Top News

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.

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.