parental responsibilities, Sugar Grove family law attorneysOne of the most noteworthy amendments to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) that took effect in 2016, was transforming from “child custody” and all of its associated issues and hearings to the “allocation of parental responsibilities.” While this may seem like a cosmetic change, it has had a demonstrable impact on the thinking behind parental decision-making as the children progress toward adulthood. decisions about children’s futures.

Changes to Decision-Making

The major adjustment seen in many cases is the apportionment of decision-making responsibilities between parents. Under the previous incarnation of the IMDMA, parents could receive sole custody or joint custody. As such, there was little in the law that addressed the parents’ ability to further divide responsibilities or more specific choices as to who might be best to govern which aspects of a child’s life.

Under the current version of the law, there are four primary areas that may be divided between the parents, shared by the parents, or granted only to one parent if a judge sees or the parties see fit: education, extracurricular activities, religion, and health. For example, in a dissolution of marriage between a doctor and a teacher, the spouse who is the doctor could be allocated all of the decision-making responsibilities concerning the child’s health, while the teacher could be allocated all of the decision-making responsibilities concerning the child’s education.  Alternatively, the decision-making responsibilities concerning health and education could be allocated to both of them jointly.

Parenting Plans

The other major change that stems from adjusting both nomenclature and approach to parental responsibilities is the transformation to parenting plans. Previously, joint custody agreements or sole custody orders were much looser in composition, and much more variation was permitted in terms of what could be regulated between the spouses. After the 2016 changes, the timeline and the content are much more restricted. For example, there is now a 120-day deadline after the filing of the action to file a parenting plan (though an extension of time may be available in order to pursue mediation if the spouses cannot agree).  Otherwise, the court will presume that the spouses cannot come to an agreement and will set the matter for trial or hearing on the parenting issues. If the spouses are able to reach agreement, however, the court must accept the proposed parenting plan unless the court deems it to be unconscionable.

Consult a Knowledgeable Family Law Attorney

Most parents will do anything for their children, and the 2016 changes to the IMDMA do a better job of ensuring that children’s interests are well protected by both their parents and the courts. If you have questions or concerns about a parenting plan, allocation of parental responsibilities, or further questions on the 2016 changes to Illinois’ divorce law, our passionate  Sugar Grove family law and parental responsibilities attorneys are happy to assist. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=075000050K602.10

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/99/HB/09900HB3898sam001.htm

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non-compete, Kane County employment law attorneyNon-compete agreements (NCAs) are very common in this day and age, especially in specific fields that are at the leading edge of technology, but also throughout business in general.  There are a number of prevailing myths about NCAs.  One myth is that NCAs can be fairly far-reaching and restrictive.  At the same time, another myth is that they are not typically enforceable.  The truth is that NCAs are enforceable, but the more far-reaching and restrictive an NCA is, the less likely a court will deem it enforceable.  Still, NCAs can be powerful tools in protecting your business, your customers, and your proprietary information.

Illinois Trends

While Illinois does not have a general statute that regulates the creation of NCAs, common-law precedent establishes the two major trends that Illinois courts continue to follow in regulating NCAs. Generally, the state tends to disfavor NCAs because they are restraints upon trade, which is against public policy.  In order to be enforceable, a court must find that a legitimate business interest exists worthy of protection to support an NCA, rather than a mere desire to hamstring a potential competitor or former employee.

Second, Illinois courts, generally, will not enforce a non-compete as written unless two criteria are fulfilled.  First, the NCA must be ancillary to either a valid contract or employment relationship – in other words, the NCA must be intended to be observed by either contract employees or full-time employees.  Second, the NCA must be supported by consideration, not unlike any other contract. Consideration is essentially any act or benefit conferred in exchange for the promises made by an employee in an NCA.  For example, an employee could be given a bonus for signing a non-compete, which would constitute adequate consideration.  However, consideration can be much less consequential.  An employee could be asked to sign a non-compete agreement in exchange for being awarded a particular job or a promotion.  Other times an employee may be asked to sign a non-compete simply in exchange for a period of continued employment.

Patterns to Avoid

While non-compete agreements will usually be enforced in Illinois where the criteria, above, are met, one must also recognize that the scope of an NCA will almost always come into play in terms of enforceability.  While there is precedent for Illinois courts to modify or “blue-pencil” an NCA to narrow its scope to acceptable ranges, sometimes judges will simply refuse and rule entire documents null and void, for example, where an NCA contains egregious inequities.

