Chute O'Malley Knobloch & Turcy - December 2019



Chute O’Malley Knobloch & Turcy





(773) 906-4063

This month, hear from our talented attorney Mike Knobloch on what motivated him to go into personal injury law and why he continues to fight for those who are up against a rigged system. I graduated from college with a degree in education and set out to gain some experience in teaching. I’d always wanted to be a teacher — I liked working with kids and people, and I also wanted to be a coach. Teaching at an inner-city school was eye-opening. I was working with students who had the whole system rigged against them. You get a different perspective when working with students who are fighting an uphill battle in a system you are powerless to change. That experience influenced my career and my decision to go to law school. It’s what motivated me to practice the type of law that helps people who have the whole system rigged against them. They need assistance when no one else is looking out for them. In the first part of my legal career, I worked with Colin on an environmental contamination case. We represented 8,000 people living on the west side of Chicago who were suffering from health problems due to the improper disposal of hazardous waste by a plant in their neighborhood. For years following the incident, these families suffered the fallout of that plant’s negligence. Colin and I resolved the case and were able to do a lot of good for people affected. Starting your legal career with this type of case makes you realize why you went to law school. Since then, I’ve found satisfaction in representing people who are up against Goliath. I’ve represented many union tradespeople and always strive to protect their interests. People don’t realize how difficult of a job they have. When tradespeople get injured on a job

Naperville Office 475 River Bend Road Suite 101 Naperville, IL 60540 Chicago Office 218 North Jefferson Suite 202 Chicago, IL 60661


site, they can’t provide for their families. An employer isn’t always going to look out for their employees’ best interests, so it’s important that they have someone who can represent them. Taking care of tradespeople and ensuring they get what they deserve is very important, and it’s a job I feel called to do. Outside of work, I spend most of my time with my family. I coach my son’s baseball team, and I’m also on the board of directors of the local Little League. We’re all big baseball fans at home. Right now, we’re looking forward to the holiday season and spending time together.

I hope you have a great holiday season. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Chute, O’Malley, Knobloch & Turcy | –Mike Knob loch



Why Do We Hang Christmas Lights?

of the Edison Electric Light Company, vowed to find a better way to decorate Christmas trees with light. In December 1882, three years after Edison’s invention of the lightbulb in November 1879, Johnson hand-wired 80 red, white, and blue lightbulbs together and wound them around a Christmas tree in his parlor window. A passing reporter saw the spectacle and declared in the Detroit Post and Tribune, “One can hardly imagine anything prettier.” Johnson continued this tradition, increasing the number of lights each year and eventually putting them up outside. But because electricity was still a new concept, many years passed before the fad took off for regular Americans. In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge began the tradition of lighting the National Christmas Tree, which spurred the idea of selling stringed lights commercially. By the 1930s, families everywhere were buying boxes of bulbs by the dozen. Today, an estimated 150 million Christmas lights are sold in America each year, decorating 80 million homes and consuming 6% of the nation’s electricity every December. Whether you’ll be putting up your own lights or appreciating the most impressive light displays in your neighborhood or town, let the glow fill you with joy this season. Just don’t leave them up until February!

The first string of twinkling lights illuminating your neighbor’s house is always a telltale sign of the upcoming seasonal festivities. Christmas lights are a holiday staple, but have you ever wondered where this beloved tradition started? The tradition of hanging lights on the tree originally started with candles. Because this posed an immense fire hazard, Edward Hibberd Johnson, a close friend of Thomas Edison and vice president


Florida City Battles to End ‘Extreme’ Lights Display

There’s nothing quite like the magic of twinkling Christmas lights. But for city officials in Plantation, Florida, Christmas lights are a stark reminder of a prolonged fight, nearly $500,000 in court fees, and continued drama. In 2014, Plantation sued residents Mark and Kathy Hyatt for their “Hyatt Extreme Christmas” lights display, claiming it was a “public nuisance.” Each year, the Hyatts decorated their yard with more than 200,000 lights, snow, a Christmas tree, a Nativity scene, a functioning Ferris wheel, and more. Their creation was featured on two nationally televised programs and attracted flocks of visitors. But, for the Hyatt’s neighbors, extreme didn’t even begin to explain the chaos. Neighbors complained to the city about increased traffic, litter in their yards, and potential injury or death to pedestrians due to the traffic. Police officers in Plantation were dispatched to the light display multiple times each season for complaints by neighbors, accidents, and traffic control. After a two-year battle in court, a judge ruled in favor of the Hyatts, claiming the city could not prove the display was dangerous or a nuisance. The city had spent nearly half a million dollars fighting their case.

