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Winston and Strawn LLP News

ParkChicago vendors ask judge to curb parking tickets class action; no 'freedom from administrative inconvenience'

Asserting legal precedent holds people wrongly receiving parking tickets have no “freedom from administrative inconvenience,” attorneys representing the vendors that operate Chicago’s on-street parking meters have asked the court to again pull to the curb a class action lawsuit alleging problems with the ParkChicago smartphone app results in illegal tickets issued to motorists using their phones to pay for parking.

Judge saws off $5.9 million verdict against Sears in wrench patent dispute suit vs Loggerhead

A Chicago federal judge has thrown a wrench into a jury's $5.9 million verdict for a suburban toolmaker, who alleged retail giant Sears copied his patented design for an implement for removing nuts and bolts, saying Sears deserves a new trial because one of her jury instructions was based on a faulty definition of a tool term made by a prior judge in the five-year-long case.

Cook Co. judge ends bid by Dotty's, other 'gaming cafes' to challenge rules over video gambling take

A Cook County judge has shot down a legal challenge brought against the Illinois Gaming Board by the operators of the Dotty's, Stella's and Shelby's branded video "gaming cafe" chains, accusing the state regulatory body of stepping on their rights to secure deals that split the take more in their favor.

Appeals court lets stand controversial $25M deal settling paralyzed boater's injury case

A state appeals panel will let stand a Cook County judge’s decision to enforce a $25 million settlement deal between boatmaker Brunswick and a New Lenox man who claimed the company should be held accountable for an accident that left him paralyzed, even though a court clerk allegedly passed on information concerning jury deliberations to his lawyer, which the boatmaker alleged gave him an edge in the talks moments before the jury was set to render a verdict in favor of the defendants.

Chicago OK to tack on thousands in taxes to the sale of Fannie, Freddie foreclosures: Appeals court

While federal law bars the city of Chicago and other local governments from slapping taxes on homes acquired by federal home mortgage lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the law does nothing to stop such cities from merely passing on those tax bills to the people who later buy the property from Fannie or Freddie, a federal appeals panel says.

Animal Legal Defense Fund sues to force Cook County to cough up report on animal control operations

The California-based Animal Legal Defense Fund wants a judge to force Cook County to release information on the county’s animal control department, asserting the county is intentionally withholding a report from the public the group believes likely contains more information about operations at county animal control than what was revealed in a released summary of the report from the county’s inspector general.

Judge: Class action can continue, in part, vs Nature's Bounty over St. John's Wort supplements

A class action suit accusing the maker of herbal supplements of not including enough herbs in their supplements will be allowed to continue, in part, after a federal judge agreed only to dismiss certain elements of the lawsuit against Nature’s Bounty.

Caterpillar secures win in age discrimination case over elimination of benefits package for laid off workers

A federal judge has bulldozed a lawsuit against Caterpillar, which accused the Peoria-based heavy equipment manufacturer of discriminating against its older workers when it eliminated a supplemental unemployment benefit program for workers laid off at its plant in Joliet.

Judge breaks down cardboard antitrust action, says prices were raised, but no evidence of scheme

A Chicago federal judge has boxed up a class action antitrust suit against two containerboard companies, which alleged the companies conspired to fix prices, saying plaintiffs may have raised prices and cut production, but defendants failed to show the acts were part of a scheme and not simply reactions to the market.

Judge: Brunswick can't press suit vs McNabola for using jury note to turn trial loss to big settlement

A beleaguered Chicago lawyer scored a win in his attempt to fend off claims he should pay for wrongly using a jury note to wrest a $25 million personal injury settlement on the cusp of losing at trial, as a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit brought by the boatmaker he had sued, saying the boatmaker couldn’t demonstrate its rights had been violated.

Appeals panel: Neck, back clinic 'incidental recipient,' no right to interest on worker comp claims

A state appeals panel has sided with several insurance companies facing class action complaints from a Chicago-based medical practice specializing in treating neck and back injuries as part of worker compensation claims, saying the clinic has no right under the law to demand insurers pay interest on slow-arriving reimbursements.

NorthShore asks court to slice class action demanding IL hospitals repay for improper tax exemptions

Saying the basis for the suit has been amputated by Illinois’ highest court, NorthShore University Health System is asking a Cook County judge to dismiss a class-action suit, which demanded hospitals be made to pay back Illinois property taxpayers who have allegedly overpaid because, the plaintiffs allege, the state’s hospitals have wrongly enjoyed tax-exempt status.

Judgment: UBU Sports owes FieldTurf USA $780,000 in artificial turf patent court fight

The final score in a legal battle between two artificial turf manufacturers is a $780,000 win for the original patent holder, FieldTurf USA.

Judge trims class action vs Dollar General over aloe vera gel alleged not to contain aloe vera

A federal judge has burned off two of three counts in a class action complaint facing Dollar General over claims the retailer’s aloe vera cooling gel didn’t actually contain aloe vera.

Operators of Dotty's, Stella's, Shelby's gambling cafes sue state over revenue rules

The owners of two groups operating many of the video gambling establishments in strip malls and other locations across Illinois have sued the Illinois Gaming Board, arguing one board policy and two provisions of the state’s 2009 Video Gaming Act are unconstitutionally depriving them of the chance to negotiate better business deals for a larger share of the revenue they generate. 

Consumers too far down distribution chain to press price fixing class action vs steelmakers, says judge

A group of steel makers, led by Chicago-based ArcelorMittal USA, have beaten down a class-action antitrust lawsuit filed by more than a dozen consumers, who alleged the companies schemed to raise prices for goods made with steel, by pointing out the consumers were too far down the distribution line from the steel manufacturers to claim losses. 

Judge blocks Advocate, NorthShore merger; effort to combine health systems scuttled

A Chicago federal judge has moved to formally block the attempted merger between Advocate and NorthShore, two of the Chicago area’s largest hospital operators, granting federal regulators’ request for an injunction and likely scuttling the merger.

$4.25M deal ends litigation vs Northern Trust over 'hundreds of millions' in losses for public pensions

A Chicago federal judge has signed off on a $4.25 million settlement to end years of litigation between financial investment firm Northern Trust Co. and a host of public worker retirement plans in Chicago and elsewhere in the U.S. over claims Northern Trust’s allegedly risky investment decisions had led to hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for the retirement programs when markets crashed at the onset of the Great Recession.

Brunswick sues McNabola, clerk, alleges wrongful use of jury note cost them, trampled legal rights

Chicago lawyer Mark McNabola, already being sued by his ex-client - a man left paralyzed from a 2009 boating accident who claims the attorney’s use of jury note, improperly shared by a court clerk, cost him a $25 million settlement - has been hit with another lawsuit, this time from the yacht maker they had sued and who now allege the lawyer should also be made to pay for using the jury note to cost them a verdict from a jury poised to hand the company a courtroom win. The suit also names Cook C

Class action settled vs NorthShore Physicians group over medical debt liens, terms confidential

A woman injured in a 2012 car crash has dropped her lawsuit against an Evanston-based medical practice, after a judge signed off on a settlement agreement ending the putative class action litigation in which she had accused the doctors at the practice of wrongly slapping liens on patients in an attempt to collect more than they should under agreements with health insurers.