DM Herra News

IL Supreme Court: Clerks can't slap on extra fines, but defendants can't appeal, must sue instead

By DM Herra | Jun 11, 2018

The justices of the Illinois Supreme Court agreed court clerks lack the legal authority to tack on supposedly mandatory fines to judgments entered against defendants, when no judge ever ordered the defendants to pay the fines. However, the court divided sharply over what recourse defendants can use to stop clerks from collecting the fines, nonetheless.

Speedway worker fingerprint scan lawsuit heads back to Cook County court; Judge: No harm to plaintiff

By DM Herra | Jun 8, 2018

A lawsuit that claims Speedway gas stations didn’t follow state law in collecting employee fingerprints is back in state court, after a federal district court denied Speedway’s motion to dismiss - while at the same time agreeing that the plaintiff suffered no injury.

After being tossed in Florida, TV warranty lawsuit hopes to find a forum in IL; Best Buy asks dismissal

By DM Herra | May 30, 2018

A couple whose lawsuit against Best Buy already failed in Florida is trying again in Illinois, claiming the tech retailer’s Geek Squad service plan failed to meet the legal requirements of a warranty.

Suburban Cook County Sarpino's Pizza franchisee accused of routinely underpaying delivery drivers, other workers

By DM Herra | May 24, 2018

Former employees of a suburban pizza chain filed a class action lawsuit claiming the business underpaid employees thousands of dollars by paying less than minimum wage, not paying overtime and not providing mileage reimbursements to delivery drivers.

Appeals court: CTA must negotiate with union before imposing rules to prevent repeat of O'Hare Blue Line derailment

By DM Herra | May 16, 2018

A state appeals court has upheld a ruling forbidding the Chicago Transit Authority from unilaterally imposing new work rules without first negotiating with its workers’ union, even if the new rules are intended to protect public safety – such as rules the CTA implemented to prevent another train derailment similar to the one that resulted in an L train climbing an escalator at O’Hare International Airport.

Appellate court: Fannie, Freddie investors can’t sue federal agency for diverting profits to US Treasury

By DM Herra | May 10, 2018

Judges with the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal judge’s rejection of arguments that the Federal Housing Finance Agency undercut Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac investors by giving the U.S. Treasury too much authority when it was trying to save the home-lending behemoths.

Judge pulls batteries on second attempt at suing toy company VTech over data breach

By DM Herra | Apr 24, 2018

A group of plaintiffs suing toy maker VTech over a 2015 data breach faced another setback when a Chicago federal judge again dismissed their would-be class action lawsuit.

Appeals court rules card-issuing banks can’t sue retailer directly for losses from retailer's data breach

By DM Herra | Apr 17, 2018

A federal appellate court upheld a lower court’s ruling that banks whose customers’ information was compromised in a grocery store data breach cannot recover losses directly from the retailer.

Appeals court finds no error in case arguing Massage Envy massages are shorter than promised

By DM Herra | Apr 13, 2018

A divided appellate court upheld a federal court’s finding that spa chain Massage Envy had not deceived customers who complained their one-hour massages consisted of only 50 minutes massage time.

Police union suing Metra over alleged retaliation against union president, other grievances

By DM Herra | Apr 11, 2018

Metra and its police chief have been accused of retaliating against an officer for working on behalf of a police union, according to a lawsuit filed in Chicago federal court.

Appeals panel: Jury verdict OK to end court fight over Park Forest townhomes, discrimination

By DM Herra | Apr 6, 2018

A federal appeals court found no errors in a lower court’s ruling in a 'sprawling' suit that claimed, among other things, that the village of Park Forest took racially motivated action against the owners of a townhome complex.

Appeals panel: Dismissal may not end litigation against defendants, if added back as 'respondent in discovery'

By DM Herra | Mar 28, 2018

A defendant dismissed from a lawsuit can later be brought back into the case again, should plaintiffs simply designate the dismissed defendant a respondent in discovery, a state appeals panel has ruled, despite protests from such a dismissed defendant he could be yet named a defendant again and again, until he agrees to settle to end the case.

Judge rules death by 'autoerotic asphyxiation' an accident, not self-inflicted, awards insurance payout

By DM Herra | Mar 14, 2018

A federal judge ruled that an insurance company must pay out on the accidental death policy of a man who died of autoerotic asphyxiation, siding with the man’s widow that choking oneself for sexual arousal does not qualify as a self-inflicted injury.

Black workers OK to continue discrimination suit vs staffer, employers allegedly favoring Hispanics

By DM Herra | Mar 7, 2018

A group of companies facing racial discrimination lawsuits for allegedly passing over black workers in favor of Hispanic workers when hiring temporary workers, failed in their attempt to have the complaints dismissed.

Appeals panel: Law firm can't use medical practice's tax accounting practices to escape malpractice suit

By DM Herra | Mar 1, 2018

An anesthesiology practice will have a second chance to argue that its law firm cost it profits by not including restrictive clauses in employment contracts, leaving two anesthesiologists free to form a competing practice and take a profitable client with them, after a state appeals panel said their lawsuit should not be precluded over tax accounting decisions.

Appeals court tacks on sanctions for construction firm's 'frivolous' appeal of unpaid wages order

By DM Herra | Feb 20, 2018

A federal appeals court in Chicago has slapped a construction company with sanctions, including ordering it to pay the legal bills for one of its former workers, for sending to the court a “patently frivolous” appeal of a lower court’s order in favor of three men who claimed the company had wrongly attempted to deny them pay and had wrongly classified at least one of them as an independent contractor.

Accessibility suit vs Kohl’s can proceed; Judge: Moveable displays can be 'architectural barriers'

By DM Herra | Feb 13, 2018

A woman may proceed with her lawsuit claiming the layout of a Kohl’s store makes the store inaccessible to people with disabilities.

Appellate court: Slow deterioration of catch basin sufficient notice of danger; dismissal of suit improper

By DM Herra | Nov 10, 2017

A Cook County judge was too quick to grant summary judgment in a case in which a woman was injured by a fall into a dilapidated backyard catch basin, a state appellate panel has ruled.

Limo company owners' failure to understand personal liability for judgment in OT case dooms appeal

By DM Herra | Nov 3, 2017

Former business partners sued for failing to pay their employees overtime lost their appeal of the judgment against them, when a federal appeals court found the men had spent years ignoring both the litigation and the judgment.

Judge: 'Ministerial exception' gives church right to fire gay music director after he marries

By DM Herra | Oct 13, 2017

A man fired from his job at a suburban church after marrying another man lost the federal discrimination lawsuit he filed against the church and the Archdiocese of Chicago.

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