The primary reasons NCAs get thrown out of court are when they are overreaching or not relevant. This most commonly applies to geographic restrictions.  In the case of Arpac Corp v Murray (1992), for example, the court ruled that “virtually unlimited” geographic restrictions imposed by an NCA were too overly broad to protect a legitimate business interest, and that the employer could not simply extend the restricted zone out of a protectionist desire.  Other cases invalidate NCAs where the length of time the restrictions are set to last is deemed to be too long.  For example, an NCA governing an employee of a computer company that contains a time duration of three years might be ruled unenforceable, even if the geographic restrictions were acceptable, simply because after three years in the computer technology field, any proprietary information the employee may have learned would likely be obsolete.  What may be deemed as reasonable in one case might be held to be unreasonable in another depending upon the facts – every case is decided based upon the facts specific to that particular case.

Seek Experienced Legal Assistance

Crafting an NCA that will stand up in court can be a complex endeavor, but having a knowledgeable legal professional on your side can help immeasurably. Our Sugar Grove business, employment law, and non-compete attorneys are happy to put our experience to work for you. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

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spousal support, Kane County family law attorneyWhile spouses are not automatically entitled to receive spousal support or maintenance, it is still quite common in Illinois for courts to award it.  This is particularly true since the Amendments to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act that went into effect on January 1, 2016, establishing a formula for calculation of maintenance amount and duration.  Regardless, there are multiple factors that courts will consider in determining which spouse is deserving of support, or whether spousal support should be awarded at all.

Factors Which Are Not Considered

It is important to note that Illinois courts will not consider marital misconduct when determining spousal support awards or property division. While one might assume that this would be considered, Illinois courts tend to hold that factoring in marital misconduct would unduly prejudice the proceedings due to what may have been an isolated incident.

Illinois judges will also not take into account any perceived fault grounds in considering maintenance.  As of 2016, the law no longer even recognizes fault grounds for divorce in Illinois, but even if these grounds were still on the books, judges would not factor them in when awarding support or apportioning assets. To do so would be punitive, which is not a judge’s role when presiding over a divorce.

Factors to Consider

There are some factors that do come into play often in spousal support proceedings, though each situation is different in terms of which factors will be probative, persuasive, or neither.  Generally, Illinois law identifies a number of specific factors for a court to consider, as well as a “catch-all” provision that permits a court to consider “any other factor that the court expressly finds to be just and equitable.”

Some of the most pivotal factors include:

  • As one might expect, the income, future earning potential, and assets of each spouse are perhaps the most paramount factors in determining whether maintenance is appropriate. Spousal support will typically not be awarded to the spouse who is more well-off in assets, earnings, or future earning potential.  To do so would be manifestly illogical;
  • The needs and current situations of each party are also important factors. A custodial parent may feel entitled to spousal support, but if a noncustodial parent cannot afford it, or the judge deems it unnecessary given the custodial parent’s income, it will not be granted;
  • The impairment of the present and future earning capacity of a party seeking maintenance due to that party devoting time to domestic duties or having forgone or delayed education, training, employment, or career opportunities due to the marriage, is also considered. If one spouse has sacrificed a career to take care of the home and/or children, this must be taken into account along with the other spouse’s career and status. Failure to do so would ascribe little to no value to what can be a very demanding and important job or role;
  • The standard of living established during the marriage, as well as the potential tax burden afterward can also be considered. While ideally, a similar standard of living should be maintained by the spouses, this may not be possible, especially if a large tax burden may be incurred  from receiving maintenance or resulting from acquisition of assets; and
  • Any valid pre- or post-nuptial agreement signed by the parties will also typically be honored. Unless a pre- or post-nuptial agreement’s provisions are unconscionable or against public policy, it will generally be upheld; and
  • Additional factors can be found at 750 ILCS 5/504(a).

Contact a Sugar Grove Family Law Attorney

When you are dealing with a divorce and all its attendant potential issues, having an experienced advocate on your side can make a difference. Our skilled Sugar Grove divorce attorneys are well versed in the intricacies of this area of law, and will do their very best to obtain a result which is satisfactory for all involved. Contact our office at 630-466-1600 to schedule an initial appointment.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=6000000&SeqEnd=8300000

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k504.htm

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k503.htm

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successor, Sugar Grove business law attorneysStatistics from the U.S. Small Business Administration indicate that more than half of the country’s small business owners are over 50 years of age. Out of that number, only about 30 percent have a written succession plan for their business, and this can pose severe problems for their heirs or other successors in interest. If you are in this situation, it is generally in your best interests to consult an attorney to cement your future.

