June 2019
There's No "I" In Our Legal Team

If you ever played a team sport, you probably heard the line “There’s no I in Team” from your coach. 

Being part of a group or organization that is focused on the welfare of others isn’t new to me. I started my legal career employed by unions: United Auto Workers, Communication Workers of America, American Federation of Government Employees, and Teamsters Local 743. I learned what it means to fight for your team – on a picket line, at the bargaining table, and in the courtroom. ( Here’s footage of when we picketed at WaterSaver Faucet Co.)

Since August 2015, though, I’ve specialized in fighting for a different kind of team – one comprised of an individual who has been injured, along with his or her family members who have been impacted by what happened. Now, as part of Lane & Lane -- I was hired in April to double-team with partner Scott Lane -- I am helping our clients receive the maximum benefit from injury claims. The work is extremely gratifying.

There's a bonus: Having taken Fred Lane’s ISBA Trial Technique Institute – twice, taught by Scott -- I knew before I even set foot in our office that I would have unlimited support and great mentors.

This month’s newsletter includes:

  • The story of a client who is thriving in spite of a devastating injury 20+ years ago
  • Tips for staying sunburn- and bug-bite free this summer
  • The profile of an employee whose lifestyle changed 100% after she joined our firm
  • Upcoming Chicago-area events

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. 
Nick Kreitman
Associate Attorney
312-275-8021 - office
A Devastated Teenager with a Remarkable Outcome
More than 20 years ago, the Haddix family hired Partner Scott Lane to handle
a personal injury case on behalf of their son, Justin. Here is Justin's remarkable story.
Rosie and Mel Haddix spend about three months a year in Floyd County, Virginia. It’s a rural area in the Blue Ridge Mountains where both of Rosie’s parents were raised and she visited yearly as a child. They are surrounded by pine trees and almost as many relatives – from a 90-year-old aunt to all of her cousins. Two of the Haddix’ four adult children also live there. Life is good. 
Last fall, life for the couple got even better: That’s when their son Justin moved from Illinois to Floyd County.

Rosie and Mel have watched in awe as Justin operates his sawmill and drives his tractor to haul newly-sawn logs up to his property. They’ve watched him build three sheds, as well as an ornate fence so his dog could run freely. Recently he made a picnic table for them as a surprise. 
Justin made the cane Mel is holding.
He gave it to his dad for Father's Day.
“Justin loves working outside – doing physical labor. But he had no industrial arts training, and he didn’t inherit those skills from his dad,” explains Rosie, laughing.

What makes these accomplishments so impressive – hard to fathom, frankly -- is Justin’s ability to personally handle every step in the construction process. At 19, both of Justin’s arms were crushed when a 30-year-old punch press machine he was operating malfunctioned. Both of his arms below his elbows had to be amputated. He has used prosthetic hooks ever since. 
“The incident happened on the Monday before Thanksgiving. Justin was working the night shift. He had only been with the company for three months.

"When something that catastrophic happens to your son, you don’t know where to turn or what to do…” says Rosie, her voice trailing. “We turned to Lane & Lane. The next day, Scott Lane arrived with engineering experts from Chicago to inspect the press machine. From the beginning, Scott made us feel that things will be okay."
Justin made this picnic bench for his parents
for Christmas.
"We don't drive into Chicago, so while the case was going on, Scott arranged for conferences to be held where we live in southern Illinois. He'd book a nearby bed-and-breakfast and drive down to make it easy for us. He and his family were so good to us.
This shed is one of three outbuildings Justin has built for his property.
“The first six months after Justin became injured were extremely hard,” recalls Rosie. “He had to accept that he could never play basketball again. It was a really, really rough period.” At the end of high school, Justin was one of the best three-point shooters in Illinois. His entire life had been turned upside down.

What happened to Justin was also devastating to the entire town of 800 residents. Everyone was overwhelmed. Even today, Rosie says the paramedics who were dispatched to the factory break down at the memory of what happened to Justin." But you will never hear bitterness in conversations with the Haddix family – only signs of their indomitable spirit. 
"We love and respect Scott," says Rosie. "It took nearly 11 years to settle Justin's case. It was a very difficult and complicated case. It ended with a substantial settlement that has allowed Justin to live comfortably and securely. Having Justin here in Virginia has been a Godsend," says Rosie.

