November 2009 Archives

November 24, 2009

Indiana Girl Injured In A Monkey Attack

A ten-month old Laporte, Indiana girl was injured when she was attacked by a pet monkey at the home of a family member. Apparently the monkey was removed from her cage when she pulled on the back of the infant's hooded sweatshirt and banged her head into the cage. The girl suffered injuries and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Last year a chimp severly injured a Connecticut women prompting outrage from the general public and calls fior enhanced legislation barring people from keeping primates as pets. The U.S. House of Representatives went to far as to pass The Captive Primate Safety Act in the hopes of banning monkeys as pets. The measure has stalled in the Senate. Unfortunately, there is no permit required in Indiana to own a pet monkey.

November 23, 2009

Amtrak Train Kills Man In Deerfield

An Amtrak train travelling from Chicago to Seattle struck and killed a man in Deerfield, Illinois on Sunday. Amtrak has identified the man as a "trespasser" walking along the tracks near Dundee Rd. in the north suburban town when the Amtrak Empire Builder struck and killed him at around 3 p.m.

Officials are reporting that the man is in his 20s, his identity has not yet been disclosed. Railroads are particularly agressive in blaming the victims of accidents for their own injuries and deaths in the immediate wake of a tragedy involving a train collision. Often times, after investigating an accident, we learn that the railroad is to blame for an accident that they initially blamed on the person who was injured or killed.

November 12, 2009

Medical Malpractice And Tort Reform: Enough Already

Joanne Doroshow wrote an excellent article in the Monday, November 9, 2009 edition of The Huffington Post called Medical Malpractice Tort Reform - We Are Already Suffering And Don't Need More. She points out that unless you are currently living under a rock you have heard the term "tort reform" but, sadly, probably don't know what it really means.

In Illinois we have tort reform as it relates to medical malpractice. Starting in 1985, and every ten years thereafter, the state legislature has based some sort of restriction on the publics right to sue for personal injury. In the late 1990s the Illinois Supreme Court struck down these restrictions, overruling the legislature, and finding them to be unconstitutional. The legislature, bowing to pressure from the insurance industry, tried again in 2005 and passed limits on jury awards as they relate to doctors and hospitals only. That legislation is currently being reviewed for constitutionality by the Supreme Court and we expect a ruling on the issue in the near future.

The term tort reform implies that its results would be beneficial to everyone. Sadly, this is not the case. Tort reform in Illinois will only make it harder for average hard working men and women to seek redress for the harms caused to them as victims of negligence. The tort reform movement was started by and is funded by insurance companies. The same companies that have the most to gain financially by limiting jury awards.

The benefits of our current tort system are far reaching and relatively unsung. Innovations in product and medical safety, health care innovations and auto safety are some of the by products of our jury system. What motivates insurance companies? Money and the bottom line. Are they interested in protecting the little guy? Not at the expense of profits.

November 6, 2009


The family of Rachel Gilliam, a 25 year old woman who was killed by a hit and run driver on Chicago's northside last week is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of her killer. According to witnesses, Rachel was struck and killed by the driver of a silver 4-door Lexus as she attempted to hail a cab in the 4300 block of North Lincoln Avenue at approximately 3:30 a.m. November 1st. Rachel had just finished her shift at Bowman's Bar & Grill where she was a bartender. Her colleagues stated she was dressed as a bride in celebration of Halloween.

We first reported on this tragic accident on November 3, and are sad to report that Rachel's killer remains at large. Members of the public are asked to call the Chicago P.D. Major Accident Investigative Unit at 312-745-4521 or private investigator Susan Carlson of Carlson Investigations, Inc. at 847-491-9182 with helpful information. "At this time, the vehicle which struck Rachel is believed to be a silver Lexus and was seen heading South on Lincoln Ave.," Carlson said. "If someone knows something, we urge you to come forward so that the Gilliam family can have justice for their daughter."

A fundraiser is being held Tuesday evening at Bowman's Bar & Grill at 4356 N. Leavitt Street beginning at 7 p.m.

November 3, 2009

Lawry's Restaurant Settles Sex-Discrimination Lawsuit

The Lawrey's restaurant chain has agreed to settle a sex-descrimination lawsuit brought by the United States Equal Employment opportunity Commission on behalf of male employees of the restaurant. The lawsuit claimed that Lawry's barred men from waiting tables at its restaurants, including the one in Chicago.

The Pasadena, California based chain will make $500,000 available to pay victims and will use $525,000 for training and advertising campaigns in order to comply with the terms of the settlement.

November 3, 2009

Hit And Run Driver Kills Chicago Bartender

Chicago Police are searching for a silver Lexus they believe struck and killed a 25 year old Chicago woman who had just finished a busy Halloween night shift tending bar at a northside tavern.

Rachel Gilliam, age 25, was an employee of Bowman's Bar and Grill in the North Center neighborhood on the city's northside. She was struck and killed at almost 4 am at around 4314 N. Lincoln avenue. Police believe the Lexus rolled through a stop sign.

Gilliam was a Kansas City native who moved to Chicago to attend DePaul University. She was a world traveller. She is survived by her family,