Jonathan Bilyk News

Judge: Labor unions don't owe non-union state workers refunds, despite unconstitutional fees

By Jonathan Bilyk | Mar 19, 2019

Labor unions representing public employees shouldn’t need to refund fees they unconstitutionally collected from non-union employees, because they were acting in “good faith,” relying on state laws and prior legal precedent, a federal judge has ruled.

Judge OKs $35M Pella windows class action deal; $7.6M to plaintiffs' lawyers, $967K to objector Frank

By Jonathan Bilyk | Mar 18, 2019

Homeowners whose Pella windows may have leaked will soon be in line for refunds for their repair costs, while attorneys for plaintiffs and objectors will receive millions more in fees, under a deal approved by a Chicago federal judge to close at last a long, tortured class action lawsuit.

Indictment: Cook County's hired debt collector charged with bribing county officials to secure county contract

By Jonathan Bilyk | Mar 15, 2019

The owner of a Pennsylvania debt collection company, which for years has chased down those who owe money to Cook County, has been indicted on federal charges of allegedly bribing court clerks, including Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, to land such contracts.

Judge: Lawsuit OK to claim City Hall illegally took property rights when rezoned Pittsfield tower, scrapped permit

By Jonathan Bilyk | Mar 15, 2019

A Chicago federal judge has given the green light to a lawsuit against the city of Chicago brought by a group that had sought to redevelop a skyscraper in Chicago’s Loop, saying the city must pay for allowing an alderman to change the zoning on the building after the city had issued the building permit, demolishing their plans and the building’s profitability in the process.

Judge: Illinois, DuPage lawsuit seeking court-ordered shutdown of Sterigenics doesn't belong in federal court

By Jonathan Bilyk | Mar 12, 2019

A federal judge has sent back to DuPage County court a lawsuit filed by the state against medical device sterilization company Sterigenics over alleged emissions from its plant in suburban Willowbrook, saying the state can press its pollution claims in state court against the company in large part because the state has not accused the company of violating any defined air quality standards.

Wendella lawsuit claims Chicago special tour boat tax is illegal, unconstitutional

By Jonathan Bilyk | Mar 9, 2019

The company billing itself as Chicago’s “original tour boat company” has asked a Cook County judge to sink City Hall’s attempt to tie down a special tax they say is designed to sidestep court rulings finding the city can’t tax their passenger’s tickets as an “amusement.”

Melrose Park sues new owners of Westlake Hospital, accuses of fraud in attempt to close hospital

By Jonathan Bilyk | Mar 8, 2019

The village of Melrose Park is suing the new owners of Westlake Hospital, accusing the owners of committing fraud by attempting to close the hospital only months after the village claims the owners promised the village and Illinois state regulators the hospital would remain open.

Southwest Airlines workers: Class action over fingerprint scans not subject to union deal interpretation

By Jonathan Bilyk | Mar 7, 2019

Lawyers for a group of Southwest Airlines employees have asked a federal appeals court to find a Chicago federal judge was wrong to toss their class action accusing the airline of violating their rights under a state’s biometrics privacy law, as the plaintiffs said their union contract doesn’t negate the airline’s alleged liability under the state law.

Buffalo Grove appeal: Pension board hasn't justified boosting pension to widow of firefighter who died of cancer

By Jonathan Bilyk | Mar 6, 2019

After a judge decided a pension board could award the widow of a firefighter who died of colon cancer an additional $1.7 million, the village of Buffalo Grove has asked a state appeals court to weight in, maintaining its argument the pension board needs more evidence the firefighter’s death can be directly connected to his service as a firefighter.

New filing offers more details about ex-Madigan staffer's alleged blackballing that followed harassment complaint

By Jonathan Bilyk | Mar 5, 2019

The woman who has claimed Democrats in Illinois and Chicago, led by House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, blackballed her in retaliation for complaining of sexual harassment at the hands of a Madigan operative, has provided further details to her claims, naming names of prominent Chicago Democrats who declined to hire her out of fear of further retribution from Madigan’s team.

Subway not on the hook for T-Mobile promo texts offering free sandwiches, judge says

By Jonathan Bilyk | Mar 4, 2019

A T-Mobile customer can’t make fast food sandwich chain Subway pay up for a promotional text message sent by the wireless carrier offering its customers free sandwiches as a reward for being a T-Mobile user, a federal judge has ruled.

Class action: Chicago trying to use parking tickets to offset losses from 2008 sale of meters on backs of poor

By Jonathan Bilyk | Mar 1, 2019

A class action lawsuit has accused the city of Chicago of essentially recouping its losses from the sale of its parking meters from the pockets of low-income city residents and others dinged with parking tickets, fines and fees they called unconstitutionally excessive.

Judge: State constitution doesn't force Cook County to spend $250M more on roads, transport projects

By Jonathan Bilyk | Feb 28, 2019

Saying the state’s newest constitutional amendment doesn’t reduce Cook County’s home rule powers to tax and spend, a Cook County judge has rejected a bid by a coalition of road building contractors and others to force the county to spend $250 million more on transportation projects.

Too close? Cook County judge asks millions in fees for prior legal work; Defendants: Judge's colleagues can't rule

By Jonathan Bilyk | Feb 26, 2019

Current Cook County Judge Patrick Sherlock stands poised to receive millions of dollars in fees for his work on a lawsuit nearly two decades ago. But the business partners who would pay those fees have asked a different Cook County judge to send the case and the fee request to a court outside Cook County, asserting all Cook County judges are too close to Sherlock to rule in the case.

Class action: Fortnite makers didn't protect users' accounts, payment info from hackers in late 2018

By Jonathan Bilyk | Feb 22, 2019

The makers of the Fortnite video game have been hit with a class action lawsuit, alleging they allowed a security breach to remain in place for at least two months, which allowed their users’ in-game identities to be hijacked and expose their real-life personal and financial information.

Justice Dept: Class action deal should crumble; Serves only to pay lawyers, promote Lenny & Larry's cookies

By Jonathan Bilyk | Feb 21, 2019

The federal government has asked a federal judge to crumble a deal to end a false labeling class action lawsuit against Lenny & Larry’s, the makers of high-protein cookies, saying the settlement is far too lopsided, as it leaves attorneys with more than $1 million and consumers with perhaps a few crumbs, should they be lucky enough to land a cut of $3 million worth of free cookies.

Judge OKs IL EPA shut-down order slapped on Sterigenics Willowbrook plant

By Jonathan Bilyk | Feb 20, 2019

A federal judge has refused to lift the shut-down order slapped on a suburban medical equipment sterilization plant, granting a win to Illinois state officials in the legal battle over the fate of the Willowbrook facility.

Sterigenics: IL EPA shut-down order oversteps the law; Asks federal court to block 'extralegal' action

By Jonathan Bilyk | Feb 19, 2019

Calling the action an attempt to sidestep the courts and the law, Sterigenics has filed suit against the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, asking a federal judge to remove the order the state agency slapped on late last Friday, effectively shuttering Sterigenics’ Willowbrook plant.

Judge: Legal fight can continue over whether to build Obama Center in Jackson Park

By Jonathan Bilyk | Feb 19, 2019

While stressing the ruling has nothing to do with the question of which side will ultimately win the fight over whether the Obama Presidential Center will be built in Jackson Park, a federal judge will allow that fight to continue to play out in court.

IL EPA orders Sterigenics plant shut down; Sterigenics will seek to reverse 'indefensible' action

By Jonathan Bilyk | Feb 15, 2019

Illinois state environmental regulators have issued an order essentially closing down a medical device sterilization facility in suburban Willowbrook accused of emitting cancer-causing chemicals into the air.

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