Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Top Illinois cases of the year

The Chicago Daily Bulletin has published its "most talked-about" Illinois Supreme Court torts decisions of the year list; and here it is: ... and the winner of the most talked about case title is....: Ready v. United/Goedecke Services Inc., finding that defendants in negligence suits who settle prior to trial should not be named on jury verdict forms for the purposes of apportioning liability. The other honorable mentions are: Hudson v. City of Chicago, in which the court held that the refiling of a wrongful-death suit was barred by res judicata because the plaintiffs took a voluntary dismissal after part of their suit was dismissed on the merits. Wills v. Foster, in which the court held that a personal-injury plaintiff was entitled to recover the reasonable value of the medical care she received rather than being limited to the amount paid by Medicaid in settlement of her medical bills. Mikolajczyk v. Ford Motor Co., in which the court held that Ford Motor Co. was entitled to a new trial in a design-defect lawsuit brought by the widow of a man killed when his sedan was rear-ended by a drunken driver. The court discussed the relationship between the risk-utility and consumer-expectations tests, both of which can be used to prove that a product is unreasonably dangerous. Barth v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., in which the court held that an insurer was not required to prove all of the elements of common-law fraud in order to claim a coverage exclusion for intentional misrepresentation.

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