November 2019

I was born and raised in Troy, Michigan. Ever since I can remember, participating in Detroit’s Thanksgiving Event has been a favorite family activity. We leave my parents’ home at 4:30 am to make sure we arrive on time. My parents and brother are among the 2,000 people who dress up as clowns for the parade – costume, makeup, the works. I join them at the famous Clown Breakfast, help my mom put on her wig, and then I join the thousands of runners for the 5K or 10K (depending on what shape I’m in). For me, it’s the perfect way to kick off the holiday. Everyone at the event is in a cheery mood and full of energy, a lot of money is donated to charity, and I am reminded of how fortunate I am to be healthy and able to share in this tradition. 
But I’ve been living in Chicago since 2015, so it was inevitable that over time I’d get involved in new activities I’d also be thankful for. One of my favorites is being a member of the Chicago Bar Association Chorus. There are about 100 attorneys that make up the chorus and the orchestra. It’s challenging – at times the music is in languages I don’t speak -- but it’s so worth the effort. This past year we performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the full orchestra, at Orchestra Hall! And though it may not become an annual tradition to perform there, we perform several times a year and that is a tradition of sorts that I love. 

This month we’re highlighting:

  • A case where a complication at childbirth resulted in lifelong limitations
  • Decorating tips to follow to ensure your family’s safety
  • Upcoming events in and around the city

I hope your Thanksgiving includes fun and meaningful activities and traditions and that you also have much to be grateful for. 

As always, we welcome your feedback about our emails. If there is anything our team can do to help you, your family, friends or colleagues, please call or email us. 
Kellie J. Snyder
Associate Attorney
312-332-1400 - office
Childbirth Complications Result in Lifelong Limitations
The case featured below is about an injury that occurred at childbirth 9 years ago. It was recently settled, handled by Lane & Lane Partner, Mark Brown, with the assistance of Lane & Lane Associate, Kellie Snyder .
The Medicine of the Case

Shoulder Dystocia -- when a baby’s head has been delivered but one of its shoulders gets caught behind the mother’s pubic bone, delaying the birth, is an obstetric emergency. It needs to be handled quickly because when the baby is stuck, the umbilical cord may be squeezed preventing the flow of blood and oxygen. 

Shoulder Dystocia usually occurs because the baby is large, in the wrong position, or the mother is in a position that restricts the room in her pelvis. There is a possibility of it happening in every birth. If it occurs, the delivery team may bring specialists in for assistance.
Typically, when Shoulder Dystocia occurs, the obstetrician needs to do the following:

  • Instruct the mother to stop pushing
  • Reposition the mother so her legs are hyperflexing tightly to her abdomen, which gives the baby more room (this is known as the McRoberts maneuver)
  • Press on the appropriate area of the mother’s lower abdomen, which is just above the pubic bone, to try to release the baby’s shoulder
  • Consider rotating the baby’s shoulders using an appropriate maneuver
  • Consider an episiotomy to enlarge the vaginal opening
  • Consider a C-section

When these techniques are followed, the vast majority of babies are born safely and without injury. However, when the delivery is not handled appropriately, and excess traction is applied to deliver the baby, the baby can suffer a serious permanent injury known as a “brachial plexus” injury from the tearing or stretching of the nerves, usually on one side of the neck, which causes severe permanent and serious disability to the affected arm. 

The Facts of the Case

During the delivery of a baby boy in 2010 at a suburban Chicago hospital, we alleged that when Shoulder Dystocia occurred the medical team did not take the appropriate action -- that they used excess traction to deliver the baby. The medical team did call a pediatrician for assistance with any resuscitation that might be necessary after delivery, but the delivery team never documented in the mother’s medical records that the Shoulder Dystocia even occurred or that any maneuvers were used in response. In fact, during litigation, they denied there ever was a Shoulder Dystocia. Unfortunately, the baby was born with a permanently injured arm and the parents were never told by the medical team that their son’s injury was or could be attributable to how the medical team handled the Shoulder Dystocia. 

In 2011, the baby’s mother reached out to Lane & Lane Partner, Mark Brown, for help. Mark handled the case for our firm as the lead attorney. The statute of limitations in Illinois is 8 years to file a lawsuit involving birth injuries, so we waited until our client was 7 years old before filing the case. This allowed us as much time as possible to see how he and his injury developed and how he adapted to his permanent disability, so we could assess the long-term damage from his injury. 

Today, at age 9, our client can’t lift his arm all the way up in the air, as most children can. It is permanently bent and he is limited as far as what sports and activities he can participate in. He has undergone physical therapy and occupational therapy but his arm cannot be repaired.  

The Results of the Case

When the time was right, we filed a lawsuit against the hospital, the doctors, and the nurses who were involved with the birth. We alleged that the doctor who delivered our client did not follow the proper techniques during delivery and, as a result, caused the permanent injury to our client’s arm. During the investigation of the case, we discovered that, despite the lack of any notes in the mother’s labor and delivery records evidencing a Shoulder Dystocia, and the denial of a Shoulder Dystocia by the delivery team, the pediatrician who had been called in to assist had made a single entry on one page of the child’s medical records that he was called in for a Shoulder Dystocia. 

After two separate mediations, and with the assistance of Lane & Lane associate attorney, Kellie Snyder, Mark was recently able to reach a confidential settlement in the case.
According to Mark, “Justice was done here. This child’s injury will physically limit him forever. I’m just glad that we got to the truth and that this settlement will give him opportunities he may not otherwise have had going forward.”

