November 14, 2008
A 2005 law limiting the amount of money juries may award in medical malpractice cases unfairly targets those most seriously injured who deserve the most compensation, lawyers told the Illinois Supreme Court Thursday.
Proponents of the law asked the court not to limit what they called lawmakers’ attempt to stem a health care crisis.
The law restricts awards on non-economic damages such as pain and suffering to $500,000 against doctors and $1 million against hospitals. It was aimed at lowering medial insurance rates blamed for driving physicians, particularly specialists, out of the state.
A trial court ruled last year that the law violates the Constitution’s separation of powers clause by allowing the General Assembly to restrict deliberations by judges and juries. The Supreme Court will study the matter and issue an opinion later.
Read Article: Chicago Tribune
A Rochester law firm filed class action lawsuits Thursday against St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center and Crouse Hospital, accusing the hospitals of not paying hourly employees for lunch breaks that were missed or interrupted.
“In the health care industry, it’s more the exception than the rule when you are able to take an uninterrupted lunch,” said Patrick J. Solomon, a lawyer with Dolin, Thomas & Solomon LLP, the firm that brought the suit.
Hourly employees are entitled under law to be compensated when they don’t get a full meal break, he said.
The lawsuits were filed in federal court. The firm also filed a similar suit Thursday against Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica.
St. Joseph’s and Crouse officials said they were unfamiliar with the action, but were aware that hospital employees had received letters during the summer from the firm asking them to join the suits.
Read Article: Syracuse Post Standard
Two San Jose brothers who survived a Christmas Day tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo have filed a long-expected lawsuit against the city, zoo and others, claiming slander and civil rights violations in the aftermath of an incident that drew international attention.
The lawsuit by Amritpal “Paul” Dhaliwal, 20, and Kulbir Dhaliwal, 24, also contends they were permanently scarred by the escaped tiger, which killed Paul Dhaliwal’s close friend Carlos Sousa Jr., 17, before police shot and killed the animal. They’re seeking unspecified damages.
The lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, contends the city and zoo were negligent on multiple fronts, including keeping the 243-pound Siberian tiger named Tatiana in an enclosure that had walls lower that what is recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. They also say the zoo ignored workers’ warnings about the wall height.
Read Article: San Francisco Chronicle
A settlement in a class-action lawsuit is being hailed as a historic leap forward for adults with developmental disabilities in Illinois, a state one report ranks last in the nation for helping such people live more independently.
In the agreement filed Thursday in federal court, the state promised to move adults with mental retardation and other disabilities out of large institutions if the residents so choose. The case, filed in 2005, claimed Illinois violated the civil rights of 6,000 disabled people living in 250 facilities.
David Cicarelli, 35, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, said he wants to live in an apartment or a small group home with roommates. He now lives at a suburban Chicago facility with about 100 other people with developmental disabilities, but he said it’s too big and doesn’t give him enough freedom.
Read Article: St. Louis Post Dispatch
The owners of Regent Court Apartments in Roseville have agreed to a $170,000 settlement in a housing discrimination lawsuit, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday.
It said the apartment complex and its leasing manager, Donna Harrison, discriminated against black applicants. The settlement, which must be approved by a federal judge, requires the complex to pay $75,000 to three victims, $55,000 in penalties to the government and $40,000 into a fund if more victims come forward. Complex employees also must undergo fair-housing training.
Read Article: Detroit Free Press
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