February 2010 Archives

February 12, 2010

Suspect Id'd In Rachel Gilliam Fatal Hit & Run Case



Great news for the family of Rachel Gilliam, the 25 year-old DePaul student who was killed in a hit and run as she was leaving work on Halloween night. Chicagobreakingnews.com is reporting that a suspect has been Id'd in the fatal hit and run accident. The suspect identified by police is Carlos Castillo, a former Rogers Park man, who apparently did not have a driver's license at the time of the accident. Police believe that Castillo may have fled to Mexico shortly after the accident.

A tipster who had heard the news coverage of the crash apparently notified police about Castillo's possible involvement in the case. A search warrant was issued and police discovered a silver vehicle which is linked by physical evidence to Gilliam's death.

Anyone with information about Castillo's wherabouts is asked to call the Chicago Police Department's Major Accident Investigation Unit, 312-745-4521. We hope that the hard work of the police and the Gilliam family pays off and Castillo is brought back to Chicago to face charges.

February 5, 2010

Illinois Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Patient On Medical Malpractice Reform



The Illinois Supreme Court in a 4-2 decision struck down limits on damages awards in medical malpractice cases with its decision in Lebron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital on thursday. The court held that the legislation was unconstitutional. The majority opinion, authored by Justice Fitzgeral held, in part: "[W]e necessarily consider...the legislature's goal in enacting the statue-responding to a health-care crisis. Our separation of powers analysis, however, does not stop there. The crux of our analysis is whether the statue unduly infringes upon the inherent power of the judiciary. Here, the legislature's attempt to limit...damages in medical malpractice actions runs afoul of the separation of powers clause."

This is a major victory for patients and consumers in Illinois. The legislature has tried, on three seperate occasions, to enact caps on damages in medical malpractice cases. For years lobbiests for the insurance industry have argued that medical malpractice awards have contributed to the high cost of health care in Illinois despite the fact that insurace payouts on these claims have remained level for the past two decades.

All citizens of Illinois should have a right to ask a jury of their peers for redress when they have been victimized by negligence, regardless of the profession of the guilty party. To see a copy of the Supreme Courts landmark opinion look here.