Top News

Judge deletes class action vs Yahoo over Messenger texts, says 'tens of thousands' may have consented

A federal judge has broken up a class action accusing Yahoo of sending text messages in violation of federal law, saying information provided after he certified the class indicated perhaps tens of thousands of class members may have actually consented to receive the texts when they signed up for Yahoo’s services.

Court asked to OK $36M deal to end tortured Pella defective window class action; attorneys to get $9M

About three and a half years after a federal appeals panel led by former Judge Richard Posner smashed a $90 million settlement agreement the judges described as “scandalous,” a new set of lawyers have introduced a new, smaller deal once again intended to a nearly 12-year old class action lawsuit against window and door maker Pella over allegedly defective windows.

Bad Science at NIOSH?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) was established by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 as a research agency focused on the study of worker safety and health.

Lawsuit: Deutsche Bank lets foreclosures in minority areas fall to disrepair, suppressing home values

Nearly 20 fair housing activist organizations are suing Deutsche Bank, alleging it worked to suppress property values in minority neighborhoods across the country by allowing foreclosed homes to fall into disrepair, while maintaining its holdings much better in predominantely white neighborhoods.

Illinois appellate court upholds decision to exclude six ICC directors from collective bargaining

A panel of Illinois appellate judges has ruled that six directors at the Illinois Commerce Commission can't be represented by a union because they are managerial employees.

Cook County judge: Chicago alderman's personal emails, texts generally not subject to FOIA

Emails and text messages sent and received by Chicago aldermen on their personal accounts and devices generally may not be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, a Cook County judge has ruled, partially thwarting an attempt by Chicago lawyer Ameer Ahmad to uncover what he believed were efforts by his neighbors to use connections to Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno to allegedly improperly block Ahmad from obtaining a permit for a home improvement project.

Calif. AG fears possible effects of union fees case at U.S. Supreme Court

From
Legal Newsline

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – An amicus brief filed by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra argues public employees should have to pay union fees even if they fell that it contributes to political pandering.

State AGs speak up in Janus case to preserve collection of union fees from non-union workers

From
Legal Newsline

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – Several friend-of-the-court briefs have now been filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in the lawsuit brought by Mark Janus, an Illinois state government employee who feels union dues should not be taken from his paycheck since he is not a member of a union.

Federal judge certifies class in dispute over unwanted texts, even though lead plaintiff could land $100K

A Chicago federal judge has allowed a lawsuit over unwanted text messages to continue as a class action, even though the lead plaintiff could be in line to collect more than $100,000 if she were to litigate the matter on her own.

New EEOC sexual harassment guidelines due this year are needed to provide clarity, attorneys say

New federal sexual harassment guidelines coming from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission before the end of this year had been planned before a recent spate of media publicity over alleged sexual abuse cases, including some involving celebrities.

Judge cites SCOTUS' Bristol-Myers decision to gut class action over Body Fortress dietary supplement

A Chicago federal judge has relied on the U.S. Supreme Court's recent Bristol Myers Squibb decision to gut a suit against the makers of a dietary supplement, who allegedly made bogus claims about its effectiveness, saying non-Illinois claimants can't participate in a suit in Illinois.

GOP state lawmakers join Supreme Court brief asking to reject challenge to compulsory union fees

A group of nine Republicans currently serving in the Illinois General Assembly, including two rookie state lawmakers, have signed their names to a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the court to uphold the state’s ability to allow unions to extract fees from government employees who don’t wish to join a union, arguing the country’s founding federalist principles should allow the 50 states to decide such policy questions for themselves.

With regulation in flux, litigation over website accessibility for the blind, other ADA rules, could also remain unsettled

In the wake of the Trump administration's decision to stop drafting new regulations on the accessibility of "websites, furniture and non-fixed equipment," a labor and employment attorney says this area of law could remain open for a while, as the courts work through the questions in a patchwork of judicial decisions.

Chicago law firm the first to file lawsuits over Washington Amtrak derailment

From
Legal Newsline

CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) – A Chicago attorney says several factors may have led to the derailment of the Amtrak train near Tacoma, Washington, on Dec. 18. He is representing some of the plaintiffs who are suing Amtrak over the incident.

Dunkin' Donuts can't sidestep class action over blueberry content in donuts

Dunkin' Donuts will need to try again to poke holes in a lawsuit claiming it deceived consumers about how much blueberry is actually in a blueberry donut, after a Chicago federal judge refused to toss the class action.

Judge OKs $29M deal to end class action vs Ascension Health over Wheaton Franciscan pension claims

In the wake of last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that religiously-affiliated hospitals can qualify for exemption from certain federal pension rules, a Chicago federal judge has signed off on a $29 million settlement, designed to end class action litigations against Ascension Health, in which the country’s largest Catholic hospital system was accused of attempting to use the religious exemption improperly to underfund its employees’ retirement plans.

Six Flags case could clarify requirements for biometric claims used in class actions

From
Legal Newsline

CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) – A closely watched Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) case could have bearing on Illinois' one-of-a-kind biometric privacy law after an appeals court ruled last month the plaintiff alleged no actual harm, an attorney who defends businesses against such cases said during a recent interview.

Judge asked to OK final deal to end suit vs Uber over texts; lawyers to get $6M, class members $103 each

A federal judge has been asked to grant final approval to a $20 million deal to settle a class action lawsuit brought by a group of people who claimed Uber sent them multiple unwanted text messages. Plaintiffs' lawyers would get $6.35 million, while each class member could get $103.

Petition: SCOTUS should undo rulings letting union keep $32M collected from caregivers unconstitutionally

Saying a union’s unconstitutional seizure of $32 million in fees from non-union home care providers via the state of Illinois was legally not much different than picking a pocket on the street, a group of those personal assistants have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to step in and overturn lower courts’ decisions allowing the union to keep the money, even the high court had determined the union had no right to collect the money in the first place.

Victims of IRS's tea party bias - and taxpayers - must see Lois Lerner's testimony, lawyer says

From
Legal Newsline

CINCINNATI (Legal Newsline) - Lois Lerner, formerly of the Internal Revenue Service when it discriminated against applicants for tax exemptions based on their viewpoints, claims Americans have no right to read statements she made under oath about why she did it.