Top News

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.

IL Supreme Court declines to answer whether state can tell utilities where to buy electricity

Dan Churney May 23, 2016, 3:31pm

The Illinois Supreme Court has shied away from ruling on a question brought by a group of electricity suppliers, who had asked the court to limit the power of the Illinois Commerce Commission to dictate from whom the suppliers must buy their electricity, ruling the question became moot when a largescale coal power plant project folded for lack of funds.

Episcopal Church can't seize breakaway diocese's funds - and it must pay their legal fees, too

Dan Churney May 17, 2016, 10:08am

An Illinois appeals panel has upheld a lower court’s ruling that the Episcopal Church must pay penance, by picking up the tab for the legal fees of a breakaway downstate diocese fighting a frivolous suit by the church and further refraining from making any further claims on the diocese’s $3.6 million treasury.

Lawyer needed to have verbal fee-sharing agreement in writing to enforce his claim: Appeals panel

Dan Churney May 13, 2016, 3:53pm

An Illinois appeals court has upheld a McHenry County judge’s ruling that a Chicago lawyer is not obliged to give a slice of his $1.4 million legal fee to the suburban lawyer who referred a malpractice case to him, because the referring lawyer didn’t abide by rules requiring he inform the client the fee would be split.

California federal judge: Facebook can face privacy class actions under Illinois biometrics law

Dan Churney May 9, 2016, 2:37pm

A federal judge has ruled that even though a putative class-action suit against Facebook – which alleges the company lifted users’ biometric information without permission – was moved from Illinois federal court to California federal jurisdiction, Illinois law regarding privacy will apply in the case.

Disability harassment no different than other forms of harassment, appeals panel says

Dan Churney May 2, 2016, 4:16pm

Story CopyIllinois’ second largest city could face an action brought by a fired worker under the Illinois Human Rights Act, after an at-times divided appellate panel ruled the law’s prohibition on workplace harassment also specifically extends to protect those with disabilities.

Federal appeals court: PF Chang's can be sued over potential ID theft from data breach

Dan Churney Apr. 25, 2016, 12:34pm

A Chicago federal appeals panel has given the P.F. Chang’s restaurant chain a case of legal indigestion, by reversing a district court’s dismissal of a class action suit brought by two diners, who claimed they were vulnerable to identity theft, because the chain’s allegedly poor data security allowed hackers to obtain diners’ debit and credit card information.

Judge wants two lawyers booted from federal court for one year for alleged chicanery

Dan Churney Apr. 21, 2016, 6:10pm

A judge wants two lawyers – one of whose actions he termed “disturbing” – suspended from practicing in Chicago federal district court, because they allegedly made false statements in connection a whistle blower case brought against Tinley Park-based ambulance services alleged to have submitted false claims for reimbursement to government payers.

Lawyer sues Barrington father-and-son legal duo, claiming they trespassed his office, defamed him

Dan Churney Apr. 20, 2016, 3:47pm

A Schaumburg lawyer is suing a Barrington father-and-son law firm for defamation, claiming they engaged in “despicable” and “disturbing criminal sociopathic behavior,” allegedly including entering his office without permission to peek at confidential files and telling others he was “bi-polar.”

Judge orders Ditto Trade to pay fired whistleblowing ex-CEO $2.7 million

Dan Churney Apr. 15, 2016, 12:02pm

A Chicago federal judge has ordered Chicago online brokerage firm Ditto Trade to pay $2.7 million to its former chief executive officer, for allegedly firing him because he informed federal securities regulators of possible misconduct by a high official with the firm.

Judge orders SharkNinja to clean up its act in trying to blow away rival Dyson's false advertising suit

Dan Churney Apr. 13, 2016, 11:29am

A fed up federal judge has yanked the plug on a New England vacuum cleaner company’s effort to force test results from a rival Chicago vacuum maker, warning the company it is flirting with sanctions if it keeps trying to inflate an alleged false advertising case beyond its parameters.

Appeals panel: Lawyers who say they modify mortgages can be subject to redlining discrimination actions

Dan Churney Apr. 6, 2016, 5:12pm

An appeals panel has clarified that those in the business of targeting underwater homeowners, and particularly racial minorities, with false promises to pull them to the surface for a fee, can be considered mortgage lenders under the law and subject to action by the Illinois attorney general for discriminatory lending activity.

McCormick Foundation OK to sue over insurance advice blamed for hefty legal bills after Tribune bankruptcy

Dan Churney Apr. 4, 2016, 10:57am

A state appeals panel has ruled two former major shareholders in the Tribune Company, who are in litigation with creditors, can continue to press their malpractice suit against a prominent Chicago insurance broker for allegedly giving bum advice to change insurance companies, which put the ex-shareholders on the hook for legal costs instead of their insurer.

Appeals panel: Families of medical malpractice plaintiffs who die while case pending can add wrongful death claims to lawsuit

Dan Churney Apr. 1, 2016, 11:22am

Unraveling what it called a “classic clash of apparently conflicting statutes,” an Illinois appeals panel has ruled the family of a woman who died while her medical negligence lawsuit was pending against a doctor, the University of Chicago Medical Center and affiliates is not blocked by a statute of repose from adding wrongful death claims to the preexisting lawsuit.

WTTW wins copyright suit vs FilmOn; judge says online TV retransmitter can't be considered cable TV system

Dan Churney Mar. 29, 2016, 3:21pm

A judge has switched off a court challenge by an Internet company that wants to retransmit the programming of WTTW – Chicago's PBS station – to online users, saying the company isn’t authorized to do so, because it doesn’t meet the required federal definition of a "cable system" and thus is infringing on WTTW's copyright.