About a month after settling a potential class action lawsuit accusing him of breaking a federal law when he used the village’s police vehicle crash reports to solicit potential clients for personal injury lawsuits, a lawyer now has sued the village of Schaumburg, saying police departments can’t withhold from him the contact information of those involved in vehicle crashes.
On Oct. 17, the Mancini Law Group P.C., of Chicago, filed suit against the Schaumburg Police Department in Cook County Circuit Court, accusing the village department of wrongly redacting information from two weeks’ worth of police crash reports he had requested under the Freedom of Information Act this summer.
Mancini is represented in the action by the firm of Loevy & Loevy, of Chicago.
Specifically, the complaint states the Mancini firm requested on July 13 “all traffic accident reports for all motor vehicle accidents occurring within the village of Schaumburg between (June 30 and July 13, 2017.)”
The complaint said the village responded to his request in early August with a batch of crash reports from that time period. But the reports provided included “substantial redactions,” meaning much of the reports had been blacked out. The lawsuit said the village cited “exemptions for personal and private information” to justify the redactions.
Mancini asserts these redactions violated the state’s FOIA law, which he argued “explicitly requires public bodies to disclose traffic accident reports” including “the identities of witnesses to traffic accidents, traffic reports and rescue reports.”
“Other police departments in Illinois produce accident reports without names and addresses redacted,” Mancini states in his complaint.
The lawsuit comes just over a month since Mancini settled a lawsuit brought against him by a man who claimed Mancini had violated his rights under the federal Drivers Privacy Protection Act when Mancini used information from a Schaumburg traffic crash report to contact him and offer to represent the man and his family, should they wish to sue.
In 2015, the plaintiff, Antonio Pavone, instead sued Anthony Mancini and his law practice in Chicago federal court.
Pavone, represented in that action by attorneys with the Zamparo Law Group, of Hoffman Estates, and the firm of Francis & Mailman, of Philadelphia, bested Mancini’s attempts to dismiss the case, with a federal judge ruling earlier this year that Pavone had standing to sue and could take the case to trial.
Amid pre-trial proceedings, federal court records indicate Pavone and Mancini settled the case in early September. Court documents do not indicate the terms of that settlement.
Pavone had also filed a similar suit against a St. Louis firm, Meyerkord & Meyerkord, leveling the same accusations against them over a solicitation letter he received from that firm, which he said was sent using information improperly gleaned from the same Schaumburg Police traffic crash report.
Federal court records indicate that lawsuit also was settled in late August, before a federal judge had the opportunity to rule on the Meyerkord firm’s request for summary judgment in the case. Terms of that settlement also were not disclosed.