U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit News

Seventh Circuit: Markham church should be allowed to sue city over conditional zoning permit rules

By Scott Holland | Jan 22, 2019

A federal appeals panel says a federal judge took the wrong angle in a zoning dispute between a church and suburban Markham, finding the judge should have allowed the small church to press its claims the city’s zoning regulations for churches are illegal.

Challenge to Chicago Airbnb rules gets new life - if plaintiffs can prove they're allowed to sue

By Jonathan Bilyk | Jan 14, 2019

A group of people challenging the city of Chicago’s Airbnb ordinance may get another chance to press their legal action asserting he two-year-old city rules largely barring them from renting their homes, condos and apartments to visitors through the online sharing site are unconstitutional.

Power generators ask SCOTUS to overturn Illinois 'Zero Emissions Credit' subsidies for Exelon nuke power plants

By Jonathan Bilyk | Jan 10, 2019

A group of electrical power generators have asked the U.S. Supreme Court step in and unplug “zero emissions credit” subsidy programs in Illinois and elsewhere, arguing the state programs intrude on federal regulatory turf and unconstitutionally rig wholesale electricity generation and supply markets to prop up nuclear power plants that should otherwise be retired.

Appeals court: No rehearing for class action vs SEIU to obtain $32M refund of illegal fees

By Jonathan Bilyk | Jan 8, 2019

A federal appeals panel in Chicago has rejected the request by a group of home caregivers for a new hearing to reconsider the courts’ prior decisions denying them the opportunity to bring a class action to recover nearly $32 million they accuse a union of unconstitutionally taking from them under a state law invalidated by a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Appeals court gives new chance to class action vs IL treausurer over sales of unclaimed property

By Scott Holland | Jan 7, 2019

A federal appeals panel has again tossed a ruling from a Chicago federal jude, saying he ignored its earlier opinion in an ongoing dispute over how much the Illinois Treasurer’s Office owes to people whose unclaimed property it sold.

Widow asks SCOTUS to toss GSK's win in lawsuit over Paxil labeling, lawyer's suicide

By Jonathan Bilyk | Dec 21, 2018

Asserting a Chicago federal appeals panel wrongly invalidated a jury’s verdict, attorneys for the widow of a Chicago lawyer who committed suicide after taking the generic version of the antidepressant drug Paxil, have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out the appellate ruling and order more proceedings on whether pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline should be made to pay for allegedly not revising their drug’s warning label to reflect an increased risk of suicide.

Appeals panel: SkyWest flight attendants can resume part of lawsuit vs airline over shorted pay claims

By Scott Holland | Dec 18, 2018

A group of SkyWest flight attendants have been cleared to resume part of their longstanding complaint against the airline for allegedly paying them only for the time they spend on board their airplanes.

Appeals panel: Federal judge wrong to deny Boeing military contractor defense in asbestos suit

By Dan Churney | Dec 17, 2018

A Chicago federal appeals court has overridden a downstate federal judge, who sent an ex-Boeing worker’s asbestos suit against the company back to state court, saying the case belongs under federal jurisdiction because Boeing claims the federal government was in control of its bomber production and knew the danger of asbestos was involved.

Appeals court: Containerboard buyers didn’t prove makers Georgia Pacific, Westrock fixed prices

By Dan Churney | Dec 10, 2018

A Chicago federal appeals panel has upheld a lower court ruling that boarded up a class action antitrust suit against Georgia Pacific and Westrock, which alleged they conspired to fix prices for containerboard. Judges again found the companies were not colluding, but rather making parallel moves in reaction to the market.

Appeals panel: Despite Janus decision, still no class actions vs unions over illegally collected fees

By Jonathan Bilyk | Dec 7, 2018

A federal appeals panel in Chicago has again rejected an attempt by a group of home caregivers to bring a class action lawsuit against the labor union they say used an Illinois state law to unconstitutionally grab $32 million in fees from their pay, as the judges said the decision holds up even when reevaluated in light of a recent Supreme Court decision further restricting unions’ abilities to force non-union public workers to pay such fees.

