Top News

Appeals panel: Cook County can go back three years to grab taxes for improper homestead exemptions

Dan Churney Mar. 20, 2017, 12:55pm

A state appellate panel has upheld a lower court ruling that the Illinois Property Tax Code allows the Cook County Assessor’s Office to reach back three years, to claim unpaid taxes on a south suburban house that had an invalid homestead exemption. 

Consumers too far down distribution chain to press price fixing class action vs steelmakers, says judge

Dan Churney Mar. 13, 2017, 9:10pm

A group of steel makers, led by Chicago-based ArcelorMittal USA, have beaten down a class-action antitrust lawsuit filed by more than a dozen consumers, who alleged the companies schemed to raise prices for goods made with steel, by pointing out the consumers were too far down the distribution line from the steel manufacturers to claim losses. 

Defendants say attorney fees are ‘excessive’ in potential $76M deal in cruise line robocall class action

Dan Churney Mar. 6, 2017, 3:14pm

A Chicago federal judge has green-lighted a potential $76 million settlement in a million-member class action suit, which alleged a cruise line and other companies masked telemarketing calls as nonprofit surveys. The judge, however, held off for now approving what could be as much as $24.5 million in fees for plaintiffs’ attorneys – fees defendants are alleging are “excessive” and “unreasonable.” 

Appeals court: Towns can empanel multiple local electoral boards to resolve conflicts of interest

Dan Churney Mar. 2, 2017, 5:23pm

An Illinois appeals panel has upheld a Cook County judge, who ruled suburban Hazel Crest can convene multiple electoral boards to hear objections to candidate nominations, because regular board members are disqualified, in that they are also candidates facing the objections. 

Man did not sidestep bankruptcy court by playing coy, waiting to file personal injury suit: Appeal panel

Dan Churney Feb. 24, 2017, 11:12pm

A bankrupt plaintiff did not try to do an end-run around the bankruptcy court by hiding a personal injury lawsuit from his list of pending claims, an Illinois appeals panel said, reversing a lower court decision that dismissed the lawsuit against the Blain’s Farm & Fleet retail chain. 

IL Supreme Court: Worker can't collect from U.P. for injuries under federal law unless railroad at fault

Dan Churney Feb. 22, 2017, 3:12pm

The Illinois Supreme Court has derailed a Downstate appellate ruling, saying a railroad employee, who sued his employer under a federal liability law for injuries suffered in an accident, cannot collect damages from the railroad if a third party was completely at fault.

Appeals panel: Bock & Hatch lawsuit vs McGuireWoods over blog posts not a SLAPP, can continue

Dan Churney Feb. 17, 2017, 6:54pm

A state appeals panel in Chicago has slapped down a motion by one law firm to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a rival firm on SLAPP grounds, saying the suit isn't trying to choke off defendants' free speech, as protected by anti-SLAPP law, but rather concerns alleged attacks on the plaintiff firm’s reputation. 

Repeated automated debt collection calls are a 'concrete injury' under Spokeo, federal law, judge says

Dan Churney Feb. 14, 2017, 11:07am

A Chicago federal judge has refused to dismiss a suit, brought by a woman against a debt collection company, ruling the woman could have suffered a “concrete” harm when the company allegedly violated the federal Telephone Consumers Protection Act, by repeatedly phoning her after she told them to stop. 

Lawsuit: Lenders, commercial real estate players ran racket to bilk 'unsophisticated' investors of assets

Dan Churney Feb. 6, 2017, 11:00pm

A group of plaintiffs have filed a racketeering suit in Cook County Circuit Court, alleging that for more than 10 years, several major players on the commercial real estate and financing scene have swindled hundreds of victims out of millions of dollars through loans based on inflated appraisals of hotels and motels across the Midwest.  

Court: IL Property Tax board should win battle over value of Loop high rise across from Union Station

Dan Churney Feb. 1, 2017, 7:59pm

A Chicago appeals court has backed the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board’s decision to peg the value of a West Loop high-rise, situated across from Union Station, at $74 million, brushing aside the owners’ contention it was actually worth $58 million, saying the owners were given a fair shake and their appraisal was “unreliable” and “confusing.” 