For the Hyatts, Christmas 2016 was a celebration, though their display was restrained due to the timing of the court’s decision. By 2017, “Hyatt Extreme Christmas” was in full swing again, much to their neighbors’ chagrin. Mark Hyatt rode the wave of support for his display all the way to a vacant seat on the Plantation City Council in 2016, but the highs would soon stop there. Plantation news outlets reported in 2018 that Mark Hyatt filed for divorce, effectively ending any hope of another “Hyatt Extreme Christmas.” As the snow has settled, an extravagant lights display has instead become a story of nasty court battles with a sad ending for the Hyatts and their “extreme” Christmas devotees.


Chute, O’Malley, Knobloch & Turcy |


The Tactics They Use to Get You to Settle

suddenly appears. Of course, the insurance company likely knew about it all along — they were just acting in their own best interest.

Acting Like Your Friend and Making False Promises Beware the adjuster who befriends you, shows up at your house, and promises to pay your medical bills. Some companies pretend to be on your side to keep you from hiring a lawyer who will demand they pay up. What about those future medical bills? Well, the insurance company will only pay them until the claim costs them too much. In addition to keeping an eye out for these tactics, ask lots of questions and be informed. Don’t settle for less. When the insurance company tries to bully you, we’re here to help. We know the system, and we know what to look out for. At Chute, O’Malley, Knobloch & Turcy LLC, we have attorneys experienced in dealing with insurance companies, such as our attorney Mike Knobloch, who has successfully fought for hundreds of clients in various cases, including union tradespeople and people affected by environmental contamination. He believes in fighting for those who have the odds stacked against them, as does everyone on our team. Give our firm a call and get the settlement you deserve.

For most people, the first time they are injured in a collision or on a work site is also the first time they have to navigate the muddy waters of an insurance claim. What no one really prepares you for are the many ways an insurance company will try to get you to accept a settlement for much less than your injury warrants. We’ve seen many of the strategies they use, and it’s important to be aware of them so you can avoid being bullied into settling. Misrepresenting Insurance Benefits Initially, many insurance companies will offer people a very low amount to cover their injuries. It’s not until we file a suit that an umbrella policy




Inspired by Food & Wine Magazine

• • • • • •

2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions 1. Heat oven to 350 F. 2. Grease a loaf pan with canola oil. 1/2 cup canola oil, plus more for greasing 3/4 cup unsulphured molasses 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped • • • • 2 large eggs • •

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp kosher salt

3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together 1/2 cup canola oil, molasses, brown sugar, eggs, ginger, and cranberries. In a separate bowl, sift and combine flour with baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until blended. 4. Scrape batter into loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes. 5. Transfer to a rack, let cool for 20 minutes, slice, and serve.


218 N. Jefferson, Ste. 202 Chicago, IL 60661



TRIAL ATTORNEYS Chute O’Malley Knobloch & Turcy WHAT’S INSIDE llc

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Hear From Attorney Mike Knobloch

The History Behind Christmas Lights

Florida City Sues Family Over Extreme Christmas Display


How Insurance Companies Try to Get You to Settle

Cranberry Gingerbread


Chicago Events


Holiday Events for the Whole Family

As the year winds down, ‘tis the season to enjoy time with loved ones. While staying inside on cold winter evenings is tempting, here’s some motivation to brave the chilly weather and experience the many fun, family-friendly activities the Naperville area has to offer.

Carol on Water Street Dec. 20, 6–7:30 p.m. Elements at Water Street, Naperville

Join yoga instructor Jenny Bergold and author and poet Maureen K. Meshenberg as they help you create a sacred space using writing, meditation, and yoga set around the winter solstice. Find more information and register at

Come near, come far for carols and good cheer at the intersection of Water Street and Main Street. Enjoy free hot chocolate, mulled cider, and freshly baked cookies courtesy of the Elements team. For those who

Bubble Bash 2019: A Kid-Friendly New Year’s Eve Dec. 31, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. DuPage Children’s Museum, Naperville

No need to stay up until midnight to ring in the New Year — you and your family can enjoy the celebration on New Year’s Eve at the DuPage Children’s Museum, where the bubbles drop at noon! This holiday tradition is now in its 18th year and continues to be a favorite for Chicago families. There’s music, special activities, and a chance to explore the museum’s exhibits, culminating with the countdown to noon! Some of the proceeds of the event go to funding the museum’s exhibits and programs. Register at

are musically inclined, a guitar player will serenade singers, and songbooks are provided. Find more information at events/1472310006254343.

Winter Solstice Celebration Dec. 21, 7–9:30 p.m. Abhyaasa Yoga, Naperville

Enjoy a soothing and reflective evening at Abhyaasa Yoga’s winter solstice celebration: The Longest of Nights Moving Into the Light.


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