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public duty rule, Chicago personal injury attorneysThe “public duty rule” has provided many government officials with protection from lawsuits when they fail to provide adequate government services.   A recent Illinois Supreme Court decision has abolished this rule, effectively restoring the public’s right to seek victim compensation when government employees and officials engage in reckless, willful and wanton behavior.

The Illinois Supreme Court Case

The recent Illinois Supreme Court ruling involved the death of a Will County woman. Suffering from difficulty breathing, the woman had called 911 and spoke to an emergency dispatcher, giving her name and address and requesting an ambulance.   When emergency medical technicians arrived, they found the house locked with no response, and decided to leave.

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tort-reformFiction can provide hours of entertainment, give us a momentary escape from reality, and encourage us to tap into our creative, youthful self. But there is a time and a place for such fanciful notions, and it is not in the legal arena. So why do tort reform supporters use extravagant, exaggerated, and sometimes even completely fabricated stories when discussing the legal system today? Bottom line: because those stories support their message.

Behind the Curtain of Tort Reform

Tort reform is backed by some pretty powerful players, such as insurance companies, manufacturers of dangerous or defective products or chemicals, and other major corporations, who use their funds to sway people in their direction. Driven by the desire to protect their assets and increase their bottom line, they want to make it nearly impossible for anyone they kill or injure along the way to receive compensation. To achieve those goals, they literally purchase the help of the keynote speakers—government officials, defense attorneys, the media, and other influencers.

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right to compensation, Chicago medical malpractice attorneysWhen a doctor, medical staff, hospital, or nursing home is negligent or makes a mistake that causes injury or death to a patient it is called medical malpractice. The patient or patient’s family deserves the maximum compensation for the mistake or negligence. A new provision of a bill recently passed by the House of Representatives would protect the doctors and hospitals instead of the patient and their family.

If signed into law, the provision would put a limit on the amount of compensation victims of medical malpractice would be able to collect. The belief is that limiting the compensation will lower spending in the healthcare system. Texas already has a law that limits compensation to $250,000 per year, but it has not cut spending in the healthcare system. A study showed that spending per patient increased.

This provision does not benefit the patients. It benefits doctors, hospitals, and the healthcare system. It would prohibit the use of federal guidelines for the quality of care standards to be used in medical malpractice cases. This means if the doctor or hospital was negligent or caused you or a family member an injury or death, the quality of care guidelines would not be admissible in court to show the negligence.

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