No Successor?

No one likes to admit it, but if you have a dearth of heirs or business partners that you truly trust, or if finances are not what they ought to be, selling the business as a whole may be an option for when you step down or pass away. An alternative that has been gaining popularity in recent years is to sell your interest (presumably, your controlling interest) to your employees, forming a cooperative or creating an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). The decision must be based on what is best for you and your family and your employees, of course, but selling to employees does have one advantage: they know your brand and your product. Many employers see this option as similar to giving the business over to family given the closeness involved.

If you have multiple partners, it may also be possible to maintain the business without having a direct successor, simply by distributing your stock among your partners in a standard buy-sell agreement or buyout agreement. This also has the advantage of the personal touch – selling to business partners means selling to people who are familiar with and, in theory, supportive of your direction for the business.

Methods of Transferring Interest

Whomever you decide to name as a successor, it is imperative that the transfer be handled appropriately. Failure to do so can cause legal issues for the future and can, in extreme cases, lead to the breakup and sale of your business. There are two main methods used to transfer business interests, though there are several different options that work.

The first is referred to as a cross-purchase agreement. These accords usually require that the partners purchase life insurance policies on each other, and when one passes on, the proceeds of that policy are used to buy that partner’s remaining stock. Cross-purchase agreements are best for situations in which there is a nebulous plan already in place, where the agreement is a vehicle by which a plan comes to fruition – for example, wanting to ensure a son takes over for this father.

The second common method of ownership transference is an entity-based agreement. This differs in practical application, but the effect is basically the same. The main difference is that instead of the individual partners obtaining life insurance policies on each other, the business as a whole does so.

Consult an Experienced Attorney

Regardless of which method of disposition you choose, having a knowledgeable attorney on your side can ease the process and ensure a smooth transition. The skilled Sugar Grove business planning attorneys at our firm are happy to help answer your questions and guide you forward. Contact us today to set up a consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilesop.org/index.php?root&t=factsheet

http://apps.americanbar.org/buslaw/blt/2010-05-06/high.shtml

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no-fault divorce, Sugar Grove divorce lawyersAt the beginning of 2016, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) was extensively modified, to make some necessary changes to an outdated set of laws. Illinois was previously one of the few states that still offered grounds for divorce, and required a waiting period of at least two years before divorce could be filed. Both of these things have changed now, but the changes are new enough where it is still easy to find misinformation when researching. If you are considering divorce, it is a good idea to know the truth from the falsehoods.

Becoming a No-Fault State

Formerly, Illinois offered up to 11 different potential fault grounds for divorce, with causes ranging from infidelity to extreme mental or physical cruelty to abandonment. These grounds were popular in the past, when religious and secular leaders placed greater emphasis on couples staying together – if grounds were required to obtain a divorce, it was generally more difficult for two people to simply decide to go their separate ways on a whim.

The new changes to the law eliminated all these grounds, instead establishing only irreconcilable differences as a rationale for divorce. More specifically, the parties must show that there has been an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” due to irreconcilable differences. The court must also find that reconciliation is impossible or that attempting it would cause more harm than divorcing would. If both of these findings are reached, your divorce will be permitted to be filed in the relevant court.

Ending the Waiting Period

Illinois law was also modified in January 2016 to do away with the mandatory two-year waiting period, also referred to as a trial separation in the old law. The new law states that people who have already been living apart for six months may use the time apart as evidence of irreconcilable differences, if need be. If you and your spouse agree that you have developed irreconcilable differences in your marriage, there is theoretically no waiting period before you can file for divorce – however, if you do not agree, you may need to live apart for those six months before the court will accept your filing.

Be advised that residency requirements still do apply, as scant as they may be. If you or your spouse have only the barest contacts with the state of Illinois, the courts may decline to hear your divorce case. Sometimes people try and cross state lines to obtain more favorable results under another state’s divorce laws, but if Illinois does not have jurisdiction over you or your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you will be out of luck in terms of having your case heard there.

Seek Experienced Legal Help

Divorce is never easy. However, the changes in Illinois law were designed to help streamline the process for the majority of couples. If you need further assistance in filing or clarification of the new regulations, consulting an attorney is always a good idea. The knowledgeable Sugar Grove family law attorneys at our firm are happy to help you through the process. Contact us today at 630-466-1600 to set up an appointment.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K401.htm

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wrongful termination, Kane County employment law attorney The state of Illinois is an at-will employment state. Essentially, this means that under state law, an employer is not required to have a good reason for firing an employee. Thankfully, state and federal laws protect workers from being fired for bad reasons, such as in the case of a discriminatory termination.

