Top News

Chicago boat tour company asks court to rule Cook County can't tax its river, lake tours

Dan Churney Aug. 29, 2016, 11:16am

A Chicago tour boat company is asking a Cook County circuit judge to rule a Cook County administrative law judge was right to say the county can’t apply an amusement tax on the company’s Chicago River and Lake Michigan boat tours, but to find the administrative law judge did so for the wrong reason – a move which could also spell taxing trouble for the operators of Chicago’s walking tours. 

Some market manipulation claims vs Opana maker chopped under IL law, other states' laws

Dan Churney Aug. 22, 2016, 9:28am

A Chicago federal judge has chopped a few counts from a huge putative class-action suit – based on laws of various states, including Illinois – accusing the maker of the prescription pain killer Opana of improperly keeping the price of its product high by paying off another pharmaceutical company to delay the release of a generic version of the drug.

Appeals panel: ICC has the power to define ComEd's rate structure formula

Dan Churney Aug. 18, 2016, 3:30pm

An Illinois appellate court has upheld a decision by the Illinois Commerce Commission defining the terms that govern how ComEd can tweak its power rates. 

Appeals court upholds $1.2 million default judgment, says parties can't assume lawyers doing job

Dan Churney Aug. 12, 2016, 9:37am

A Chicago appeals panel has affirmed a lower court's ruling litigants can’t rely on their attorney to keep them abreast of their case, but must instead keep tabs themselves or face the consequences – potentially including costly default judgments. 

IL taxpayers can sue to block business tax credit program costing the state too much: Panel

Dan Churney Aug. 8, 2016, 4:42pm

An Illinois appeals panel in Springfield, in overturning a lower court decision, has ruled taxpayers have the right to try to block a state commerce agency from administering a business development tax credit program the group of taxpayers has argued is actually an alleged illegal state tax improperly eating up public funds. 

Lawyer doesn't need to cough up fees paid out of retirement account in divorce case, appeals panel says

Dan Churney Aug. 2, 2016, 3:14pm

A state appellate court reversed a Cook County judge’s ruling in a divorce case, saying the husband’s lawyer doesn’t have to turn his fees over to the wife’s attorneys in order to even out the financial playing field between the parties. The panel also said the courts can't order a spouse to open a retirement account to pay lawyers.

Smart meter patent plaintiff could be on hook for ComEd's costs in defending against lawsuit

Dan Churney Jul. 28, 2016, 3:52pm

A Chicago federal judge has ruled Commonwealth Edison should be reimbursed for its legal bills in fending off an allegedly inept patent infringement lawsuit concerning smart meters, but the judge still faulted the utility giant for its own conduct in the case. 

Stericycle's profits padded by billing fraud, Florida pension funds class action says

Dan Churney Jul. 25, 2016, 10:56am

A pair of Florida firefighter pension funds, which hold shares in the suburban Chicago-based international hazardous waste disposal company Stericycle, are seeking a class-action suit in Chicago federal court, asserting Stericycle cost investors millions of dollars by not divulging that much of its business was based on allegedly defrauding customers.

Court pans pizza tax class action suit, says take-and-bake pie not 'essential' enough to dodge higher tax

Dan Churney Jul. 18, 2016, 4:44pm

An Illinois appeals court has flattened a would-be class-action suit against the Papa Murphy’s pizza chain, by affirming a lower court ruling that, under Illinois law, a take-and-bake pizza is not a necessity, as alleged by plaintiff in an effort to reclaim an allegedly excessive pizza sales tax. 

Judge pens final chapter on author’s ill-fated suit against Amazon

Dan Churney Jul. 15, 2016, 1:03pm

A Chicago federal judge has closed the book on an amateur author's suit against Amazon, ruling the author’s works about his life as a homeless person were not counterfeited and sold by the online retailer as alleged.

Movers can't be designated contractors to avoid unemployment insurance rules, appeals panel says

Dan Churney Jul. 14, 2016, 10:53pm

An Illinois appeals panel has said the Illinois Department of Employment Security was right to order a Skokie furniture moving business to contribute to the unemployment insurance of more than 90 company workers, because the workers are employees, not “independent contractors” as the company tried to classify them.

Retirees' class action: Wheaton Franciscan, Ascension wrongly claim religious exemption to pension law

Dan Churney Jul. 7, 2016, 5:32pm

A pair of former employees have brought a federal class action suit against Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare and Ascension Health hospital chains, accusing the companies of mishandling the employee pension plan and skirting federal pension safeguards by claiming an undeserved religious exemption. 

Arthur Foundation forced to limit grants to 10-mile radius of Berwyn, limit directors to 10 year terms

Dan Churney Jul. 7, 2016, 11:13am

The Illinois Attorney General's Office has stepped in to force the multi-million dollar suburban Arthur Foundation to abide by its original ground rules governing how it dispenses funds and to force the foundation to set term limits for its directors. 

Judge delays additional attorney fees in Southwest drink voucher class action, but scolds objectors

Dan Churney Jul. 1, 2016, 4:10pm

A Chicago federal judge reversed one of his earlier decisions, but at the same time rebuked a member of a class-action suit for the member’s objection to hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional attorney fees in a case against Southwest Airlines over in-flight drink vouchers – a case in which class members have received free drinks, while plaintiffs’ attorneys slated to pocket more than $1.6 million. 

Appeals court tosses $245K asbestos verdict for plasterer who judges said suffered no harm

Dan Churney Jun. 24, 2016, 10:44am

A state appellate panel in Springfield has scrapped a jury verdict that awarded $245,000 to a man whose lungs were scarred by asbestos, saying, despite the scarring, they did not believe the man suffered any impairment.

Appellate panel: Chicago Police Board can fire officers, even if superintendent wants only suspension

Dan Churney Jun. 22, 2016, 1:09pm

In a 2-to-1 decision, an Illinois appeals panel ruled the Chicago Police Board is not a rubber stamp, but has authority to override the police superintendent’s recommendation when it comes to disciplining officers in more serious cases of misconduct.  

Judge keeps ex-CEO’s $15 million suit percolating vs Intelligentsia Coffee over sale to Peet's

Dan Churney Jun. 20, 2016, 10:51am

A judge has ruled a former CEO of Chicago coffee house chain Intelligentsia has grounds to continue his suit against his ex-business partners, who fired him and then allegedly refused to pay him more than $15 million in profit shares and his cut from the proceeds of the company’s sale.  

Independent Maps supporters' filing: Redistricting amendment fits IL constitution

Dan Churney Jun. 13, 2016, 12:02pm

Supporters of a proposed amendment that would reform how state legislative districts are laid out, have struck back at a lawsuit to block a referendum on the amendment, which was filed by a group aligned with Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, saying the amendment – contrary to what opponents claim – would comply with the state constitution. 

Tobacco sellers, allied organizations say Chicago lacks authority to tax non-cigarette tobacco products

Dan Churney Jun. 7, 2016, 1:15pm

A number of tobacco companies and trade groups are trying to snuff out a pending City of Chicago ordinance, alleging the ordinance burdens them with collecting sales taxes for non-cigarette forms of tobacco, while at the same time usurping rightful state authority over such taxes. 

IL high court: More than lost money, damaged reputation needed to sustain doctors' peer review suit vs hospitals

Dan Churney May 31, 2016, 9:41am

The Illinois Supreme Court has strengthened the hand of hospitals in a ruling that took a physician’s suit off life support, because he failed to allege a north suburban hospital system inflicted “physical” harm upon him when it terminated his hospital privileges – which the court said is the necessary standard under state law for the hospital group to enjoy immunity from liability.