Donald Trump, not one to shy away from the headlines, reportedly has dismissed his defamation lawsuit against comedian Bill Mahr. Trump sued Mahr over his offer to donate $5 million to charity if Trump could prove that he was not the progeny of an orangutan. Trump, clearly irate, sued Mahr for defamation, however, the lawsuit, if only based on those comments, would be frivolous and without legal foundation because that kind of comment is not defamatory for a number of reasons.
The Chicago Tribune report on a fire-breathing actor who was injured during his routine provides a model lesson for employers on worker safety and potential administrative action for failing to adhere to OSHA regulations for employee safety.
Here, the employee was an actor who happened to very publicly injure himself when his face and throat caught on fire while attempting a fire breathing routine.
The media firestorm, however, quickly engulfed reality and blew the matter out of proportion. It was so widely reported that an OSHA investigator reportedly showed up at the Civic Opera House to speak to officials and investigate their compliance with OSHA regulations.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Kraft Foods, Inc. has sued casual dining chain Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. and its potential retail distributor the John Morrell Food Group to enjoin and nullify their contractual attempt to licensed the trademark "Cracker Barrel" to the distributor for retail distribution. Kraft trademarked "Cracker Barrel" in 1954 and sees Cracker Barrel Old Country Store's attempts to expand the use of their mark from their restaurant chains to retail grocers as infringing their mark.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Pella Corp., of Iowa, manufacturer of self-branded windows, has reached a settlement with a Lake Forest doctor who sued Pella over issues with his ProLine series of windows in his home. The doctor brought a class action against Pella Corp. in the name of all owners of ProLine series windows and Pella has agreed to pay those owners between $750 and $6,000 as well as warranty against wood rot.
The CTA approved a $5.45 million settlement for the estate of a woman who was run over by a 152 Addison bus when she was trying to remove her bicycle from the front of the bus. The CTA approved the settlement because its bus driver was negligent when he failed to look in front of the bus for anyone, especially a passenger that had just alighted.
A Cook County jury awarded an iron worker, who fell at a jobsite and was left paralyzed and in need of 24 hour care for the rest of his life, $64 million in total damages. The company responsible is planning an appeal but the case is a lesson to both workers and construction companies in compliance with workplace safety procedures and policies. OSHA compliance is critical for the long term survival of both workers and companies.
Blessed with qualified immunity and tort immunity generally, the City and its employees often hide behind either a blue wall of silence, like the Chicago Police has thrown up regarding the off-duty cop body slamming a female bartender, but also the City's Corporation counsel as is the case where the Chicago Police arrested a mentally ill California woman in Midway Airport and detained and released her into a south side neighborhood where she was eventually raped and fell off a building, ending up horribly injured. The CPD failed to adhere to department protocol related to the treatment of mentally suspect offenders and ignored clear evidence and fellow colleague appraisals regarding the mental health of the plaintiff.
The Chicago Tribune reports that a Colorado resident has won a $7.2 million judgment against a Central Illinois microwavable popcorn manufacturer and distributors of the product. This product liability action resembles the litigation over mesothelioma due to asbestos from the 1960s and on. In this case, the chemical in the fake butter in microwavable popcorn has led to a serious lung issue in one user who consumed massive quantities of the product.
The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the City of Chicago has finally come to terms with the legal flaws in their school speed zone camera plan. Illinois, thanks to a nearly 40 year legal opinion authored by the then-Illinois Attorney General will only cite a driver from exceeding a posted school speed zone if there are children present. This is a necessary element that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to enforce the ticket.
The precedent exists unbroken to this day and requires the arresting officer to testify about the presence of children during a hearing. This is why signs throughout Illinois in school zones have smaller lettering saying "When children are present." In other words, the school zone speed only exists when children are present and otherwise it is the default speed for that road (prior posted speed limit).
The Chicago Tribune has an article about a Second District Appellate ruling, Spanish Court Two Condominium Association v. Lisa Carlson, that has remarkably altered the status quo in condominium law regarding a condo association's right, under the Forcible Entry and Detainer Act, to seize an owner's condo for failure to pay association assessments until, through rental of the property, the assessment arrears are satisfied. 2012 Ill. App. LEXIS 544, *7-8 (Ill. App. Ct. 2d Dist. 2012); 735 ILCS 5/9-111 (West 2010).
The novel issue in the case revolved around whether the owner can countersue and claim as an affirmative defense that the association's "failure to maintain the common elements of the property as required in the condominium instrument." Id. at *8.
Rishi Nair owns Nair Law LLC and practices as Of Counsel at Keener and Associates, P.C.