IL Supreme Court: Cop fired for misconduct can't relitigate termination via grievance, arbitration

Dan Churney Jan. 31, 2017, 6:03pm

The Illinois Supreme Court has overturned an appellate ruling, saying a onetime Peoria-area police officer lost his right to union grievance procedures in a misconduct matter when he first submitted to a police board hearing, which resulted in the termination of his employment. 

Full public discussion of departing schools superintendent's deal not required, IL Supreme Court says

Dan Churney Jan. 24, 2017, 7:03pm

The Illinois Supreme Court has affirmed lower court rulings that a Springfield school board was not required to publicly go into detail about a superintendent’s separation agreement and ensure the public understood the agreement – as the Illinois Attorney General asserted – but rather it was sufficient for the board to summarize the nature of the agreement to the public. 

Appeals court: Lawsuit vs Megabus over 2014 Indiana crash to stay in Cook County, not Hoosier state

Dan Churney Jan. 16, 2017, 12:22pm

A Chicago appeals panel has affirmed a lower court ruling that blocked a request by nationwide transportation company Megabus, and other defendants in a traffic crash injury suit, to shift the case from Cook County to rural Indiana, where the crash occurred, because of convenience. 

Appeals panel: 'Political' lawsuit vs 2011 Pawar aldermanic opponent costs 47th Ward businessmen $52K

Dan Churney Jan. 11, 2017, 5:08pm

A Chicago appellate panel has affirmed a lower court ruling that two North Side businessmen must pay the legal costs incurred by a failed aldermanic candidate while fighting their defamation lawsuit, because the suit was “politically motivated.”

Appeals panel says Sears data disclosure doesn’t harm credit card holders, so suit is tossed

Dan Churney Jan. 9, 2017, 4:41pm

A Chicago appeals courts has affirmed a lower court ruling that shelved a class-action suit against Sears, Roebuck & Co., which alleged the retail giant sold credit card holders’ personal data to telemarketers, because card holders took no financial hit as a result of Sears’ action.

Appeals court: IL didn't overstep in cutting nursing homes' Medicaid pay; homes can't sue in Cook courts

Dan Churney Jan. 4, 2017, 5:58pm

A Chicago appellate panel has affirmed a lower court finding that a suit lodged by scores of nursing homes, alleging Illinois state government excessively cut its Medicaid reimbursements to the nursing facilities, should be pursued in the Illinois Court of Claims rather than Cook County Circuit Court, because the state did not overstep its authority as to how it calculated the reductions. 

Green groups fighting Metro Water Dist over phosphorus limits not engaged in 'double-speak': Judge

Dan Churney Dec. 30, 2016, 12:57pm

A Chicago federal judge has refused to sink a lawsuit by environmental activists alleging the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago has polluted waterways with excessive levels of phosphorus, ruling the district failed to show the activists contradicted themselves, by arguing in state court environmental permits do not significantly restrict phosphorus discharges, while arguing in federal court the permits do impose such restrictions. 

Judge nixes countersuit claiming 'troll' 'seeded' porn vids online to expose targets for copyright suits

Dan Churney Dec. 28, 2016, 11:26am

A Chicago federal judge has dismissed the counterclaim by a defendant in an adult movie copyright infringement case, who tried to escape the lawsuit against him by arguing pornographers had set him up to be sued by planting their skin flicks on an internet medium known for facilitating video piracy.

City Hall can't tax mortgage transfers, because mortgages don't equal ownership, appeals panel says

Dan Churney Dec. 27, 2016, 12:17pm

A state appeals panel in Chicago has ruled the city of Chicago can’t impose its real estate transfer tax on mortgage assignments for two properties – one on the Gold Coast – because mortgages don’t confer ownership, and so are not “beneficial interests” as defined by the tax ordinance. 

Appeals panel: N. Riverside can't claim hardship to skirt police, fire pension obligations

Dan Churney Dec. 23, 2016, 10:07am

A Chicago appeals court has ruled a state hearing officer was within his discretion when he decided not to swallow a suburban village's contention it didn't contribute to fire and police pensions, because of financial hardship brought on by the Great Recession and its impacts on the village’s economy.