Protected Rights under State or Federal Law

Under state and federal law, an employer may not fire you based upon your race, color, religious preferences, pregnancy status, gender, age, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, order of protection status, or genetic information. Moreover, there are certain protections for individuals with disabilities, an unfavorable military discharge, or an arrest record. Those who believe they may have been fired under such pretenses may be able to file a wrongful termination claim.

Filing a Wrongful Termination Claim

Depending upon which law was violated, you will most likely need to file your wrongful termination claim with either the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR”) or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”).  In most cases, charges of wrongful discriminatory termination will need to be filed in person, at the IDHR or EEOC location nearest you. Alternatively, you may be able to file by mail or telephone. Be aware, however, that both state and federal regulations impose strict statutes of limitations that determine how long you have to file after the discriminatory incident takes place.  If you wait too long you may end up being barred from pursuing your claim.

To file a claim, an employee must provide certain basic information about him or herself, as well as basic information about the employer, and then pertinent information regarding the incident and how it was discriminatory in nature.   Mailed submissions must also be signed; they will not be investigated otherwise.

Difficulty Proving Discrimination in an At-Will Employment State

Even in states where an employer must provide a justification for firing an employee, proving discrimination can be difficult. This challenge is only further increased in an at-will employment state because there is often little evidence regarding the reason behind your job loss. Rather than attempt to file the claim on your own, it is advised that you contact a skilled and experienced attorney to assist you in the process.

At White & Ekker, P.C., we understand just how stressful a wrongful termination can be. To help ease the burden and give you time to manage life, our skilled Illinois employment law attorneys can work with the state or federal agencies on your behalf to ensure your side of the story is heard and understood. Learn more about how we may be able to help with your wrongful termination claim by scheduling a free initial consultation. Call 630-466-1600 today.

Source:

http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/howtofile.cfm

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Sugar Grove estate planning attorneysPeople often assume that estate planning is only for the rich, but there are important pieces that apply to everyone—from those that are in nursing home care or facing life-threatening illness to those that have only just turned 18. Otherwise known as advance directives, these critical aspects of an estate plan can help ensure you receive the medical care you want, and they can aid your family and care providers when making important end of life decisions.

Power of Attorney

If, at any time, you become unable to make medical decisions for yourself, a medical or health care power of attorney can allow someone to make them for you. This person may be a spouse, a child, a friend, or even a specific member of your community. You are also permitted to choose one or more alternate decision-makers, should the person you appoint be unable to fulfill their role.

Careful consideration must be given when appointing a power of attorney; while other estate planning documents (such as a living will) may be present, such directives may not cover certain situations. As such, your power of attorney should be someone that:

  • Meets all state requirements and is not directly assigned to your medical care or treatment;
  • Is willing and able to discuss your wishes and beliefs on end-of-life care and quality of life;
  • Can advocate for you if there is ever a disagreement regarding your care or treatment; and
  • Is trustworthy enough to stand by your wishes.

Living Wills

A living will is different than a power of attorney in that, rather than appointing a person to make decisions for you, you have made your wishes known through an advance directive. Essentially, it covers what life-saving or life-sustaining treatments you are willing to receive. You can also address issues regarding pain management or organ donation.

Take time to consider the quality of life you are willing to live with. Also, spend time speaking with your doctor, family, friends, and any power of attorneys regarding your wishes, desires, and decisions about end-of-life care. In particular, consider the following:

  • Do you wish to be resuscitated if your heart stops beating? If so, under what circumstances?
  • Are you willing to receive mechanical ventilation if you are unable to breathe? If so, for how long and under what circumstances?
  • Under what circumstances (if any), and for how long are you willing to receive nutrients and fluids through intravenous and/or stomach tubing?
  • If your kidneys are no longer capable of functioning, are you willing to go on dialysis? If so, under what circumstances and for how long?
  • If you are at the end of your life, would you rather infections or viruses be treated aggressively or left to run their course?
  • If your death is inevitable, what sort of comfort care (palliative care) would you like? For example: Would you rather die at home than in a hospital? Should ice be used to soothe dryness of your lips? Do you want pain medication?; and
  • Upon your death, are you willing to donate your organs, tissues, or entire body?

