Stephen D. Phillips to be installed as President of ITLA

Contact: Kevilee Burge
JUNE 3, 2013
(217) 789-0755

STEPHEN D. PHILLIPS, managing partner at the Phillips Law Offices in Chicago (, will be installed as the 60th President of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA) on Friday, June 7, 2013, at its annual convention. Phillips received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa in 1981 and his law degree in 1985 from Loyola University School of Law. He was admitted to the Illinois Bar shortly thereafter. [Read more…]

We Hear About a Lot of Auto Recalls These Days

It seems that no matter how much research you do, how much money you spend or how many auto dealers you visit in Illinois to get your favorite car, you have no guarantee that it is safe from recalls while you own it.

Forbes Magazine reports that auto makers continued to experience an increase in sales over the past three years despite the sluggish national economy. The good news is that in 2012, the industry sold around 14.5 million units for an increase of 13 percent over 2011. The bad news is that these same auto manufacturers recalled 14.3 percent of current and past models during 2012.

[Read more…]

Big Rig Trucks — We Need Them, But at What Price?

Americans on the move on U.S. interstate highways are used to sharing the road with big rigs. Although they are a key component of the Illinois economy, carrying consumable goods to market, these monster vehicles can make it difficult for the driving public to travel safely on the state’s roadways.

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City Bus Passengers in Chicago Expect a Safe Ride

According to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), 1,781 buses operate over 129 routes and 1,959 route miles. Buses make about 19,709 trips a day and serve 11,493 posted bus stops. In all of 2010, the buses carried a total of 306 million riders. Don’t you suspect the potential for bus accidents is real with that many buses on city streets every day?

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Dental Malpractice Is More Common Than You Think

A visit to the dentist’s office is something most people don’t look forward to with great anticipation. It is something you have to do for routine care, to relieve oral pain or because you just want to improve your appearance.

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You Were Exposed to Asbestos at Work

Now you have been diagnosed mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer that attacks the thin layer of cells that line the body’s organs, particularly the lungs. Symptoms can include: lower back pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, weight loss and muscle weakness, to name just a few.

[Read more…]

Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is damage to the brain that occurs after birth and which is not hereditary, congenital or degenerative. It is an acquired brain injury that is caused by an external physical force that may produce a diminished or altered state of consciousness. In other words, it is injury caused by a large smack on the outside of head or a serious medical event inside the brain.

The Brain Injury Association of Illinois says most TBIs come from:

  • Vehicle crashes
  • Falls
  • Sports injuries
  • Violent acts
  • Medical events such as loss of oxygen to the brain, aneurysms, brain infection, tumors or stroke

TBI is a complex condition that can happen at any time and manifest itself in many ways. With advances in medical treatment and speedy treatment, many more TBIs are treatable, especially if they are not severe. However, more acute TBIs can be devastating for the victim and the victim’s family having to cope with such a life-altering event.

If you have suffered TBI yourself or are responsible for providing care to someone who has TBI, contact an Illinois accident lawyer for support. An attorney experienced in TBI cases can represent your interests to help ensure that you or your loved one receives the best care possible.

Attorneys can use their extensive knowledge and resources to build an insurance claim and/or lawsuit against those responsible for an accident causing your TBI by:

  • Investigating the facts related to the event that caused the injury
  • Using accident reconstruction experts and reputable medical experts to support your case
  • With the aid of experts in finance, establishing the true dollar value for your loss of current income and future earnings, plus your ongoing care

With the myriad of issues surrounding TBIs, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Get a Chicago personal injury attorney on your side. There is too much at stake to risk going it alone.

What You Need to Know About Nursing Home Care

Family caregivers are sometimes forced to admit that they can no longer provide the level of care at home that an elderly loved one requires. They face a difficult decision to move the person in their care to a nursing home community. Finding a reliable and reputable facility can be emotional, stressful and financially difficult for many.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the state has roughly 1,200 long-term care facilities to serve 100,000 residents of all ages. The IDPH licenses, regulates and inspects these facilities at least once a year.