Now 42 years old, Justin is in a far better place. His parents no longer worry about him. “If someone says to Justin, ‘You can’t do that,’ he’ll show them he can,” says Rosie. Recently she took her car to the local service station in Floyd County for an oil change. The mechanic told her he learned that you don’t even offer to help Justin with anything. That’s correct, she says. “Justin doesn’t like to be helped. He may not do things in a conventional way, but he figures it out.”
Here's a portion of the fence Justin built so his dog could run freely on his property.
To this day, Scott remains close to the Haddix family. "Over the years, I got to know Justin and his family. We became and remain very close friends. That's how we are at Lane & Lane -- our clients become our friends. What made Justin's case especially meaningful to me is seeing how the settlement enabled Justin to have a productive and enjoyable life."
Last month Lane & Lane sponsored Team Owen in a 5K Run/Walk at Brookfield Zoo to benefit Loyola Medicine. Pictured left to right: Steve Lane, Scott Lane, Nancy Lane, Sally Lane, Matt Rico, Kellie Snyder, Karen Martin, Al Martin. Owen is front and center.
Don't Get Burned
We get it — the sun is finally shining, and you want to
be outside and feel the sun on your skin.
Whether you’re walking around the city, playing at Burnham Park, or on the shores or in the waters of Lake Michigan, you’ve got to protect your skin from the sun. A nice tan is great; sunburn, eye damage, and premature wrinkles … not so much. 
First and foremost, cover up! On a hot day, try to wear clothes, hats, and sunglasses that protect as much skin as possible. Limit your direct exposure to the sun, especially between 10 am and 4 pm when UV rays are at their strongest. Regardless of how covered you are, always apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Reapply every couple of hours or after swimming or working up a sweat. Water resistant does not mean waterproof — no sunscreens are waterproof.

Make sure you choose the right sunscreen as well; they are not all created equal. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn. UVA rays contribute to skin cancer and premature aging. Remember, no sunscreen protects you completely. SPF 15 filters out around 93 percent of UVB rays, SPF 30 filters out around 97 percent, SPF 50 filters out around 98 percent, and SPF 100 filters out around 99 percent.
Bug Off
Chicago has some of the best parks and water areas in the nation.
But the sun isn’t the only thing you need to worry about when you’re
enjoying the outdoors. There are plenty of bugs to deal with. 
Most bug bites are harmless, but some can spread diseases like the Zika virus, Lyme disease, and more. You probably won’t be in areas with known insect-borne diseases, but any bug bite is annoying (and sometimes painful), so you’ll want to reduce your risk of getting bitten.

To help prevent bug bites, use a safe insect repellent. To protect against mosquitoes, ticks, and other bugs, use a repellent that contains 20 to 30 percent DEET. Apply your sunscreen first, let it dry, and then apply the insect repellent.
Also, make sure you’re not exposing too much skin. If you’re going to be in wooded areas, try to wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, socks, and closed shoes. If you’re camping, use bed nets pre-treated with pyrethroid insecticide to protect against mosquitoes. 
If you get bit, you should be able to safely treat the bites and stings at home. 

  • For painful bites and stings, take an over-the-counter painkiller, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. 
  • For bites that itch, use an over-the-counter anti-itch cream, like hydrocortisone, or take an over-the-counter oral antihistamine. 
  • To reduce swelling, apply an ice pack to the bite. 

 And though it probably goes without saying, if you experience any serious symptoms after a bug bite, such as a rash, fever, or body aches, see a doctor immediately.
A career change can be a big adjustment -- stressful and sometimes fraught with doubts. But for Artis Hodges, who joined Lane & Lane last summer as our receptionist, it’s been a breeze. 

First, there is her new schedule. Our office is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Previously Artis’ shift changed every three months. If she worked 8 am – 4 pm January through March, for example, she would be assigned the 2 pm to 10 pm shift from April through June. 
Then there is her new commute. Today it’s 45 minutes each leg of the journey. Before Lane & Lane, it was one and one-half hours each way.  