Need Help Drafting a Living Will or Power of Attorney?

There are many considerations to make when making end-of-life decisions, and, unfortunately, you cannot predict every possible circumstance. You can, however, seek assistance to ensure you have covered as much as possible in your estate plan, living will, or power of attorney. The end result can offer you peace of mind, comfort, and knowledge that, regardless of what life brings, you are as prepared as you can possibly be.

At White & Ekker, P.C., we understand just how important and sensitive end-of-life decisions can be. And, with more than 40 years of combined legal experience, we can help provide the advice and insight often needed when weighing your quality of life over the length of your life. Compassionate and attentive, our Sugar Grove estate planning attorneys are here to help. Schedule an initial consultation with us today by calling 630-466-1600 today.

Source:

https://www.caregiver.org/end-life-decision-making

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business structure, Illinois business law attorneyDetermining how to structure a new business can feel like one of the most daunting and mundane tasks in creating a startup company, but it can also be one of the most crucial decisions. It determines who will be liable if the company goes into debt or bankruptcy, it can negatively affect the personal income taxes of owners, and the wrong decision may even limit the company’s decisions and possibilities. For these reasons, startup companies should investigate the pros and cons of each business structure and carefully weigh them against the company’s current and projected needs.

Sole Proprietorships

As one of the simplest business structures to set up, sole proprietorships are popular choices for solo businesses with few or no employees. Expenses and income are all included on the owner’s personal income tax return, which can offset income from other sources if the company experiences a loss. There are, however, some drawbacks to this business structure, namely the fact that the owner is responsible for all liabilities. They are highly susceptible to having their personal assets seized if their company goes under and decides to file bankruptcy. However, if there is adequate insurance or few assets to protect, it can prove to be an easy, low-cost solution to starting up a new business.

Partnerships

There are two different types of partnerships: general and limited. In general partnerships, all partners share the responsibility. In limited partnerships, there are typically general partners (who have unlimited personal liability) and limited partners (generally liable only to the amount they invested). For the limited partnership, losses are not as risky, but all general partners are personally at risk if the company goes under—regardless of which partner is responsible. Still, it is a fairly easy model to establish at a relatively low cost. And, because profits and losses are shared on personal income tax returns, there may be some additional tax advantages for partnerships.

Corporations

Corporate business structures provide the most flexibility when it comes to growth and expansion. And, because it is considered an independent legal entity, debts and liabilities fall under the responsibility of the company itself; releasing owners and shareholders from risk to their personal assets, outside of any they may have invested. Take note, however, that corporations are far more expensive and complex than other business models. The most popular model is the S-Corporation, which allows for pass-through of income and expenses to the personal tax returns of the individual shareholders.

Limited Liability Company

Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are the newest business model structure, but they have become rather popular for companies that wish to have some form of protection without the extra taxations and expenses associated with S- and C-corporations. LLCs also offer some of the same benefits as corporations, such as flexibility for growth, but without all the limits often imposed on other corporate business structures (i.e. no limit on the number of shareholders). There are some possible drawbacks to this model, however. With no tax breaks, the possibility of being subject to hefty self-employment taxes, and some additional operational costs or filing fees, LLCs are most at risk during tax time.

Business Structure Decisions Best Made with Legal Assistance

Embarking on a new journey can be exciting. It can also be frightening. And, like most companies, you are likely to encounter a few bumps along the way. Setting up your company under the wrong business structure should not be one of them—not when there is qualified legal assistance that can help you weigh the options and consider the future.

At White & Ekker, P.C., we are committed to helping you make the best possible business decisions. And, because we understand just how expensive startup can be, we offer personalized counsel in an affordable manner that is backed by more than 40 years of combined experience. Learn more about our personalized legal services by scheduling your free initial consultation with a Kane County and DuPage County business formation attorney. Call us at 630-466-1600 today.

Source:

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224976

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estate planning review, estate plan, Kane County estate planning attorneyIf you already have an estate plan in place, congratulations! You have taken a very important step in securing a future for your heirs. However, it is crucial to also understand that, contrary to popular belief, estate plans are not evergreen. Instead, they must be periodically reviewed and, if necessary, updated. The frequency and timing will vary, based on your particular circumstances, but the following guidelines should help give you an idea of when a review or update may be necessary.

