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Heyl Royster Attorneys Author Articles for 2014 IDC Quarterly Issue No. 2

06/18/2014

Nine Heyl Royster attorneys published articles in the latest issue of IDC Quarterly, the official publication of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial and Counsel.

Two of the articles highlighted recent Illinois Appellate Court rulings relating to the Workers' Compensation Act cases. In the feature article, "Recent Cases Emphasize Need for Reform with Section 19(f) Appeal Bonds in Workers' Compensation Judicial Reviews," Brad Elward addresses two Illinois appellate court decisions that illustrate why the Act should be amended to allow employers and insurance companies more leeway to provide satisfactory bonds to secure judicial review of decisions from the Commission. To read this article click here.

In "Are All Workplace Stairway Falls Now Compensable in Illinois?" Brad Peterson focuses on the Illinois Appellate Court case of Village of Villa Park v. Illinois Worker's Compensation Commission, where the court held that an employer had to compensate a village employee with a pre-existing knee condition who fell in the stairwell at work. In the article, Brad raises a number of questions about the scope of the court's ruling and notes that the decision is of "great concern" to Illinois employers and the workers' compensation defense bar. To read this article click here.

In Health Law, Roger Clayton, Greg Rastatter and Matt Thompson authored "HHS, OIG, and CMS Issue Final Rule Revising the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Act EHR Safe Harbor." This article discusses "safe harbors" to the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Act that relate to electronic health records (EHR) that were set to expire at the end of 2013, and have now been extended through 2021. The article contains a detailed analysis of the Final Rule, and emphasizes that healthcare institutions and providers that engage in programs for donation of EHRs should take special note of the Final Rule to ensure compliance. To read this article click here.

In Evidence and Practice Tips, Joe Feehan and Brad Keller authored, "Statement Made in Motion Practice Admissible at Trial," which discusses an Illinois appellate court's decision in the case of Abruzzo v. City of Park Ridge to allow a statement made in a defendant's reply brief to stand as an admission that could be read to the jury at trial. As Joe and Brad point out, the case serves as a reminder to all trial attorneys that when drafting or arguing a motion, it is important to consider what effect statements might have later in litigation, especially at trial. To read this article click here.

For the Amicus Committee Report, Craig Unrath described two cases in which the IDC filed amicus briefs. In the first case, Mackey v. DeFranco (pending before the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District), the trial court allowed plaintiff to extend the deadline to convert a doctor from a respondent in discovery to a defendant after the limitations period had expired, and almost eight months past the deadline for filing a motion to extend. In the second matter, Craig discussed Bruns v. City of Centralia (pending before the Illinois Supreme Court), which involves the "distraction" exception to the "open and obvious" rule. In this trip-and-fall case, plaintiff admitted that she knew of the broken sidewalk that she tripped on, but she claimed her attention was focused on the entranceway to the eye clinic she intended to visit. The trial court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment, finding that an entrance to a building was not in-and-of itself a distraction. The Appellate Court, Fifth District, disagreed, reasoning that an elderly woman visiting an eye clinic was a foreseeable plaintiff. To read this article click here.

In the Civil Rights Update, Brad Ingram discussed two cases, Fields v. Wharrie and Stanton v. Simms. In Fields, the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that a prosecutor on a murder case who fabricated evidence was not entitled to absolute or qualified immunity for his acts of fabrication. In Stanton, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a police officer was entitled to qualified immunity for the warrantless entry into a person's yard while in hot pursuit of a fleeing misdemeanant. To read this article click here.