Label or Liability: Case law could lead to short shelf life for $3M Paxil 'innovator liability' verdict
A Chicago federal jury shocked many observers by ordering drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline to pay $3 million to the widow of lawyer Stewart Dolin, who committed suicide in 2010 after taking a generic version of GSK's antidepressant Paxil. But legal observers believe the decision may have a short shelf life, as it could defy decades of case law on the concept of innovator liability.
A class action lawsuit now pending in Chicago’s federal courts could imperil the ability of schools to instantly send out voice and text messages and emails to parents, students and the community to inform them of emergency situations and other school-related matters, according to one company that specializes in providing schools with such messaging services. And should such services disappear, schools in Illinois and elsewhere could be left scrambling to adapt to an enforced new legal reality, school officials said.
With the state's financial situation hinging in part on a deal to reform some state worker's compensation rules, Chicago's major pro sports franchises have jumped in, seeking a measure allowing them to stop paying workers comp to athletes at age 35. The teams say it's necessary to change rules that bear no resemblance to the realities of their business, and allow athletes who play for teams in other states with less generous workers comp systems the chance to "forum shop."
Cook County communities are weighing their options to respond to actions by the Cook County Board to impose ordinances, similar to those approved earlier this year in Chicago, to mandate paid sick leave and boost the minimum wage. The suburban communities believe the state constitution gives them the power to opt out, without challenging the county's constitutional authority to pass the ordinances in the first place.
Cook County has enacted ordinances, virtually identical to similar ordinances enacted earlier by the city of Chicago, requiring employers throughout the county provide paid sick leave and a higher minimum wage to employees. But did the county have the authority to do it? Opinions from the county's own State's Attorney's office said likely not.
While technological privacy advocates cheered, a California federal judge this spring sent shockwaves through the tech world and many other industries, determining an Illinois law that has spawned a wave of litigation already could be applied to businesses based virtually anywhere, so long as they did business in Illinois.
Logging In: Growing class actions use IL biometric privacy law to target social media titans, many others
Illinois' unique law to protect biometric privacy has already had an impact, as several of social media's giants have been hit with class action lawsuits alleging their photo sharing policies ran afoul of it. But in coming years, those actions could rope in a growing number of businesses of many sizes, as judges have begun to determine the statute, enacted in 2008, could have implications far beyond even social media or Illinois' state borders.
Easy Access: Chicago shops large & small latest targets of growing trend of ADA Title III accessibility lawsuits
The odds that an individual shop or restaurant could be hit with a disability equal access lawsuit under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act remains small. But the likelihood is increasing, as more lawyers take aim at shops of all sizes, including owners of small mom-and-pop shops in older buildings.
Happy returns? Restaurateurs, lawyers watch to see how no-tipping policies impact profits, labor litigation
As the calendar moves into 2016 and beyond, the hospitality industry could see a growing shift among restaurants to no-tipping policies, should restaurateurs across the country see many happy returns for the handful of dining establishments that have already eliminated tipping – and see whether the change might help delete lawsuits over the treatment of tipped employees from the country’s litigation menu.
St. Louis police pension fund joins list of litigants saying big banks should pay for manipulating treasuries market
The Police Retirement System of St. Louis has filed a federal class action lawsuit against nearly two dozen U.S. banks, claiming the institutions have been manipulating the U.S. Department of Treasury’s market since 2008, violating federal anti-monopoly and anti-trust statutes by sharing with each other competitively sensitive information to move prices in their favor, to the detriment of the class members.
Maker of Aroma Turkish style coffee sues competitor over alleged knockoff product, infringed trademark
A Chicago area coffee roaster which roasts, grinds and distributes Aroma-brand Turkish-style coffee has sued an Illinois competitor for allegedly selling counterfeit versions of the coffee it sells to consumers and restaurants, as well as violating the company’s trademark and trade dress, particularly Aroma’s distinctive blue and white coffee can.
Judge: Balance may lie with Abercrombie & Fitch in faltering class action over expired promo gift cards
A woman suing Abercrombie & Fitch over the retailer’s decision to void promotional gift cards after the cards’ expiration dates still has more work to do to prove the retailer did anything wrong, a federal judge said in denying the woman's request for summary judgment in her breach of contract class action against the retailer.
FLSA Rising: Ever-shifting wage, hour standards promise to keep employers, lawyers struggling to keep up with law
The increase of wage and hour lawsuits being filed in Chicago federal courts in the last 25 years is reflective of a national trend. And with two new notifications from the U.S. Department of Labor regarding revised Fair Labor Standards Act regulations and an updated interpretation of worker classification, area litigators not only expect to see FLSA suits on the rise again, but to see businesses overhaul their structures.
Amid the rising tide of wage and overtime lawsuits brought in the last 25 years under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, employers of all sizes have faced a series of questions. Foremost for many, however, is the question of how to classify their workers. As the economy has shifted, many have attempted to turn to the use of so-called independent contractors, raising concerns and litigation over whether those contractors are independent enough to pass legal muster.
In the past 25 years, employers of all sizes have faced a mounting number of lawsuits brought under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act by current and past employees who argue they have been shortchanged. In 2004, for instance, when rules changed governing how the law would be interpreted and enforced, FLSA-related litigation spiked. And business groups and lawyers on both sides believe the country may be poised for a similar jump in FLSA court activity.
This is the first installment in a series examining labor litigation brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In Chicago and nationwide, the number of wage and hour lawsuits filed under the FLSA has been steadily on the rise for most of the past 25 years. And area lawyers expect to see yet another spike in litigation as employers and employees alike see what will come of further changes to the rules governing enforcement of the FLSA by the U.S. Department of Labor.