And there are all the holidays Artis now spends with her family -- New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. In her former life, she worked while her family celebrated. Not every holiday of every year, but enough to bother her, knowing she was missing quality time with family and friends. 
For 20 years, Artis worked as a CDL Driver for Avis at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, transporting customers between the airport’s terminals and the company’s rental car lot. 

What prompted leaving her position? “I was ready to do something different, to have a change of pace,” Artis explains. “I find the legal field very intriguing.” And while she fondly looks back on her years with Avis -- especially when she rattles off memories of meeting and taking selfies with celebrities like Mr. T and Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) -- she is elated with her new role. The bonus? Spending some of the additional free time she has with her daughter who is back in Chicago after serving in the military.  

Artis’ hobbies include baking – “I bought bakeware sets and I’m getting my feet wet as a baker” – and visiting new restaurants and sampling different foods.
"At first, I thought, 'I can't eat that!' but I did, and now I love crab legs," says Artis, laughing at the memory.
Ever since she joined our Lane & Lane team, Artis is cooking more than ever before (she has the time!). She says she enjoys putting her own stamp on what she prepares. After recently savoring an orange chicken dish at a Chinese restaurant, for example, she recreated it on her own with “a pinch of this, a little of that” until she declared it a success. 

What’s next on Artis’ to do list? Weather permitting, lots of cycling along the lakefront in the coming months. Down the road, a getaway to her favorite vacation spot – the Caribbean Islands. “Cruise ship or land, I’ve done and love both. The food down there is phenomenal, too.”
Gold Coast Greek Fest, June 21-23, offers Greek food, beverages, music and dancing. Free.

Ruido Fest, June 21-23, celebrates youth-oriented Latin music and culture with acts from around the Spanish-speaking world. Four stages of performances as well as vendors. Union Park.

Country LakeShake, June 21-23, features dozens of country artists, including Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban. Held at the Huntington Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island. Food, drinks, vendors and games.

African Diaspora International Film Festival, June 21-27, offers feature-length films about people of African descent along with multicultural short films.

Chicago Vegandale (a vegan food festival), June 22, offers food, beer, wine and spirits from 70 vendors. Butler Field in Grant Park. Free to children 12 and under.

Craft Beer Festival, June 22, will be serving tastes of beers from 45 breweries. Food plus the band Euphoria. Morton Arboretum in Lisle. For 21+.

Chicago Pride Fest, June 22-23, offers dance and pop music on three stages, food vendors, beverages, and arts & crafts. The pet parade is Sunday at 12pm.

Outlaw Music Festival, June 28, stars Willie Nelson, The Avett Brothers, Alison Krauss, Dawes, Old Crow Medicine Show and the Grateful Dead's Phil Lesh. Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre.

Millennium Art Festival, June 28-30, features juried artwork, food from local restaurants, and live music. Lake Street at Michigan Avenue. Free.
Cardboard Regatta, June 29, on Lake Ellyn in Glen Ellyn. Bring a picnic or purchase from the food trucks. Free.

Millennium Park Summer Music Series, July 1-August 15, features music artists Monday and Thursday evenings. Free.

Jazzin' at the Shedd, Through-August 28, hear musicians and vocalists, enjoy views from the Shedd Aquarium terrace, purchase cocktails and food.

Windy City RibFest in Uptown, July 4-6, features food, beer, wine, bands, arts & crafts and kids' activities in the afternoon. W. Lawrence Avenue and N. Broadway. Donation.

Lisle's Eyes to the Skies Balloon Festival, July 4-6, has hot-air balloon launches, flights, food court, crafts booth, a kids' area, live music and evening fireworks. Kids up to 8 are free.

Anime Midwest, July 5-7, is a Japanese animation festival featuring a costume masquerade, vendors, video games, concerts, dances, speakers and panels. Hyatt Regency O'Hare.

Chicago Bears 5K, July 13, includes food, games, live music, the Bears Drumline, Monster Squad and Staley Da Bear. Soldier Field.

Summer Block Party, July 13, is billed as the biggest summertime R&B and throwback event in the city. Featuring Jill Scott and Anthony Hamilton. Huntington Bank Pavilion, Northerly Island.

Bastille Day celebration, July 13, features French music, entertainment, beer & wine, a kids' corner, and an outdoor movie in Polk Bros. Park at Navy Pier. Free.
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 .