On June 30, Adam Carter attended the Annual Meeting of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, where he was presented with the Meritorious Service Award for his service as the Chairman of the IDC’s Civil Practice Committee for the past five years. The keynote speaker at the Annual Meeting was Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis. Adam currently sits on the Board of Directors of the IDC.
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The appellate department successfully persuaded the First District Appellate Court to affirm the circuit court’s denial of the plaintiff’s motion to vacate the judgment entered on an arbitration award in Martin v. Wells Fargo Dealer Services, June 22, 2017. The plaintiff had participated in the court’s mandatory arbitration program but had failed to file a written notice of her rejection of the arbitration award within the timeframe set forth in Illinois Supreme Court Rule 93(a).
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In June 2017, the Cray Huber appellate department won a forum non conveniens victory when the First District Appellate Court overturned a Cook County judge who had refused to transfer an asbestos case from Cook County to Winnebago County. In Rohl v. Caterpillar, et al., the appellate department successfully argued that the plaintiff was, at best, equivocal about exposure to asbestos in Cook County, and all of the relevant factors favored transfer to Winnebago County.
The appellate court initially declined to hear the petition for leave to appeal. The appellate department then filed with the Illinois Supreme Court a motion for supervisory authority, arguing in part that the lower court’s analysis was necessarily flawed because it was based on the faulty premise that the plaintiff had been exposed to asbestos in Cook County for nearly eight months in the late 1940s. The plaintiff had testified that he worked in Winnebago County from 1953 until his retirement in 1999. He spent six months attending a trade school in Chicago sometime in the late 1940s. According to the plaintiff’s testimony, the automotive parts he worked with at the trade school were new, clean and dust-free, and he was unsure of whether he was ever exposed to asbestos in Cook County.
The Illinois Supreme Court issued a supervisory order directing the appellate court to allow the petition for leave to appeal pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 306. The appellate court then resolved the issue on the merits, ruling in a Rule 23 Order that the circuit court abused its discretion in denying defendants’ motion to dismiss based on forum non conveniens.
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On May 17, 2017, Stephen W. Heil and Anthony M. Sam obtained summary judgment in a multi-million brain injury case in Cook County, Illinois. The case involved a night club patron who allegedly suffered a traumatic brain injury after a New Year’s Eve party when he was struck by an outward opening door at the night club. The plaintiff sued the night club, its owners/managers and the head of security for negligence in failing to monitor the exit door or post signs regarding the defective door. In granting summary judgment, the judge found that the defendants did not owe a duty to plaintiff under Illinois law.