Appeals court reopens question of whether Indiana merchant can ship wine to Illinois customers

By D.M. Herra | Dec 7, 2018

Anticipating an appetite at the U.S. Supreme Court to upend state laws favoring in-state liquor sellers, a federal appeals panel in Chicago has given an Indiana wine seller another chance to argue Illinois’ law blocking them from shipping wine to Illinois residents violates constitutional interstate commerce protections.

Federal appeals judges: 'Politics in politics' did not violate rights of GOP state senator who challenged Rauner

By Scott Holland | Nov 28, 2018

The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals determined Illinois Senate Republican leaders didn’t violate a caucus member’s rights by stripping him of duties after he mounted a third-party gubernatorial challenge.

Appeals panel: Federal judge can't order Cook Courts Clerk to provide immediate access to new lawsuits

By Jonathan Bilyk | Nov 13, 2018

A federal appeals panel has tossed out a Chicago federal judge’s order requiring Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown to provide immediate public access to all civil lawsuits filed in the county, saying the judge was wrong to intervene in the matter both because the state courts had not been given the chance to weight in and because the appellate judges doubted delaying access to filed lawsuits violated anyone’s constitutional rights.

Judges: Dermatologist failed to prove Mayo Clinic's 'fair' rating to prospective employer caused harm

By Cook County Record | Nov 10, 2018

A federal appeals panel has terminated a doctor's lawsuit against the Mayo Clinic, saying her former employer's decision to rate the doctor's performance as "fair" was an unfair breach of a contract clause forbidding the hospital system from saying anything negative about her to prospective future employers.

Appeals panel: Ameren wrong to fire worker for lawfully having concealed firearm in car at work

By Cook County Record | Nov 9, 2018

A federal appeals panel in Chicago has said a federal judge in central Illinois was wrong to rule against an Ameren employee who the company says was fired for violating a workplace violence policy, after he allegedly made threats and kept a concealed firearm in his vehicle while at work.

Appeals panel voids $27M for ex-Allstate portfolio analysts who said were maligned in Allstate SEC filings

By Scott Holland | Oct 31, 2018

A Chicago federal appeals panel has vacated a $27 million award previously given to former Allstate portfolio security analysts who accused the company of ruining their careers by allegedly incorrectly reporting to federal regulators the analysts had padded their bonus pay while pension funds were shorted.

Appeals panel: $10M arbitrator’s class award invalid; Arbitration should have involved 1, not 175 employees

By Dan Churney | Oct 25, 2018

A Chicago federal appellate court has struck down a $10 million arbitration award to loan officers in a class action against Waterstone Mortgage, which alleged the company shorted officers on overtime pay, saying arbitration should only have involved the plaintiff, not another 174 employees who joined the action.

Kavanaugh assigned to review appeals from Seventh Circuit; Remains to be seen how will affect courts

By Carrie Bradon | Oct 25, 2018

Justice Brett Kavanaugh has been assigned to review appeals from the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, replacing Justice Elena Kagan in that task. However, the change may not ultimately mean much.

Chicago didn't violate woman's rights by waiting 6 months to fine for high weeds, appeals panel says

By Dan Churney | Oct 22, 2018

A federal appeals panel has upheld a lower court’s ruling Chicago ordinance inspectors did not violate a woman’s right to due process by waiting six months after an inspection to cite her for allegedly having overgrown weeds, saying that period was not excessive and she got her due process at her administrative hearing.

Appeals panel: Taxpayers' rights not violated by county assessments raising property taxes in only one township

By Scott Holland | Oct 12, 2018

A federal appeals panel has shelved an attempt by a group of downstate landowners to sue their county for setting property tax bills after only reassessing the properties in their township, effectively raising their tax bills by 25 percent, allegedly violating their constitutional rights to equal protection.

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