Questions? Call 312-332-1400 or email us
April 2019
Sticking to Our Word

In the spring of 2014, during my first year of law school, I interviewed with Lane & Lane for a clerkship. With my academic achievements, interest in litigation work, and accomplishments as a volunteer, I thought I would be a good fit for the firm. So when I learned that I had gotten the job, I was thrilled.

For the next two years, I helped the attorneys with client interviews, legal research, legal writing, trial preparation and discovery. I even had the opportunity to assist with a medical malpractice case that resulted in a $22.18 million verdict. It was everything I wanted in a clerkship – and law firm.

As graduation neared, I asked about joining the firm as an attorney once I passed the Illinois State Bar. The answer was no. “We’d hire you if we could, but we don't have an opening at this time...”

My disappointment was short lived. One week later, an associate decided to move back to his home and family in Michigan, and turned in his resignation. Steve Lane, our managing partner, stuck to his word and hired me.

During my time at Lane & Lane, I’ve learned that sticking to our word – honoring commitments – is an integral part of our Lane & Lane culture. First and foremost it applies to clients and their families, but it also extends to our coworkers, colleagues and every professional we rely on in our efforts to do the right thing.

This month we are highlighting:

  • A complicated roadside truck crash case handled by partner Scott Lane
  • A Lane & Lane employee with a list of talents we didn't even know about
  • The risks of walking and talking
  • Tips for driving safely in the rain

As always, if you have any feedback about our newsletter, please send it. And if there is anything our Lane & Lane team can do to help you, your family, friends or colleagues, please call or email us. 

Kevin A. Griffin
Associate Attorney
312-332-1400 - office
"So many complicating factors to this case...
For years, Annette Alston, estranged from her husband, single-handedly raised her daughter and son. So when Annette's vehicle was violently struck by a truck and she died two weeks later, it was a horrific loss to her children. Not only had the trio been the best of friends, but the new head of the household, Annette’s 19-year-old daughter, was now responsible for raising her 13-year-old brother.
To try to make ends meet, the daughter dropped out of college and worked multiple jobs. She also retained an attorney known to the family to pursue a wrongful death suit. Based on his expertise in personal injury law, Partner Scott Lane was initially brought in as a consultant. When the attorney was unable to resolve the case to the family’s satisfaction, the family asked Scott to take over.

The case was fraught with challenges – a truck driver who contended Annette pulled into his lane and caused the collision; disputes over whether the defendant companies could be held legally responsible for the truck driver's actions; limited insurance coverage; and an estranged husband and father who also sought compensation. In addition, the defendant companies filed motions for summary judgment (essentially seeking dismissal of the case) and made a small settlement offer based on the belief that their motions would be granted. But Scott believed the defendants' motions would eventually be denied. He was right. Following the favorable ruling on the motions, Scott continued litigating the case, which ultimately settled for $2.25 million.

Do You Talk, Text or Scroll While You Walk?
If the answer is yes, it's time to stop.

A report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that pedestrian fatalities have risen 46% since 2009. Many of these instances are occurring in urban areas where people are walking down busy streets staring at their phones while texting, browsing the web or social media, emailing, shopping, playing games, etc.
When pedestrians lose focus on their surroundings, they put their safety — and the safety of others — at risk. You could slip, trip, or fall if you’re focused on your phone and not where you’re headed. This includes walking around your own home or yard. 

According to a study conducted by researchers from Stony Brook University, using a cell phone — even if you’re only talking on it — can result in walking errors and/or interfere with memory recall. The study revealed that cell phone use impacts the areas in the brain that control the functions necessary for walking. So, the next time you go for a walk, put your device away.
Driving in the Rain
Spring in Chicago often means more rain than sun. Whether it’s a light drizzle or a torrential downpour, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation wet pavement causes over 950,000 car accidents every year which account for 4,700 deaths and 384,000 injuries.

Here’s how to stay safe while driving in the rain:

  • Keep your headlights on and windshield wipers humming
  • Stay alert and focused (especially since other drivers may not be)
  • Slow down and be cautious when passing or merging
  • Maintain a distance of several car lengths between your car and other vehicles
  • Avoid heavy braking

Also, watch out for hydroplaning, which can occur with just one-twelfth of an inch of rain on the road. And, yes, four-wheel drive vehicles can hydroplane. To avoid it, steer clear of areas where water has collected. If that’s not possible and you do start to hydroplane, gently take your foot off the gas and slowly steer in the direction that the vehicle is spinning. Do not slam on the brakes or try to make a sudden turn.
Featured Employee
Crystal joined Lane & Lane in October 2017 as our part-time file clerk. Having worked for a medical office as well as the United States Postal Service, she had the strong administrative background our team needed. 

As we got to know Crystal, we discovered that her talents extended way beyond what she handles for our legal team. Immediately prior to Lane & Lane, she ran her own printing and event planning business, which included small group caterings. “My family is filled with great cooks and a few chefs – my aunts, cousins, great aunt, grandmother, my father and other relatives on his side of the family. I inherited the “Chef” gene. I believe that’s what led me down that path,” Crystal explains. 
A few years ago, Crystal hung up her apron and made event planning and printing the focus of her business. Crystal views her role at Lane & Lane and her business as “a perfect pairing.” 
Now that Crystal’s four children are grown (they range in age from 21-26, and between them she has four grandchildren), she has more time to pursue all of her creative passions. When she isn’t working, you may find Crystal outdoors with her camera, writing poetry (in 2007 one of her poems was published in an international anthology), or painting. She is a longtime oil painter of landscapes and abstracts. And even though she has given her artwork as gifts to family members, other pieces have disappeared. “I have a large family and they have sticky fingers… my paintings have left my house,” she says, laughing. 
Some of Crystal's family gathered on New Year's Day.
Rounding out her array of interests is Crystal’s involvement with various charities and her church. She became an associate minister more than 10 years ago. Her responsibilities include teaching bible classes and Sunday school classes, speaking at other churches or at special events, and giving sermons on Sunday mornings when asked by her Pastor.
Crystal loves lions. Could it be because her zodiac sign is a Leo, whose sign is a lion? This beautiful painting took her 4-5 hours to create.
While in Missouri driving through the countryside, Crystal stopped to capture this "Kodak" moment - "on my Canon camera," she says.
Celebrate comics, sci-fi, TV and movies at Heroes & Villains Fan Fest April 19-21 in the Rosemont convention center. On hand will be guest actors, panel discussions, costume contests, and vendors.

Sample brunch food and drinks at 8 restaurants in River North (ages 21+) at Brunch Bites on April 20. Early bird tickets are available until April 19.

One of a Kind Show and Sale features handmade crafts by 300 artists along with food and entertainment at the Merchandise Mart. April 26-28.

Bach Week Festival is a series of four classical music concerts in North Chicago and Evanston. April 26-May 3.
Manifest features student art, live performances, fashion shows, literary readings and more in and around Columbia College. May 10.

West Side Story opens May 3 at Lyric Opera of Chicago and runs through June 2.

May 11 is Food Truck Social at Lincoln Park Zoo, where you can enjoy the finest meals available via wheels in the city. The event includes a DJ, activities and the opportunity to enjoy the zoo after hours.

On May 12, take the Chicago Mother's Day Cruise from Navy Pier for brunch or dinner. The Odyssey provides a meal, music to dance to, and spectacular views. Choose between 10 cruises.
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 .