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 FIRM ACTIVITIES & DECISIONS OF INTEREST

In December 2017, the appellate department successfully argued in the First District Appellate Court that the trial court abused its discretion in granting the plaintiff’s motion for a new trial, thus reinstating a trial victory for a Cray Huber client.  In Perez v. Athletico of Oak Park, et al., the appellate court first granted the petition for leave to appeal pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 306, and then opined in a Rule 23 Order that the trial court abused its discretion when it granted the plaintiff’s motion for a new trial because the expert testimony conflicted and it was the province of the jury to resolve any conflicts.  According to the appellate court, it was entirely reasonable that the jury found that the plaintiff simply did not meet its burden to prove the elements of medical negligence.

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Aimee Lipkis presented on the topic of medical malpractice litigation to third-year podiatry students attending the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, Chicago, Illinois, December 4.

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Cray Huber attorneys Jeff Siderius, Melissa Dakich and Nicholas Graber were recently successful  in persuading the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse the trial court’s denial of its client’s motion for summary judgment in Argonaut Midwest Ins. Co. v. DLC Services, Inc., et al., (Dec. 12, 2017).  The insurer sought summary judgment in Lake County, Indiana Superior Court, but the trial court denied the motion.  Cray Huber filed an interlocutory appeal.  The Indiana Court of Appeals granted review and held the insured’s nearly two-year delay in providing notice of the underlying slip and fall incident, and its nearly six-month delay in providing notice of the lawsuit, were unreasonably late as a matter of law.  The court further held these delays prejudiced the insurer and that the parties seeking coverage had failed to rebut the presumption of prejudice created by the delays. The Court of Appeals therefore reversed the decision of the trial court.

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On November 17, Daniel Cray participated in a panel discussion entitled, “The Reptile Theory – Cutting off the Head of the Snake:  How the Defense Can Effectively Combat Plaintiffs’ Reptile Tactics in Litigation” at the Chicagoland Healthcare Risk Management Society’s (CHRMS) Law Day.

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Hastings Mut. Ins. Co. v. Blinderman Constr. Co., Inc. et al., 2017 IL App (1st) 162234. This additional insured coverage dispute addresses whether a subcontractor’s insurer has a duty to defend the general contractor-additional insured where the underlying complaint contains no allegations of negligence against the subcontractor.

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On October 17, Aimee Lipkis presented “Typical Surgical Malpractice Cases:  A Case Review” to third-year surgical residents at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chicago.

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Pekin Ins. Co. v. Lexington Station, LLC, 2017 IL App (1st) 163284. This case is the latest in a series of cases from the First District Illinois appellate court to address the issue of the scope of additional insured insurance coverage. The case involves the typical fact situation where an employee of a downstream contractor is injured and sues the owner or general contractor, which in turn seeks coverage under the downstream contractor’s general liability insurance policy as an additional insured.  The appellate court held, as it has in a series of recent cases, that the downstream contractor was potentially vicariously liable even though the contractor was not named as a defendant in the underlying lawsuit and the injured plaintiff did not allege negligence against it.