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Discovery Before Lawsuit is File in Chicago Fire

A Cook County judge granted an Emergency Bill of Discovery in a wrongful death case that stemmed from a fire just over a week ago. The order, issued by Judge Franklin U. Valderrama, requires the preservation of all inspections, and gives plaintiffs access to Chicago police and fire reports, maintenance work conducted at the building, and any photographs or video from the day of the fire. The Court’s order also gives the wrongful death plaintiffs the opportunity to inspect the fire scene.

An Emergency Bill of Discovery motion – also called a Motion to Perpetuate Evidence – is when a party who desires to perpetuate testimony or evidence asks the court for permission to take a deposition, see documents, or conduct a medical examination before filing a lawsuit. Clearly, there has to be some concern that the evidence will be lost for all time if the court does not allow the party immediate access.

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