Kane County, IL To Hold Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign

According to the Kane County Chronicle, on April 26 the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, AAA Chicago Motor Club, the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office and many other agencies will participate in the Kane County High Visibility Enforcement (HiVE) Campaign to help reduce crashes caused by distracted driving.

This campaign will coincide with Illinois Distracted Driving Awareness Week. Part of the campaign will include the posting of police officers in high collision areas during peak travel times in an attempt to improve safety.

“The aim of the HiVE campaign is to deter drivers through increased visibility and proactive law enforcement from participating in unsafe roadway activities, including distracted driving, and to improve overall driving behavior,” North Aurora Police Chief David Fisher said.

Campaigns like this have become increasingly important to law enforcement as three (3) Illinois State Troopers have been struck by vehicles and killed in 2019.

I will be following up and writing more about Illinois’ Distracted Driving Awareness week later in the month. Remember, as always, put your phone down while driving.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Houston Astros Fan Sues Team For Injury Caused By T-Shirt Gun

During the summer of 2018 a woman was attending a Houston Astros baseball game. Between one of the innings, the Astros’ mascot was launching free t-shirts into the crowd. One of those t-shirts struck this women in the hand, and apparently caused a serious injury. Since that time the woman alleges she has had multiple surgeries, missed time from work and has suffered serious pain and suffering. As a result, a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the woman against the Houston Astros alleging negligence by the team and their mascot.

There have been similar lawsuits filed against in Major League Baseball in the past. I wrote about the case in Kansas City where a fan was hit in the face by a hot dog launched by a similar style gun. That man suffered a detached retina in one of his eyes, and unfortunately he lost his case before a jury. Major League franchises, including teams in the baseball, have in the past been protected with immunity for injuries that come as a result of foul balls and broken bats. All teams put a disclaimer on their tickets stating fans are assuming the risk of these potential accidents and injuries while attending games. This is often called the “baseball rule.” That legal theory, in place for about a century, presumes an inherent risk among those attending a baseball game, and assigns fans responsibility for paying attention and being prepared for the occasional ball or bat coming their way. But should that apply to antics put on by the team in between innings like launching t-shirts into the crowd?

I have not seen the complaint filed in the Astros case, but I am curious if they have filed a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the t-shirt launcher. They could allege that the gun is inherently dangerous and/or defective due to the speed in which the t-shirts are launched. Also, I would imagine that the attorneys for the Astros will file multiple affirmative defenses including comparative negligence. These types of defenses attempt to shift the blame on the Plaintiff, and will depend on the facts of the accident that will come out during depositions. Specifically, that type of defense would hinge on how active this women was in attempting to catch the t-shirt. Did she stick her arms out and partake in attempting to catch the t-shirt? Or, was the just an innocent bystander? Also, the Astros defense team will more likely than not file a motion to dismiss based on the assumption of risk disclaimer discussed above.

I think this woman faces an uphill challenge of getting her case actually before a jury (due to expected motions to dismiss), and ultimately winning at trial. I wish her and her team luck as she appears to have suffered real permanent damage to her hand, and I believe the courts have gone way too far out of their way to protect teams when injuries like this occur. Especially, when the injuries are caused by acts by the mascots rather than foul balls or broken bats.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago personal injury or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Chicago Transportation Committee Approves Exclusive Lyft-Divvy Partnership

The Chicago Sun Times reported yesterday that the Chicago city council’s, transportation committee approved an exclusive partnership between ride share company, Lyft, and bicycle share company Divvy. If approved by the city council, Lyft would be the exclusive owner and operator of all Divvy bikes throughout the city. Despite backlash from incoming mayor, Lori Lightfoot, and a number of aldermen, the deal is being touted by transportation head Rebekah Scheinfeld. Scheinfeld told the press that this agreement would be a huge boon for the city for the following reasons:

1.The city would get $77 million over nine years earmarked exclusively for transportation projects.

2. Lyft would keep all bike-sharing revenues up to $20 million annually, with the city sharing 5% of everything over that.

3. Chicago taxpayers would also receive $1.5 million a year in minimum guaranteed revenue from advertising and promotions.

4. Lyft would be free to raise bike-sharing rates, but only up to 10% per year. Anything above that must be approved by the Chicago Department of Transportation.

