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Chicago personal injury attorneysBy: Patrick J. Giese and Eddie Hettel

As this recent story from the New York Times documents, American hospitals routinely exploit archaic healthcare lien laws passed early in the 20th century to profit from injured patients. These laws were passed at a time when fewer than 10 percent of Americans had health insurance in an effort to protect then-vulnerable hospitals from the financial dangers attendant to providing care to uninsured patients. A noble goal though it may have been, now, in a time when health insurance is a pervasive and integral part of the American healthcare landscape, these laws only serve to exploit patients who have suffered injuries through no fault of their own. 

Medical care providers nationwide, whose ownership has grown increasingly consolidated, negotiate and execute complex agreements with health insurance companies to provide services at a discounted rate. This practice permits hospitals to enormously overcharge for services knowing that they will accept substantially less as full payment from health insurance companies.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1691905741-1-min.jpgBy: Brian J.C. Baloun

Private equity firms are expanding into healthcare at an alarming rate. In the past 10 years, they have purchased more than 4,000 Women’s Health Clinics, and current estimates have the industry owning more than 10% of the United States’ dermatology market. In the past 5 years alone, private equity has invested more than $10 billion in medical practices. And, as they expand into healthcare, they’ve brought their ruthless business tactics with them.

The private equity business model is well-known: buy loads of fledgling businesses for cheap, group them together, frantically cut costs, and sell high to a bigger investment firm. Applying that model to healthcare not only results in substandard care, but it also results in a deprivation of constitutional rights.

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Chicago helicopter injury attorneyRobinson Helicopter Company opened shop in 1973. Its business model: mass-produce simple, low-cost helicopters and sell them to the civilian public at an affordable price.

From a numbers standpoint, it worked.

Robinson released its first model, the R22, in the late 1970s, and it released the R44 in 1993. Both models dominated the competition and became the best-selling civilian helicopters of their time. The R44 retains that title to this day, partly due to its being one of the cheapest helicopters on the market.

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By:  Heather A. Begley

Chicago Accident LawyersAs trucking injury transportation attorneys, we represent individuals from Illinois and nationally who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents involving trucks. Injured plaintiffs are permitted to proceed with lawsuits against brokers in truck accident cases, according to a recent decision in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Miller v. C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc., et al. No. 19-15981 The plaintiff suffered serious injuries when he was struck by a semi-tractor trailer. A freight broker serves as an intermediary between a shipper who has goods to transport and a carrier who has capacity to move that freight. The freight broker in the Miller case, C.H. Robinson, arranged for the trailer to transport goods for Costco Wholesale, Inc. The plaintiff alleged that C.H. Robinson negligently selected an unsafe motor carrier. The United States District Court for the District of Nevada initially dismissed the plaintiff’s claim based on the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (the “FAAAA”), finding that state law claims that are “related to a price, route, or service of any… broker” are preempted. The appellate court reversed that finding based on an applicable exception: “the safety regulatory authority of a State with respect to motor vehicles”. Congress intended to preserve the States’ broad power over safety, a power that includes the ability to regulate conduct not only through legislative and administrative enactments, but also through common-law damages awards. This is an important finding on behalf of individuals who are injured in catastrophic motor vehicle accidents involving trucks wherein a broker was used to assist in the transport of goods.

Chicago Trial AttorneysBy: Eddie Hettel

            On May 5, 2020, the People of the State of California filed a lawsuit for injunctive relief, restitution, and penalties against Uber Technologies, Inc., Lyft Inc., and 50 individuals whose identities remain private. The suit alleges that the defendants made calculated business decisions to misclassify their on-demand drivers as independent contractors rather than employees and continue to do so in violation of California law.

By classifying their workers as independent contractors, Uber and Lyft evade workplace standards and requirements such as minimum wages, overtime premium pay, reimbursement for business expenses, workers’ compensation coverage for on-the-job injuries, paid sick leave, and wage replacement programs like disability insurance and paid family leave.

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