One annual inspection may not reveal the true conditions of the facility or the treatment the staff actually provides. So, once you decide where your elder should reside, you are basically putting your trust in that staff and facility management to deliver the best level of care possible.

Many nursing homes are excellent. Residents are treated with compassion and respect. However, some are not. Elderly residents are unfortunately easy targets for abuse and neglect. The Illinois Department on Aging research shows that:

  • 22 percent claim physical abuse
  • 39 percent claim active or passive neglect
  • 43 percent allege emotional abuse
  • 58 percent of elder abuse reports allege financial exploitation

It’s up to you to monitor the facility when you visit and look for any of these signs of abuse. If your loved one becomes a victim, it’s time to take action. Obviously, notify the facility management immediately. If that does not get results, it becomes your responsibility to consider legal action to force compliance, protect your loved one, and alert the public to abusive behavior.

Consult an Illinois lawyer experienced at defending people who can’t defend themselves. Knowledgeable about the laws on nursing home abuse, your Illinois elder care attorney can investigate the home’s operating procedures and use other legal resources to construct a winning case on your behalf.

Made in America: Construction Accidents

Every day in America, 13 people go to work and never come home. Every year in America, nearly four million people have suffered a workplace injury from which some may never recover. These are often preventable tragedies that disable our workers, devastate our families, and damage our economy.

Death comes in many ways to American workplaces. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 4,600 people were killed at work in 2011, over 700 of them in the construction trade. Charged with developing standards to protect workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) identifies construction hazards and works to prevent jobsite injury.

Termed by OSHA as the Fatal Four, the agency predicts over 400 lives could be saved each year if the following hazards were eliminated from American worksites:

  • Falls
  • Electrocution
  • Struck-by-an-object incidents
  • Caught-between incidents

In Chicago, we represent injured workers and their families. Our cases include workers suffering falls caused by inadequately constructed scaffolding, electrical accidents, toxic exposure and other dangerous workplace conditions.

On any size construction site, workers are engaged in dangerous tasks with specialized equipment. Coordination and safety training are needed to maintain a safe jobsite. Without proper oversight, serious accidents happen, often due to the negligence of employees of other contractors and their equipment.

While OSHA creates standards and recognizes hazards, any workplace is only as safe as the procedures and policies in effect on that site. If you are injured on a construction site, speak with our workplace injury lawyers for advice and experienced representation. The call is free.

When a Roadside Argument Becomes a Legal Argument

A DuPage County criminal case was filed after a road rage incident led to the death of a Lombard man in June, 2012. A loving grandfather of 12 grandchildren and a Vietnam veteran, 63-year old Gerald Puglise was eastbound on Ogden Avenue on his 2005 Triumph Rocket III motorcycle on June 13, 2012. Approaching the intersection at River Road, Mr. Puglise had the right of way and proceeded through the intersection.

Unknown to Mr. Puglise, 31-year old Plainfield resident Michael Moreno was also quickly approaching the same intersection. Mr. Moreno had allegedly used cocaine and marijuana earlier in the afternoon before becoming embroiled in a road rage incident with a teenage girl.

In what prosecutors describe as a fog of rage Mr. Moreno, driving a silver 2006 Infiniti M45, was chasing a Honda driven by a 16-year-old girl. In pursuit of the teen, Mr. Moreno made an abrupt turn in front of Mr. Puglise in the intersection. Trying to avoid collision, Mr. Puglise laid down his bike but was struck in the head by the rear wheel of the car driven by Mr. Moreno, killing him almost instantly. Hesitating only seconds, Mr. Moreno left the scene of the accident, still pursuing the teen driver.

With a record of driving violations, Mr. Moreno faces felony and misdemeanor charges in the case. A ruling is expected in late March. When arrested, Mr. Moreno claimed the teen girl initiated a roadside argument and threatened him. Witness accounts did not support his view, instead painting Mr. Moreno as initiating the argument, the pursuit and later, the reckless, tragic death of someone not even a party to the argument, Mr. Puglise.

If you are injured, or suffer the wrongful death of a loved one through the negligent or reckless actions of another, speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer about your right to justice and compensation for your loss.