledge, any traumatic brain injury lawyer must constantly be reviewing the latest scientific and medical journals that seek to understand more about the brain. This article addresses issues that may arise in the treatment of memory loss as the research seems to have isolated that Arc activation and regulation controls certain memory functions. In most TBI cases, memory loss is affected. This research could potentially affect my clients’ treatment and their cases, and that is important to me.

Source: Science Today at the University of California

Published on:

A woman accused of helping lure a boyfriend to a hotel room and gluing his penis to his stomach as punishment for his cheating ways says she and the other women went to the motel to confront the man and let him know they all knew what was going on.

Prosecutors say the women, including the man’s wife and another girlfriend, lured the man to the motel to punish him for cheating. Court documents say the man agreed to be bound with sheets and blindfolded by one of the women, and that she used Krazy Glue to attach his penis to his stomach.

Published on:

On August 11, 2009, Raul Torres, owner of Torres Construction, hauled a load of dirt in a Bobcat front loader toward a dump truck parked at a construction site in Chatham on the South side of Chicago. His company was repairing a basement floor in an apartment building that’s being converted into condos. His son, Valente Torres, was playing on the sidewalk. The loader’s back wheels rolled over the curb and the heavy steel bucket filled with dirt suddenly slammed toward the ground fatally crushing Valente’s skull, according to a witness.

I read this article in the Chicago Sun Times and couldn’t help but think of all the times I have brought my son, Zack, to work with me. Unlike Mr. Torres, I work in an office setting where the risks of workplace injuries are much lower. This unfortunate accident highlights the reasons why any construction site has the potential to be dangerous, and it is crucial that safety guidelines, including all OSHA regulations, are followed.

osha-logo.jpgOSHA regulations have been put in place by the United States Department of Labor with the purpose of providing a safe workplace for workers and those that find themselves in close proximity to construction projects. All of the regulations for workplace safety can be accessed through the