The mother was ecstatic about the results and her experience with Mark and our firm. "Mark made everything about the case understandable... he was supportive... and he was wonderful with my son. Mark is a phenomenal human being. I can't say enough about what he and the firm did for my family."
Little Known Facts About Thanksgiving
  • The tradition of football on Thanksgiving began in 1876 when Yale and Princeton played each other. The first NFL games were played on Thanksgiving in 1920.

  • There are four towns in the U.S. named "Turkey." They are in North Carolina, Arizona, Louisiana and Texas.

  • The original Thanksgiving celebrated in 1621 did not include turkey. According to our source, the menu included venison, duck, goose, oysters, lobster, eel and fish.
  • Butterball's Turkey Talk Line has been in operation every November and December for 30+ years. The staff expect to answer more than 100,000 questions. (1-800-BUTTERBALL for those of you who may need a little help cooking the main course.)

  • Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863. Sarah Joseph Hale, the woman who wrote "Mary Had a Little Lamb," convinced him to make it a national holiday after writing letters to him for 17 years.

Facts provided by WorldStrides.
"Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful."
Joshua J. Marine
'Tis the Season to Decorate... Carefully
It's a favorite time of year for many, filled with family gatherings, elaborate feasts, tables adorned with candles, and blazing fires. To ensure that you and your loved ones have a safe holiday season, follow these tips:

Only hang safe lights . Make sure your lights have been tested by nationally-recognized laboratories, such as UL. UL's red holographic label signifies that the decorations meet safety requirements for indoor and outdoor usage. UL's green holographic label signifies the lights are safe for indoor use only. Check each set of lights for damage, and discard any lights with broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.

Be extra cautious with candles. First, set burning candles on a stable, heat-resistant surface. Set them where kids and pets cannot reach or knock them over. Only burn candles if they are within your sight, and extinguish them before you go to bed, leave the room, or leave the house. And make certain that lit candles are placed away from flammable items such as decorations, curtains, furniture and trees. 

Be smart about Christmas tree care. If you buy a cut tree, make sure it’s fresh. The needles should be hard to pull from branches and not break when bent between your fingers. The trunk should have sticky resin on it, and when you tap the stump on the ground, it shouldn’t lose many needles. After you get the tree home, keep it away from all heat sources (fireplaces, vents, and radiators) as they can quickly dry out the tree and make it much more flammable. Check the level of the water in the stand daily and water the tree regularly. If you opt for an artificial tree, check the label before you buy it to make sure it is fire resistant. Fire-resistant artificial trees can still catch fire, however, so follow the same precautions you would follow with a live tree.

Don’t overload electrical outlets. Check each extension cord to make sure it is rated for the intended use. Indoor extension cords should not be used for outside lights. And make sure you only plug lights into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)-protected receptacle or a portable GFCI.

Finally, take precautions with fires. In the kitchen, make certain that you don't have decorations that are too close to the stove. And don't toss wrapping paper in the fireplace; a flash fire may result as wrappings can ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
Sidewalk Food Tours of Chicago includes a three-hour guided walking tour highlighting the history, culture and architecture of a neighborhood. Through November 30. River North or Wicker Park.

Christkindlmarket is an open-air European holiday market featuring traditional art, handmade gifts, German food choirs, and carolers. Free. Until Dec. 24 - Daley Plaza; Nov. 22 to Dec. 31 - Wrigleyville.

A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens' holiday classic. Nov. 16-Dec. 29 - Goodman Theatre. Dec. 1-Dec. Dec. 24 - Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony includes holiday music, a choir and an appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus. Free. Millennium Park. November 22.

The Magic Parlour is an evening of close-up magic by award-winning magician Dennis Watkins in the Palmer House Hilton Hotel. November 22.

Days of the Dead includes live music, a monster ball, celebrity signings, contests and after parties. November 22-24. Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare.

Lightscape is an after-dark, one-mile illuminated path at Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe. Nov. 22-Jan. 5.

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival begins with family activities and Santa in Pioneer Court. There is also a Tree-Lighting Parade down Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to Wacker Drive, ending with fireworks. Free. November 23.

Mother Truckin' Booze Fest provides 25 tasting tickets and an opportunity to shop from food trucks at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates. For age 21+. Nov. 23.
Chicago Toy & Game Fair features new toys and games, tournaments, costumed characters and stage entertainment. Navy Pier. November 23-24.

Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals is an indoor showcase of 500 high-horsepower cars that includes unveilings and activities for children. Rosemont Convention Center. November 23-24.

The Polar Express is a one-hour round-trip train ride through downtown Chicago, from Union Station. November 23-December 29.

The Thanksgiving Parade features giant balloons, floats, and marching bands that travel north on State Street from Ida B. Wells to Randolph. Free. November 28.

Thanksgiving Day Cruise by Odyssey Cruises include a holiday lunch or dinner. Departs from Navy Pier. November 28.

Wreathing of the Lions at the entrance of the Art Institute of Chicago to hear a holiday chorus and watch the unveiling of the lion statues decorating for the holidays. Afterward, go inside the museum for art-filled activities in the Ryan Learning Center. Free. November 29.

Wolfcon is a convention for players of board games, computer games and role-playing games at The Pavilion. November 29-December 1.

ZooLights at the Lincoln Park Zoo features millions of holiday lights, ice carving, music, carousel and train rides, good and gift shopping. November 29-January 5. Free. Closed Dec. 24 and 25.

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light features trees decorated to represent many different cultures and ethnic song-and-dance performances. Museum of Science & Industry. Thru Jan.5.
If you or someone you care about has been injured by someone else's negligence or fault,
and you're ready to take action to obtain justice - the full, fair and complete compensation you deserve - please contact our Chicago-based personal injury law firm today.
Questions? Call us at 312-332-1400 or contact us .