Size of Estate a Factor

Because state and federal tax laws change each year, those with larger estates (i.e. estates that exceed state or federal exemption minimums) should review their estate plans annually. Those with smaller estates may be able to get by with a review every five years, so long as the valuation of their estate remains below the applicable state and federal exclusions and their personal situation has remained the same. There are, however, additional factors that may require a review prior to the one or five year time frames.

Changes in Estate Value

Shifts in the economy can cause the valuation of your estate to either increase or decrease over time. If that fluctuation happens to be more than 20 percent over a two year time period, you may wish to consider updating your estate plan—or, at the very least, reviewing it.

Economic Changes

Economic changes can include both changes that are intentional, as well as those outside of your control. Retirement; a change in your income level requirements; job or occupation changes; formation, purchase, restructuring, liquidation, sale or other major changes in a closely held business; or a shift in insurance coverage (including health, life, liability, medical, and other insurances) are just a few of the potential economic changes that may require a review or revision of your estate plan.

Changes in Your Family Situation

When a family situation changes, wishes or needs often follow suit. As such, your estate plan should be reviewed and/or updated after the birth of a new child or grandchild, the death of a beneficiary, a divorce, remarriage, adoption, or the dependency of elderly parents.

Other Important Changes

While the aforementioned can offer you a guideline, there are infinite reasons and possibilities that may prompt a review or update to your estate plan. Follow your instinct, use common sense, and contact the experienced Illinois estate planning attorneys at White & Ekker, P.C. for advice if you are ever uncertain. Dedicated to minimizing costs while making estate planning as easy as possible, they can assist you in creating or revising your estate plan to ensure it best reflects your specific needs and wishes. Call 630-466-1600 to schedule a free consultation.

Source:

https://www.southstatebank.com/advice/conducting-periodic-review-estate-plan/

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product liability, personal injury, Illinois Personal Injury AttorneyThe United States Department of Transportation has ordered the recall of close to 34 million vehicles as a result of faulty airbags manufactured by the Japanese company Takata. Some driver and passenger side air bag inflators are filled with a type of propellant that can cause the airbag to rupture. The defective airbags have resulted in at least six deaths worldwide and more than 100 injuries, which will likely lead to a number of personal injury lawsuits against the manufacturer based on products liability.

Illinois Product Liability Claims

Product liability is a theory of law that holds either the manufacturer, seller, or both, liable for injury caused by a defect in their product – from the maker of a piston that was purchased and installed by the car manufacturer to the manufacturer who placed the faulty piston in the vehicle.

There are two primary types of product defects that can lead to a product liability case. In a design defect, the component that caused the plaintiff’s injury was inherently defective, such as an iron that heats to too high of a temperature or a washing machine that catches fire. Under a manufacturing defect, the product’s components aren’t themselves defective; rather, the product becomes defective due to the way it is assembled, either because it was put together incorrectly or had unintended consequences. Examples would include a bicycle sold without all of its gears or a car seat sold with a crack in its base.

Product liability claims can be brought under either the theory of negligence or strict liability.

Negligence

Under a negligence claim, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed him a duty of care that was breached and, as a result of that breach, the plaintiff was injured and incurred damages that can be compensated.

Strict liability

Under the principle of strict liability, there is no need to prove that the defendant owed plaintiff a duty of care. The plaintiff will recover if he is able to prove that:

  • He or she suffered an injury;
  • The injury was the result of a condition of the product manufactured or sold by the defendant;
  • The condition was unreasonably dangerous, and;
  • The condition existed when the product left the manufacturer’s control.

The fact that a product caused injury isn’t alone enough to hold the manufacturer liable for damages. There must be some evidence that the manufacturer or maker of a component part knew, or should have known, that the product was defective or had the potential to cause injury. This requires a thorough examination of the manufacturer’s records and expert reviews of the product to corroborate the defects and explain the availability of safer alternatives. Product liability cases are extremely complex and require the assistance of an attorney who understands the intricacies of such cases.

Sugar Grove Personal Injury Attorneys

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident due to a product defect, contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. Evidence must be gathered quickly and, if your injury involved a recalled vehicle, it must be examined by an automotive expert to determine if the defect was the cause of the accident and subsequent injury. The Sugar Grove personal injury attorneys at White & Ekker, P.C., have more than 40 years’ combined experience handling personal injury cases, from medical malpractice to motor vehicle accidents, and in winning compensation for our clients. Let us put that experience to work for you. Call us today at (630) 466-1600, or complete our online form, to schedule a free initial consultation.

Posted in Illinois personal injury attorney, Product Liability | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off