Articles Posted in Premises Liability

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Three cases of Legionnaires’ disease were linked to a downtown Chicago Marriott. Over 8000 people who stayed at at the Chicago Marriott Hotel at 151 W. Adams St. between July 16 and August 15 , 2012, may have been exposed to the Legionella bacteria which causes the disease.

The bacteria can be found in water. The symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease can include headache, high fever, chills, cough, chest pain and shortness of breath. Smokers, older people, people with chronic lung disease, or weak immune systems are considered most vulnerable to becoming ill from the bacteria.

Legionnaires’ disease can be fatal. Anyone experiencing these symptoms who stayed at the hotel should contact their doctor.

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A popular hotel chain has voluntarily closed one of its locations in Albany, New York after two guests were diagnosed with Legionnaire’s disease. This was after six other cases were confirmed cases earlier this year.

Legionnaire’s disease is a potentially fatal bacterial illness. It is most commonly transmitted when when a person comes in contact with evaporated water containing Legionella bacteria. This often occurs in poorly ventilated areas and can be spread through air conditioners.

Symptoms of the disease are similar to the flu and include fever, chills and coughing. Diarrhea and vomiting can occur in some cases as well as confusion and difficulty with cognition.

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Some people think that it’s better, from a legal perspective, not to shovel snow from their sidewalk. This belief stems from the idea that not shoveling snow will somehow protect a property owner from getting slapped with a lawsuit.

This issue is directly addressed by the Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act. The Act is meant to protect property owners who clear ice and snow from their sidewalk. In general, so long as a resident makes an effort to remove snow and ice from their sidewalks, he or she won’t be held liable for injuries resulting from a slip and fall on their sidewalk, except in cases of clear wrongdoing as defined by the Act.So what does this mean for slip and fall victims?

According to recent Illinois court rulings, property owners and snow removal contractors are immune from liability for injuries resulting from unnatural accumulations of snow and ice created or aggravated by the owner or snow removal contractor, unless their conduct was willful or wanton. What this means for slip and fall victims is that it is important to consult with an experienced injury lawyer who can give careful consideration to the specifics of an individual case in order to inform that person of his or her legal rights.

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This year’s winter weather predictions for the Midwest are gloomy. According to media weather reports, the Great Lakes Region should expect a especially cold winter combined with above average snowfall. That should make even the seasoned Midwesterner want pack up and move to a sunnier place. For the City of Chicago, this means snow shovel sales are sure to go through the roof.

Despite these predictions, some Chicago residents believe they are better off not shoveling their sidewalks because doing so will open them up to the possibility of getting sued if someone slips on the ice in front of their house. This begs the question; “Am I better protected from liability if I don’t shovel my show?” A review of Illinois law should convince even the most stubborn Chicagoan that this is not the case.

To begin with, property owners in Illinois are generally not liable if someone is injured by falling on a natural accumulation of snow and ice on the sidewalk. But, they can be held liable if someone is injured due to an unnatural accumulation.

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A two year old boy suffered very serious injuries including severe head trauma after he fell down an elevator shaft in Joliet, IL, on Monday. The incident occurred at the Plaza Hotel in Joliet, IL, around 3:30 p.m. According to published reports, the boy was unattended in the elevator when he started playing with the elevator buttons. The boy reportedly hit an emergency stop button at which point the doors opened exposing a 10 inch gap between the elevator and the walls. The toddler fell through this gap all the way to the hotel basement floor. The boy was reportedly first taken to Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet before being airlifted to Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. He was in a coma on Monday but has reportedly improved as he is now able to open his eyes and move his hands.

In the wake of the tragic elevator accident, two elevator inspectors were suspended by the State of Illinois. A spokesperson for the Illinois State fire marshal, the entity that oversees elevator inspections, has indicated that disciplinary measures could be forthcoming once an investigation is complete. The elevator reportedly passed inspection on October 26th. It had reportedly failed an inspection earlier that month due to a incomplete pressure test. The elevator is now out of service. The State has reportedly required that the hotel make upgrades to its elevators.

UPDATE: The Joliet chief building inspector has determined that a building code violation may have played a role in the elevator accident. The switch panel that the child used to stop the elevator between floors should have required a key for operation and should have also been stored behind a locked panel.

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These guidelines will help you determine who is responsible if you slip or trip and fall on someone else’s property.

Many thousands of people are injured each year — some very seriously — when they slip or trip and fall on a dangerous floor, a flight of stairs, or a rough patch of ground. Sometimes the owner of the property where the accident occurred is responsible for the accident, sometimes not.

If you have been injured in this way, first consider that it is a normal part of living for things to fall on or to drip onto a floor or the ground, and for smooth surfaces to become uneven. Also, some things put in the ground — drainage grates, for example — serve a useful purpose there. Therefore, someone who owns or occupies property cannot always be held responsible for immediately picking up or cleaning every slippery substance on a floor. Nor is a property owner always responsible for someone slipping or tripping on something that an ordinary person should expect to find there or should see and avoid. We all have an obligation to watch where we’re going.

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If you’ve got a dog, take some simple steps to prevent injuries — and legal headaches.

The numbers are up, and it’s not good news: Dogs bite 4.7 million people every year.

The explanations are nearly as numerous as the pet dogs, now counted at more than 62 million. Some speculate that Americans, frightened of crime, are favoring fiercer breeds. And busy owners too often leave their pets home alone, untrained and unsocialized. Dogs that spend a lot of time by themselves (especially if they’re tied up), aren’t used to being around strangers and haven’t received basic obedience training, are prime candidates to bite.