618.277.5500

618.277.5500

St. Louis/Madison County ∙ Chicago ∙ New York City

Illinois Permits Marijuana as Replacement for Prescription Opioid Painkillers

Author

Alexander J. Baker

On August 28, Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law a measure that could dramatically expand access to medical marijuana in the State of Illinois by making marijuana available as an opioid painkiller replacement.[1]    The new law would allow doctors to authorize medical marijuana for any patient who has or would qualify for prescription opioids like OxyContin, Percocet or Vicodin.[2] This new law is also noteworthy in terms of removing strict provisions to the previous medical marijuana law requiring applicants to be fingerprinted and undergo criminal background checks.  While it will take the State until December 1, 2018, to implement

Continue Reading »

IDPH Ordered to Add ‘Intractable Pain’ as Qualifying Condition for Medical Marijuana

Author

Alexander J. Baker

Cook County Judge Raymond Mitchell recently ordered the Illinois Department of Public Heath to add intractable pain as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.[1]  The order arose out of plaintiff Ann Mednick’s lawsuit alleging a lack of access to medical marijuana, rather than opioid pills with increased side effects, to treat her osteoarthritis.[2]  This ruling has the potential to greatly expand medical marijuana’s reach within the State. Illinois currently has very strict limitations in terms of what medical conditions fall under qualifying conditions to have access to medical marijuana.  Of those states which have medical marijuana legislation, Illinois falls in

Continue Reading »

Bill of Rights Turns 226

Author

Justin A. Reinhardt

What is now known as the Bill of Rights was ratified this past Friday in 1791. But the Bill of Rights wasn’t always the “Icon in Use” that it is today.[1] In the beginning, the Bill of Rights was seldom invoked and thought to have little actual power.[2] It was applied only to the federal government and not to the actions of individual states.[3] During the Reconstruction Era, the federal government sought means to guarantee certain fundamental rights to citizens in the resistant southern states. The passage of the 14th amendment in 1868 allowed the courts to incorporate provisions of

Continue Reading »

US Supreme Court: Daimler Personal Jurisdiction Constraints Constant Despite Type of Claim or Business Sued

Author

Candice C. Kusmer

In an 8-1 decision penned by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the US Supreme Court yesterday held that the Daimler due process analysis for determining general jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant “does not vary with the type of claim asserted or business enterprise sued.”  BNSF Railway Co. v. Tyrrell, et al., — S. Ct. –, 2017 WL 2322834 (2017).  In so holding, the Court reversed the Montana Supreme Court’s exercise of general jurisdiction over defendant BNSF Railway in two Montana state court Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) cases. The Court first rejected the Montana Supreme Court’s reliance on FELA statute 45

Continue Reading »

Illinois Court’s Groundbreaking Decision Extends Title VII Protections to LGBT Community

Author

Kurowski Shultz LLC

On Tuesday, a federal court in Illinois ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation.[1] In an 8-3 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit became the first appellate court in the nation to extend protections of workplace discrimination to the LGBT community. The court ruled in favor of plaintiff Kimberly Hively, who claimed she was fired from her position as a part-time instructor at Ivy Tech Community College in South Bend, Indiana, because she is a lesbian. Hively’s sexual orientation became an issue in 2009,

Continue Reading »

Missouri Supreme Court Holds Compliance with Foreign Business Registration Statute Does Not Imply Consent to General Jurisdiction

Author

Candice C. Kusmer

The Missouri Supreme Court has issued an opinion clarifying whether a foreign business consents to general jurisdiction by registering to do business in the state.  In holding that foreign business registration does not imply jurisdictional consent, the February 28th State ex rel. Norfolk Southern Railway Co. v. The Hon. Colleen Dolan, 2017 WL 770977, opinion joins a growing number of courts strictly following the US Supreme Court’s Daimler paradigm test in determining whether a defendant is “at home” in a state. Norfolk stems from a St. Louis County personal injury FELA action filed by plaintiff Russell Parker, an Indiana resident,

Continue Reading »

St. Louis City Jury Again Awards Multimillion Dollar Talc Verdict

Author

Kurowski Shultz LLC

A St. Louis City jury has awarded more than $70 million in damages to a Modesto, California woman who claimed her ovarian cancer was caused by using talcum powder made by Johnson & Johnson.  After a month long trial and only three hours of deliberation, the jury awarded Plaintiff Deborah Giannecchini the following damages: $575,000 in economic damages $2,000,000 in non-economic damages $65,000,000 in punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson $2,500,000 in punitive damages against Imerys (supplier of talc) At trial, Plaintiff Deborah Giannecchini, age 62, testified that she used Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder for feminine hygiene for more

Continue Reading »

Does Daubert Matter?

Author

Alexander J. Baker

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon recently vetoed a bill which would have adopted the federal standard for admission of expert scientific testimony – commonly referred to as the Daubert standard.  The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure adopted Daubert in 1993, and since then a vast majority of states have followed suit.  Missouri is in a minority of states that instead follow the Frye standard. Under Frye, a court may admit scientific testimony if it is considered “generally accepted” by a meaningful segment of the associated scientific community.  Proponents for Daubert, however, argue that its standard improves the scientific evidence heard in

Continue Reading »

  • Editor

  • CANDICE C. KUSMER

    Candice Kusmer enjoys working with several of Kurowski Shultz’s major clients, oversees the firm’s asbestos docket in Central Illinois and handles high-level matters in Madison County. An accomplished writer, she has a passion for writing and leads the firm’s Appellate Practice.

  • Contributors

  • LINDSAY A. DIBLER

    Mr. Dibler has been with Kurowski Shultz since 2002 and is responsible for the firm's substantial St. Louis City and Cook County (Chicago) asbestos dockets. He is one of few defense counsel who have taken verdicts in the challenging defense environment of St. Louis City.

  • JUSTIN A. REINHARDT

    Justin Reinhardt joined Kurowski Shultz in July 2015. He concentrates his practice in complex civil litigation and toxic tort defense. He is licensed to practice law in the state of Missouri. He is a member of the Missouri Bar, the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.

  • KYLER H. STEVENS

    Kyler Stevens has been with Kurowski Shultz since October 2012 and has focused his practice on complex civil litigation, protecting the interests of large and small businesses alike. Mr. Stevens is also active in the defense of schools and municipal corporations in various civil matters.

  • Alexander J. Baker

    Alexander J. Baker joined Kurowski Shultz in 2012. His practice area concentrates on complex civil litigation including the defense of toxic tort and personal injury lawsuits. Mr. Baker also recently tried to verdict a Southern District of Illinois pro bono case regarding First Amendment rights and violations of the Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection under the US Constitution. He is an active member of the St. Clair County and the Illinois State Bar Association.

  • Joshua N. Severit

    Joshua N. Severit, joined Kurowski Shultz in July 2016. Mr. Severit specializes in toxic tort and personal injury. He is a member of the Illinois State and Madison County Bar Associations and is licensed to practice law in Illinois.