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So-called Workers' Comp 'Reform' Sticks it to TaxpayersAnyone of us could be hurt on the job. It doesn’t matter if we work in an office, in a factory or on a farm, accidents happen to people in every occupation. When someone is seriously injured, the question becomes: Whose responsibility is it to pay for their care and rehabilitation so they can get back to work?

For Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, his insurance industry allies, and many businesses the unfortunate answer is that the person who was hurt and the taxpayers should pay. Under the guise of "reform" they are seeking further changes to our workers' compensation laws that shift the risk of needing to care for the injured away from insurers and that allow employers to more easily evade the responsibility for ensuring safe work sites and working conditions.

Rauner and Republican legislators want to cut the number of injured workers eligible to receive benefits and many employees, especially older workers more likely to be hurt, would receive no compensation for serious work-related injuries.

CHICAGO DAILY LAW BULLETIN

By Lauraann Wood
Law Bulletin staff writer

A state appeals panel has ruled that jury awards for medical bills in injury cases cannot be reduced to account for the amount of bills the health provider writes off.

The opinion issued earlier this month in the Springfield-based 4th District Appellate Court addresses a long-standing debate between the state’s plaintiff bar and defense bar — which each offered their stance through bar group amicus briefs — regarding how medical bills and subsequent jury awards should be calculated.

In the underlying case, a Coles County jury awarded plaintiff Harold Miller $133,347 for medical expenses in his July 2015 medical-malpractice trial. Fifth Judicial Circuit Judge Brien J. O’Brien reduced the award by $91,724 when the defendant hospital and doctor argued that such a number represented an amount of money neither Miller nor his health-care provider had a right to recover since it was written off in his medical bills.

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The Telly Awards have announced “Amy Clark’s Story” and “The Hill Family Story” as bronze winners in the online video documentary category, created by Hurley McKenna and Mertz, P.C. and Sprout Films. With over 13,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, this is truly an honor.

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Attorney Chris Hurley, ITLAOn Friday, June 10, 2016, Christopher T. Hurley will be sworn in as the President of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. Chris is the founding partner of the Chicago firm Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., one of the top personal injury law firms in Illinois.  

As the 63rd president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA), Chris will lead an organization of the top trial lawyers in Illinois in its mission of upholding the Constitutions of the United States of America and the State of Illinois, defending trial by jury and protecting the rights of injured consumers and workers.

Chris received his bachelor’s degree from Colgate University in 1981 and his law degree from Loyola University of Chicago in 1984.  He began his legal career at Baker & McKenzie in Chicago, one of the world’s largest law firms.  In 1992 Hurley founded his own firm, initially known at Christopher T. Hurley & Associates, because of his desire to use the trial skills and experience he obtained working with the most respected trial lawyers throughout the country to help wrongfully injured individuals and their families.    

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By Kate Thayer, Contact Reporter, Chicago Tribune

A group representing firefighters and municipalities hopes to revive a law that protects first responders from getting sued by people they try to help. The so-called "public duty rule" dates to the 1800s and provides firefighters and paramedics broad immunity from lawsuits stemming from their on-the-job actions. But earlier this year, a divided Illinois Supreme Court struck down the public duty rule when it took up a case involving the 2008 death of a Will County woman who had called 911 while home alone after going into cardiac arrest and later died.

According to a lawsuit her family filed against the East Joliet Fire Protection District, paramedics arrived at the home of the 58-year-old woman, but when she didn't come to the door they decided not to force their way in because police were not present. The responders eventually returned and entered the home after the woman's husband came home, but by then 41 minutes had gone by since the initial 911 call. The lawsuit alleged that the delay in providing emergency care to the woman contributed to her death.

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