A Flossmoor woman who a judge had ordered to receive almost
$2.3 million from a Herscher car dealership has agreed to a settlement deal,
greatly reducing the amount of money she will collect as the result of her
lawsuit over the dealership’s alleged failure to withhold child support
payments from the paychecks of the woman’s ex-husband.
On Aug. 15, Cook County Judge Bonita Coleman signed off on the
settlement between Lisa Watson and Country Chevrolet Inc., effectively vacating
Coleman’s April judgment concerning the purportedly unpaid child support.
The parties did not disclose the terms of the settlement.
However, in the agreed order entered Aug. 15, Coleman said
Country Chevrolet had agreed to pay Watson $299,000. Coleman said that payment
and the terms of the settlement agreement should effectively end the legal
action against the dealership, and she dismissed with prejudice the lawsuit against
the business and its officers and employees.
In April, Coleman, who presides from Cook County’s
courthouse in suburban Markham, had ruled Country Chevrolet, located in
Herscher, a Kankakee County village about 15 miles southwest of Kankakee,
needed to pay Watson the relatively large sum as penalties for more than two
years of delays in processing $7,820 in child support payments it should have
withheld and paid to Watson weekly.
Watson, then known as Lisa Bos, had sued the dealership in
2010, saying the business had attempted to sidestep the need to withhold the
payments from the wages earned by Watson’s ex-husband, Scott Bos, by attempting
to claim Bos, who worked as the dealership’s finance manager for about 10
months in 2009, was an independent contractor, rather than a direct employee of
According to court documents, Bos and Watson divorced in
2002, and Bos was ordered, through the divorce judgment, to pay Watson $230 per
week in child support. The judgment included an order requiring Bos’ employers
to withhold the appropriate amount from this paychecks. Court documents
indicated Watson’s former attorney provided Country Chevrolet with a copy of
the withholding order.
Judge Coleman said the dealership’s actions “cannot be
classified as a simple clerical error or mistake,” and she applied a provision
of the law allowing a penalty of $100 per day for refusal to comply with a
withholding notice. She calculated the penalty should apply to each day from
March 31, 2009, to April 7, 2011, bringing the penalty to more than $2.26
Watson was represented in the action by attorneys Paul L.
Feinstein and Todd Walters, of Chicago.
Feinstein declined to discuss the settlement agreement
terms. However, he said both parties agreed to settle, as “failure to
settle would have meant additional litigation for all parties with an uncertain
“I still believe that this case should convince business
owners throughout Illinois of the need to comply with the applicable
withholding statute,” Feinstein said.
The settlement agreement, however, applied only to Country
Chevrolet and its employees and owners. The agreed order said the release did
not apply to any of Watson’s claims against Country Chevrolet’s attorney
Stephen F. Potts.
Watson and her attorneys are continuing to pursue sanctions
against Potts, asking the court to order him to pay Watson’s attorney fees for allegedly unnecessarily extending the litigation over five years.
In the motion for sanctions originally filed in December 2015 against Country Chevrolet and Potts, Watson and her legal team had requested $761,000 in
attorney fees, plus an additional fine of $100,000.