DM Herra News

Divided IL Supreme Court: Unconstitutional convictions can't be used to end parental rights

By DM Herra | Aug 14, 2018

A deeply divided Illinois Supreme Court upheld an appellate court decision in favor of a convicted felon fighting the state’s use of his criminal history to terminate his parental rights. In a strongly worded dissension, three of the seven justices warned of judicial overreach and the unintended consequences of new precedent.

Appeals panel upholds $500K verdict for butcher vs South Side grocer for sexual, racial harassment

By DM Herra | Aug 8, 2018

A federal appeals panel has upheld a lower court’s order requiring a Chicago grocery store to pay more than $500,000 to an African American former butcher who claimed he suffered severe racial and sexual harassment at the hands of his Hispanic coworkers.

Appeals panel: Attorneys didn't do enough to merit fees topping amount paid to plaintiffs in junk fax suit

By DM Herra | Aug 2, 2018

A federal appeals court rejected a request for attorney’s fees that exceeded the amount paid to claimants in a quickly settled lawsuit over faxed ads, as judges faulted the attempt by plaintiffs’ lawyers to lay claim to one-third of a potential settlement amount, rather than basing their fee request on the actual deal.

Black pipefitters can take to trial claims union allowed contractors to discriminate when hiring

By DM Herra | Aug 1, 2018

A federal judge granted a partial victory to a group of African American union pipefitters claiming their union failed to protect them from racial discrimination, allowing them to proceed to trial on some of the claims in a lawsuit, which asserts the union allowed contractors to circumvent hiring rules to avoid hiring black workers.

Lawsuit: Expedia partner scheduled nonrefundable hotel reservations on wrong dates

By DM Herra | Jul 30, 2018

A Wisconsin man is suing travel website Expedia and its partner Eventblocks, claiming nonrefundable hotel reservations made through the sites cause users’ reservations to land on incorrect dates, causing them to miss the events, such as the Taste of Chicago, which had prompted them to book in the first place.

Court: IL tax collectors can’t ‘jump the queue’ of creditors to collect unpaid taxes from bankrupt debtors

By DM Herra | Jul 12, 2018

Illinois state tax collectors cannot jump ahead of other creditors when collecting unpaid taxes from bankrupt estates, a federal appeals panel has ruled, rejecting the Illinois Department of Revenue’s attempt to collect delinquent taxes from two bankrupt businesses whose debts far outweighed their assets.

LifeTime Fitness settles ex-trainers' wages, whistleblower class action for $700K; lawyers to get $245K

By DM Herra | Jul 9, 2018

LifeTime Fitness has agreed to pay $700,000 to settle a class action brought by a group of former trainers who sued the fitness chain over back wages and claims the company violated whistleblower laws.

Appeals panel divides over number of 'sole' causes, denies paralyzed jockey's try for new trial vs Arlington

By DM Herra | Jul 5, 2018

A divided state appellate court sided with the jury in a lawsuit against Arlington Park Racecourse by a jockey paralyzed in an accident, reversing a Cook County judge’s decision to grant a new trial because the jury had been improperly instructed to consider whether two different things could be considered the “sole” cause of an injury, simultaneously.

Ex-bookeeper can't press retaliation claims vs Hellenic Museum because never told cops about financial practices

By DM Herra | Jun 27, 2018

The former vice president of finance and operations for the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago has lost, for now, his attempt to sue the museum for allegedly wrongfully terminating him, after he claims he brought to light financial improprieties at the museum and a museum staff member claimed he stalked her.

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.

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