5. Assumption of any liability would be Lyft’s responsibility

This last point, “assumption of liability,” is something I am very interested in. If I am reading this correctly, if there any accidents caused by Divvy riders or if the the equipment on a Divvy bike fails, causing a personal injury or traffic accident, then Lyft would be liable. I assume there will be an insurance policy available on a all of these bikes in case of accident (caused by the bicyclist) or failed equipment. If this is true, and this is the agreement between Lyft and the city, then this would shift all of the potential liability costs away from the city and onto Lyft. This would be a big win for Chicago, and also to any potential injury victims.

Uber and Jump, two other ride share companies, have panned the deal as they were not included in any of the planned agreements. Though the introduction of electric scooters is still available.

We will be watching this closely once agreement plan is taken to a vote with the city council as a whole.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Chicago bicycle accident, or a Chicago traffic accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation.

Hyundai To Recall 20,000 Veloster Cars Amid Fire Concerns

The Associated Press reported last week that Korean automaker, Huyndai, has recalled 20,000 Veloster vehicles after finding a new problem that can cause its car engines to fail or catch fire. The issue is apparently fuel can prematurely ignite in the cylinders around the pistons. That can cause excessive pressure and damage the engine, causing vehicles to stall and in some cases catch fire. This specific issue covers only the 2013 Veloster with 1.6-liter engines. This issue is due to a software problem that has been found only in that model year and not in other Hyundai engines.

According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), this recall is completely separate from the earlier issues with the Soul SUV, which was recalled in February due to engine fire and engine failure problems, and the previous 1.4 million recalls for other engine issues dating back to 2015.

The Center for Auto Safety says it has found more than 300 Hyundai-Kia fire complaints with the NHTSA, including one death. If you own a Hyundai vehicle that was manufactured in 2010 or later, it is incredibly important to take your vehicle to your dealer, or any Hyundai dealer, to insure that the engine software is replace or any other issues related to these recalls.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago auto defect case, or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Ralph Nader: All 737 Aircrafts Should Be Grounded For Good

Longtime consumer rights advocate, Ralph Nader, who is best known for pushing automakers to install seat belts, made a very strong statement yesterday against Boeing. He stated all of their 737 aircrafts should be grounded and should never fly again.

Nader’s comments come just one month after his niece,
Samya Stumo, died while aboard the Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 plane crashed in Indonesia, which killed all 157 passengers.

“Those planes should never fly again,” Nader stated. He is also pointing blame at the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”), who is charged with overseeing the safety of all air traffic in the United States. “If we don’t end the cozy relationship between the patsy FAA…and the Boeing company, 5,000 of these fatally flawed planes will be in the air all over the world with millions of passengers,” Nader said.

Both Boeing and the FAA are still trying to determine the exact cause of the plane crash. A preliminary report has pointed towards faulty software installed by Boeing on the 737s. “It’s our responsibility to eliminate this risk. We own it, and we know how to do it,” stated Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg in a statement released by the company last week. Boeing said it is still working with the FAA and regulatory agencies to develop and certify an “anti-stall” software update designed to keep the system from being activated unintentionally, along with additional training for pilots.

This obviously is not enough for Nader and other family members of the 737 crash victims. Nader has advocated for consumer right over the last 50 years and has succeeded in the push for change in the auto, food and drug
industries, workplace safety and clean air and water. Thankfully, the 737 Max 8 planes are currently grounded. T Boeing must correct their errors quickly and completely before any consideration to put them back in the air.

If you or a loved has been seriously injured in a Chicago product defect case or suffered a serious personal injury, then call Chicago accident attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-106.

April Is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Throughout the month of April, Police departments across the state of Illinois are cracking down on drivers who text while behind the wheel. April is the national distracted driving awareness month, and Illinois’ police departments are taking it seriously.

More than 100 police agencies across the state are planning to add new hands-free driving enforcement zones that will target drivers using their phones, according to the Naperville Police Department.

Despite laws on the books in every state, including Illinois, banning texting and driving, injuries continue to go up due to distracted driving car accidents. According to the National Highway Safety Council approximately 100 people are injured per day in traffic accidents caused by texting and driving. One reason these numbers continue to grow is due to the expansion of wi-fi capabilities on smart phones.

Extra police patrols and other costs related to the Distracted Driving Enforcement Campaign are covered by federal funds allocated to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

I think this push to crack down on distracted drivers is encouraging. My only issue is this should not be a one (1) month a year focus. Police departments should have their patrol officers trained to look for distracted drivers on a regular basis, just like they would monitor for drunk drivers.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago traffic accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.