United AirlinesChances are, if you’ve followed the news during the past several weeks, you’re familiar with a doctor from Kentucky and his premature exit from United Airlines Flight 3411, bound from O’Hare Airport to Louisville. Cell phone video footage shows law enforcement officers violently dragging the man off the flight, allegedly causing the doctor to suffer a concussion, a broken nose, and the loss of two teeth. Now, sources including the Chicago Tribune indicate that legal action is forthcoming.

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WeldingWhen you are injured on the job and seek workers’ compensation benefits, there are many things that will go into your case. At some point, a doctor may examine you and give you an AMA impairment rating. In a recent First District Appellate Court decision, the court upheld an Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission determination finding a welder 25% impaired despite an AMA impairment rating below 10%. While the AMA impairment rating was an important part of the impairment determination process, the statutes list five factors, which go beyond simply what a doctor’s opinion says.

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Beer bongSchools at all levels, as part of the responsibility entrusted to them to safeguard the safety of their students, face the ongoing problem of hazing. One case that made headlines was the death of a pledge who passed away after a night of excessive drinking at an Illinois university fraternity house in November 2012. The case yielded the criminal prosecution of 22 students and a wrongful death lawsuit by the parents of the dead student. A ruling last year by the First District Appellate Court revived the parents’ civil case and gave them a renewed opportunity to recover compensation for the wrongful death of their son.

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School swimming poolIn any school setting, school officials are responsible for the school’s students…all of those students, regardless of need. In any school, there are some students whose special needs may mean that extra steps are necessary to do a proper job of safeguarding those students’ physical well-being. According to a Chicago family’s lawsuit, a school’s failure to care properly for a 14-year-old boy with autism before allowing him in the school pool ended with the boy dead.

According to reports by multiple news sources, including the Chicago Tribune, the tragic drowning took place this past January at a Chicago public high school on the city’s southwest side. A group of students with special needs was using the school’s pool when it was discovered that one of the students was at the bottom of the pool. The boy was retrieved from the water, and attempts were made to try to revive him; however, he was already dead.

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uberUber’s self-driving vehicle service took a bit of a detour in March, when the company temporarily shut down the service in Phoenix and Pittsburgh after a self-driving Uber vehicle was involved in a crash in the Phoenix area. After the accident was determined to be the fault of the other driver, Uber quickly resumed the service, Reuters reported.

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airline workerFor airline employees, their jobs come with a substantial degree of risk. Their employment responsibilities place many of them in a position to potentially sustain harm. One United Airlines employee dislocated his patella while doing his job on Christmas Day in 2013. That injury entitled him to workers’ compensation benefits. While his case took place in Virginia, the outcome is instructive regarding how employees can obtain compensation in Illinois.

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United AirlinesA job as a flight attendant can involve many potential hazards. For one United Airlines flight attendant, her injuries took place not while she was on-duty but while she was traveling off-duty aboard a United flight to go to work the next day. The First District Appellate Court, in addressing this employee’s case, concluded that she did not meet any of the factors that would show that she was a “traveling employee.” Since she did not qualify under the traveling employee exception, the flight attendant was deemed merely to be commuting to work and was not entitled to benefits.

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footballOne of the biggest issues affecting many sports leagues today, from youth leagues to the big leagues, is concussions and concussion-related safety. Interscholastic sports in Illinois are no exception. A recent case from the First Appellate District Court involving a high school football player from Cook County offers important clarity regarding what is (and is not) required in a student’s injury case.

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rooferWhen you’ve been injured on the job, there are several hurdles involved in reaching your proper outcome. Even after you’ve persuaded a workers’ compensation arbitrator that you deserve an award, you have still not cleared all the hurdles. The statutes allow for multiple different types of awards and the difference between them can be substantial. In the case of one roofer injured at work, he successfully appealed a decision that awarded him benefits but denied him the more beneficial “wage differential” award.

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floor hockeySchools have a certain legal obligation to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their students. This obligation was the crux of one Cook County student’s lawsuit against his school district and physical education teacher for injuries he suffered during PE class. The First District Appellate Court agreed that the case should proceed to a trial, allowing the student to proceed with his argument that his teacher’s conscious decision to have students play without eyewear, even though she knew the school had protective goggles, could possibly constitute willful or wanton conduct.

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