NHTSA Orders GM To Recall 5.9 Million Vehicles

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) announced this week that General Motors is to recall up to 5.9 vehicles due to a defect in the Takata airbags in many of their lines of vehicles.

The NHTSA states that GM must recall their 2007-2014 model year trucks and SUVs because the inflators in the airbags “are at risk of the same type of explosion after long-term exposure to high heat and humidity as other recalled Takata inflators.”

The defect, which leads in rare instances to air bag inflators rupturing and sending potentially deadly metal fragments flying, prompted the largest automotive recall in U.S. history of about 63 million inflators. Worldwide, about 100 million inflators by 19 major automakers were recalled. The vehicles in the recall includes some Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Silverado, Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Sierra and GMC Yukon vehicles built over an eight-year period.

GM has denied that the airbags are defective and that the do not pose a risk drivers. Regardless, they have stated they will comply and make the necessary changes.

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

DuPage County Closes Traffic Courts Through End Of Year

Covid-19 cases are rising at a dramatic pace in Illinois. We have seen a steep rise in the number of cases and in the positivity rate throughout the state. The DuPage County Chief Judge Daniel Guerin announced that they are taking steps to stop the spread of the virus by shutting down its’ traffic courts through December 31, 2020. The Chief Judge released the following regarding the shutdown: “In order to protect the health and safety of court employees and the general public, we decided that continuing traffic matters through the end of this year was the responsible and prudent step to take in response to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.”

The Downers Grove satellite court room and the two court rooms at the main courthouse in Wheaton. Cases will be rescheduled to dates at least 28 business days from their current dates. The court clerk will send notices via mail.

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

Ex-MLB Player Sues His Old Team For Career Ending Injury

Former San Francisco Giant’s baseball player, Mac Williamson, has sued his old team for a catastrophic head injury he suffered in 2018. On April 24, 2018, Williamson tripped over the bullpen mound placed in the outfield at San Francisco’s AT&T Park causing him to hit his head against the wall in left field foul territory. Williamson filed suit against China Basin Ballpark Company (“CBBC”) the subsidiary that owns and operates AT&T Park.

According to the lawsuit, Williamson suffered a severe concussion, which allegedly ended his career playing major league baseball. The lawsuit claims the following:

“It has long been known that bullpen mounds on the field of play create an unreasonable risk of harm… Prior to building the Park, CBBC knew, or at a minimum should have known, that placing bullpens on the field of play was a safety hazard for players.”

Typically when filing a premises liability lawsuit and eventually proving the claim in court, the Plaintiff must show that there was a defect on the premises and that the owner knew about the defect and chose not correct it or failed to provide any warnings. In this case notice is not the issue as the Giants placed the bullpen mounds in the outfield foul territory when the stadium opened in 2000 and kept them there until 2019. The question is whether having the mounds out there would be considered a defect. Although not very common anymore, there have always been bullpen mounds in foul territory at major league baseball stadiums. The players obviously know about them, but the question is whether they could still be considered a defect. This is most commonly a question of fact for the jury to decide. So, at the very least, Williamson should be able to avoid any motions to dismiss and summary judgment motions by the defense as long as they have an expert opinion concluding that leaving the mounds on the field are a defect on the premises.

Regardless, the defense will definitely file what are called affirmative defenses, which can reduce their amount of fault. Those affirmative defenses could include comparative fault (Williamson was at fault for tripping over the mound) or also the “plain view” defense as the mounds were in the Plaintiff’s view prior to tripping and he should have avoided it. I think the affirmative defenses will be hard for the defense to prove in this case because because the Williamson’s attorney’s will argue that he was doing everything in his power to help his team win by attempting to catch the baseball and record and out, and while doing so, it was impossible to avoid the mound that he tripped over.

This is a unique case that I haven’t seen before. The damages here could be significant if they can prove that Williamson lost out on multiple years of salary as a major league baseball player. This could total into the millions of dollars. Williamson will also be asking for pain and suffering and loss of a normal life. This is also significant as he is not longer able to partake in his life’s passion – – playing baseball. Plus, his comments indicate that his day to day struggle with his brain injury has been significant.

One final issue to remember is that depending on California workers’ compensation law, Williamson could be owed money from the team for his work injury. Workers’ compensation does not require proof of wrongdoing by the employer. The employee merely has to prove that his accident happened on the job and was caused by his employment. Though the damages awarded are not as high as they would be in civil court, he could be owed payment of his medical bills, lost time from work and a lump sum permanency award for his head injury. There is also the possibility that he could be awarded a wage differential at trial (or via settlement), which is typically 2/3 of the difference of what he was earning in major league baseball less what he can earn in the open market. Again, this could be significant since most jobs do not pay anywhere near what professional baseball players earn. Williamson may have already filed a work comp claim, although it is unclear in any of the media I have read about this case.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a Chicago slip and fall case or suffered an Illinois work injury or have an Illinois Workers’ Compensation claim, then call Chicago accident attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Illinois State Police Renew ‘Click It Or Ticket’ Campaign

According to a motor vehicle accident lawyer, the Illinois State Police (“ISP”) have rolled out their ‘Click-It or Ticket’ traffic campaign for November. State police are focused on motorist safety as traffic congestion has ticked from earlier in the year due to the Covid-19 pandemic shut down.

In November, the ISP will increase their daytime and nighttime patrols to ensure the safety of vehicle travelers through enforcement of all traffic safety laws. 

– Driving Under the Influence (DUI);
– Safety Belt and Child Restraint use;
– Speeding; and
– Distracted Driving

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, impaired driving is a factor in more than 30 percent of traffic deaths in Illinois. Likewise, speeding is a factor in nearly 35 percent of fatal crashes; and, nearly 50 percent of vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes were known to not be wearing a seatbelt. No matter what time of year it is remember to buckle up and put your phone down when you get behind the wheel. You will save your own life and protect your passengers and those around you.

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.