Dan Churney News

Appeals court: Plaintiff snubbed settlement from debt collector, gets stuck with big legal bill

By Dan Churney | May 17, 2019

A Chicago federal appeals court has refused to upend a lower court that ordered a collection agency pay only $11,000 of a plaintiff's $190,000 legal tab in a credit report lawsuit, saying the plaintiff doesn't deserve more, because he snubbed a reasonable settlement offer, then went to trial and won less than he would have collected in the proposed settlement.

Pet insurance companies to settle robocall suit for $5.5 million, lawyers get $2 million

By Dan Churney | May 14, 2019

A Florida man is seeking judicial approval of a $5.5 million settlement in a putative class action against a pair of suburban Chicago pet insurance companies, who allegedly sent unlawful robocalls to pet adopters, which would give almost $2 million to plaintiff's attorneys and less than $100 to each class member.

Appeals court flattens shareholders' suit vs Caterpillar execs for misbegotten Chinese deal

By Dan Churney | May 13, 2019

A Chicago federal appeals panel has upheld a decision by a downstate federal judge, who gave no traction to a lawsuit brought by a pair of Caterpillar shareholders over Caterpillar executives' allegedly ill-advised decision to buy a Chinese company, saying the company officers acted in what they believed to be Caterpillar's best interests.

Appeals panel denies disability pension to Oak Lawn cop, saying officer's PTSD claims 'lack crediblity'

By Dan Churney | May 8, 2019

An appellate panel has supported a Cook County judge's decision to deny a disability pension to a suburban police officer who claimed his police experiences traumatized him, finding the officer's claims were dubious.

Group of seven Jewel store managers can jointly press age discrimination lawsuits, judge says

By Dan Churney | May 6, 2019

A federal judge will allow current and former Jewel Food store managers to pursue their age discrimination suit against the supermarket chain as a group, rather than individually, saying the plaintiffs' claims are similar enough to proceed together.

Judge: Cook officials must tell when learned they could sue Bank of America; could undermine discrimination suit

By Dan Churney | May 3, 2019

A Chicago federal magistrate judge has ordered Cook County officials who are suing Bank of America for allegedly discriminatory lending to tell the bank when they learned of a similar suit by the State of Illinois, which the bank believes will show some of the county's claims are barred by the statute of limitations.

Appeals court: Ex-Baker & McKenzie paralegal must pay firm's bill for discrimination suit defense

By Dan Churney | May 1, 2019

A Chicago federal appellate court has upheld a $35,000 sanction ordered by a lower court against a former paralegal at a Chicago law firm, who sued the firm for alleged discrimination, then withdrew the suit and then repeatedly refused to satisfy the firm's discovery requests for copies of records and emails.

Appeals panel decides Chicago surgical center wanted malpractice trial, can't sue insurer for $1.3M

By Dan Churney | Apr 30, 2019

A Chicago federal appeals court says a Chicago surgical center is just as responsible as its insurer for the decision to take a medical malpractice case to trial rather than settle, meaning it can't now sue the insurer over the decision, which cost the surgical center $1.3 million.

Seventh Circuit tosses suit over inflatable beach mat, chides plaintiffs for 'luring' defendants into IL court

By Dan Churney | Apr 26, 2019

A Chicago federal appeals panel has deflated a lawsuit by the designers of an inflatable beach mat, who alleged two companies rooked them out of royalties, finding the case does not belong in an Illinois federal court, because the out-of-state companies do not have any substantial presence in Illinois.

Sheriff Dart says he, not state's attorney, calls employees before disciplinary board, asks suit be tossed

By Dan Churney | Apr 22, 2019

Cook County's sheriff, who is facing a suit by a suspended county jail deputy, wants the suit dismissed on grounds it would be "illogical" for the state's attorney to take disciplinary action against a sheriff's employee.

Appeals panel: IL can deny concealed-carry permits to citizens of states with less stringent monitoring

By Dan Churney | Apr 16, 2019

In a 2-1 decision, a Chicago federal appeals court has upheld a lower court's ruling that said Illinois is within its rights to bar residents of most other states from seeking concealed gun permits in Illinois, on grounds those states do not make their gun-carrying citizens provide criminal and mental health information to databases Illinois can access and monitor.

Judge allows Facebook to ask appeals panel if hundreds of workers belong in OT pay class action

By Dan Churney | Apr 10, 2019

A Chicago federal judge has granted Facebook's request to allow a federal appeals panel to weigh in on whether the judge had properly allowed a group of 450 Facebook employees to move forward with a class action accusing the company of shorting them overtime pay, as Facebook asserts a large number of those worker pay disputes are barred by arbitration agreements.

IL Supreme Court OKs law that allowed union lobbyist to collect teacher pension after one day in classroom

By Dan Churney | Apr 4, 2019

The Illinois Supreme Court says a teachers union lobbyist will be allowed to double his pension after he served as a substitute teacher for one day. The decision came over dissents from other justices on the court who said the law allowing the pension boost was merely written to benefit a handful of union employees at taxpayer expense.

Judge says advocacy group for disabled can sue Chicago for non-ADA subsidized housing

By Dan Churney | Apr 2, 2019

A Chicago federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit by an advocacy agency for the disabled, which alleged for decades the city of Chicago has not ensured its subsidized housing is accessible to those with disabilities, saying the agency has put forth believable arguments the city's alleged shortcomings caused it to spend extra resources to help the disabled find suitable housing.

IL Supreme Court rules victims of illicit drug use can only sue directly involved dealers

By Dan Churney | Mar 28, 2019

A divided Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that lawsuits filed under the state Drug Dealer Liability Act can only proceed if the dealer believed responsible for the distribution of the fatal dose is the named defendant, as opposed to any dealer who's active in the victim's community.

IL Supreme Court ends Chicago, Skokie bid to upend Kankakee online sales tax deals with retailers

By Dan Churney | Mar 27, 2019

The Illinois Supreme Court has overturned an appellate ruling that allowed Chicago and Skokie to press a suit against two Illinois communities and several consulting companies for allegedly rooking them out of "use tax" revenue, saying the Illinois Department of Revenue alone has jurisdiction over the taxes, not the courts or any municipality.

Appeals court: Illinois Court of Claims not really a court of law; Handles single claims vs state, not class actions

By Dan Churney | Mar 22, 2019

A Chicago appeals panel has backed up a Cook County judge's refusal to allow a class action lawsuit, which accuses the University of Illinois of favoring politically connected applicants, to proceed, saying the Illinois Court of Claims, where such a lawsuit would need to be heard, can't handle class action lawsuits.

Irish bank can't be sued in U.S. court over loans made in Chicago Spire negotiations

By Dan Churney | Mar 19, 2019

A federal judge on March 14 ruled an Irish national bank cannot be sued by a development company for allegedly sabotaging the Chicago Spire skyscraper project by selling off the company's loans.

Appeals court: Clergy housing allowance tax exemption rules are constitutional

By Dan Churney | Mar 18, 2019

A federal appeals panel has reversed a lower court ruling that said tax-free housing allowances for clergy breached the separation between church and state, finding the long history of such exemptions in the United States allows churches, not government, to properly "advance religion."

Appeals court: IL lost no money, but woman can still sue optometrist for alleged insurance fraud in state's name

By Dan Churney | Mar 15, 2019

An Illinois appeals panel says the bankruptcy trustee for the estate of a woman who once worked for a suburban Chicago optometrist can press an insurance fraud lawsuit on behalf of the state of Illinois against that optometry practice, even if the alleged fraud had not cost the state any money.

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