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Law Protects Baseball Teams in Spectator Injury LawsuitsA suburban Chicago man has filed a negligence lawsuit against the Chicago Cubs after a foul ball hit him while he was attending a game in August, making him blind in his left eye. This is not the first personal injury case that a spectator has brought against the Cubs or other baseball teams. Initially, it seems that there could be a strong basis for claiming negligence:

  • There is protective netting behind the plate, but most of the injuries occur in areas along the foul lines that are not protected;
  • Hit balls travel at such high velocities that it can be difficult for a person to react, even if he or she is paying attention; and
  • With the history of spectator injuries, baseball teams are aware of this danger but have not taken enough preventive measures.

Unfortunately for the plaintiffs, there is a very low success rate with these lawsuits. Legislation specifically protects operators of baseball stadiums from liability in most cases.

Baseball Rule

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Employees Protected Against Retaliation for Workers' Compensation ClaimsStates require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance in order to prevent employees from suing their employers after being injured on the job. The employee has a chance to receive benefits covering the cost of medical expenses and lost wages. The employer avoids a more costly court case, while its insurance provider covers the compensation costs. However, an insurer will increase the premiums on its coverage when an employer has an above average number of cases. This gives the employer an incentive to try to dispute the workers’ compensation claim. Some employers punish employees who try to file claims. In such cases, the employee can sue his or her employer for retaliation.

Forms of Retaliation

The most damaging way employers can retaliate against their workers is by terminating their employment. Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Act prohibits an employer from discharging or threatening to discharge an employee because he or she is pursuing the right to seek workers’ compensation. Retaliation can take forms other than firing an employee, such as:

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Conor's Law Prioritizes Safety of Underage DrinkersBeing arrested is a frightening experience for a young person, whether a juvenile or young adult. They may feel intimidated by the process and fear that they have ruined their lives. If the young person is under the influence of an intoxicating substance, he or she may make a drastic decision. Such was the unfortunate case for an Illinois college student in 2015, whose actions after his driving under the influence of alcohol arrest led to him committing suicide. Illinois recently created Conor’s Law, which requires police officers to take additional steps to ensure the safety of an underage arrestee who may be intoxicated.

What Went Wrong

Conor Vesper was a student at Blackburn College when he was pulled over and arrested on suspicion of DUI. He was released on bond in the early morning hours but reportedly had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.124. After walking back to his apartment, he borrowed his roommate’s car in order to drive to his family’s home. Likely still impaired, his driving behavior once again drew the attention of a police officer. This time, he did not stop and led police on a chase. Once at home, he was able to procure a gun and shot himself.

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Distracted Driving Extends Beyond CellphonesDiscussions on distracted driving often focus on drivers using cellphones. Illinois is one of several states to criminalize talking or texting on a handheld electronic device while operating a motor vehicle. However, cellphones are not the only culprits in distracted driving. People regularly perform actions while driving that are legal but qualify as distracting. Any activity that momentarily shifts a person’s attention away from driving can cause a vehicle accident with personal injuries.

Physical Distractions

The obvious danger of using a cellphone while driving is that it takes a driver’s hands off the wheel and eyes off the road. In the moment that someone’s attention is drawn to his or her phone, an unexpected obstacle may appear in front of him or her. By the time the driver sees the danger, it may be too late to react and avoid an accident. There are other activities that demand the attention of someone’s eyes and hands, such as:

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Paying for Your Child's College After DivorceChild support payments make sure that both parents pay a fair share of the expenses related to raising their children into adulthood. However, one of the largest child-related expenses occurs after a child becomes an adult. Attending four years of college can easily cost more than $100,000. Even with scholarships and student loans, the immediate cost may be high. Child support ends once a child turns 18 or graduates from high school, but Illinois divorce law allows a court to order both parents to pay for the college and living expenses of a child who is no longer a minor.

What It Covers

A court may approve shared payment of post-secondary education expenses during the divorce settlement or when a parent petitions for it. If awarded, the expenses will likely be divided proportionately between the parents, based on their incomes and financial resources. Educational expenses can include:

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