Top News

Instant Risk: Litigation threat could imperil schools' ability to instantly message parents, others

Stephanie N. Grimoldby Apr. 6, 2017, 4:04pm

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. 

Adapting to the patchwork: Communities, employers consider options in wake of Cook Co. labor rules

Stephanie N. Grimoldby Mar. 10, 2017, 12:09pm

A growing number of Cook County communities are opting out of the county's minimum wage and sick leave ordinances. And businesses are considering their options to adapt to a patchwork legal landscape and what they perceive to be an increasingly unfriendly environment for business in Cook County.

Reform or distraction: Chicago sports teams seek workers comp changes for athletes in budget deal

Stephanie N. Grimoldby Feb. 7, 2017, 4:07pm

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."

Home Rules: Cook County suburbs mull if, how to respond to county's Chicago-style ordinances

Stephanie N. Grimoldby Dec. 13, 2016, 2:59pm

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.

Home Rules: Cook County awaits challenges to authority to mandate paid sick leave, boost min wage

Stephanie N. Grimoldby Dec. 8, 2016, 4:54pm

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.

Home Rules: Cook County echoes Chicago on paid sick leave, min wage, frustrating suburban communities

Stephanie N. Grimoldby Dec. 6, 2016, 10:36am

Cook County has enacted policies - first put into place by Chicago City Hall - mandating employers provide paid sick leave and sharply boosting the minimum wage. The changes have left many suburban communities and business leaders frustrated and concerned.

Logging In: California judge's ruling could queue up more lawsuits under IL biometric privacy law

Stephanie N. Grimoldby Jul. 7, 2016, 11:14am

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

Stephanie N. Grimoldby Jul. 6, 2016, 10:17am

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: For shops hit with ADA access lawsuits, compliance can be costly

Stephanie N. Grimoldby Apr. 12, 2016, 9:25am

Whether it’s the cost of compliance - in the form of handicapped restrooms, ramps, elevators or even simple signage – or the cost of a trial, the dollars can add up quickly for small businesses facing accessibility lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Easy Access: Shops hit with ADA accessibility lawsuits likely to be targets of 'serial litigators'

Stephanie N. Grimoldby Apr. 7, 2016, 9:50am

Last year, of the 94 ADA accessibility lawsuits filed in Chicago's federal courts, 77 of them came from just eight plaintiffs. And most of those were represented by one of two legal practices, leading some of those sued to assert they were targeted by serial litigators.

Easy Access: Chicago shops large & small latest targets of growing trend of ADA Title III accessibility lawsuits

Stephanie N. Grimoldby Apr. 6, 2016, 9:49am

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

Stephanie N. Grimoldby Dec. 28, 2015, 11:06am

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

Stephanie N. Grimoldby Sep. 28, 2015, 10:33am

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

Stephanie N. Grimoldby Sep. 21, 2015, 12:29pm

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

Stephanie N. Grimoldby Sep. 2, 2015, 11:57pm

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

Stephanie N. Grimoldby Aug. 25, 2015, 11:47am

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.

FLSA Rising: How independent is that worker? Courts, employers wrestle with the question

Stephanie N. Grimoldby Aug. 24, 2015, 9:13am

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.

FLSA Rising: Looming rule changes portend more litigation, complexity for employers

Stephanie N. Grimoldby Aug. 21, 2015, 9:20am

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.

FLSA Rising: Fair Labor Standards Act lawsuits up sharply, still surging in federal courts

Stephanie N. Grimoldby Aug. 20, 2015, 9:18am

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.

Johnson & Johnson facing class action alleging false advertising lulled parents to buy Bedtime Products

Stephanie N. Grimoldby Jul. 8, 2015, 11:41am

A woman is suing Johnson & Johnson for allegedly misrepresenting the effectiveness of the company’s Bedtime Products that she, and many other parents, have purchased to help their babies sleep better. Stephanie Leiner, of Chillicothe, filed a class action lawsuit July 2 in federal court in Chicago against Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies Inc., of Skillman, New Jersey, alleging violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practice Act and unjust enrichment.