Wages Employers frequently face a rash of absences and call-offs in the wake of a natural disaster. Generally, whether a business is required to pay an employee who misses work depends on whether the employee is exempt or non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). If an exempt employee misses work for personal reasons, but the business remains open, the employer may deduct a full day’s salary. This includes absences due to transportation problems caused by weather. Likewise, a business is not required to pay a non-exempt employee for time not worked. If a business is closed due to…
Nursing Home Caregivers Charged with Financial Exploitation of Elderly Resident Grace Watanabe is a 98-year-old woman who had her life savings robbed of her by two former nursing home caregivers employed at Symphony Residences of Lincoln Park, located at 2437 N. Southport Avenue in Chicago. Last year, Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert, with the aid of Levin & Perconti attorneys Steven Levin and Mike Bonamarte, filed a civil lawsuit accusing the workers of stealing $750,000 from Watanabe while she was residing at Symphony of Lincoln Park from 2009 – 2018. It was her bank that flagged the suspicious
  Thursday, October 17, 2019     In a decision that could be of interest to municipalities seeking to combat the growing drug epidemic, a federal court in Pennsylvania recently ruled that safehouses do not violate the Controlled Substances Act when they provide facilities where drugs are used under monitored, sterile conditions. U.S. v. Safehouse. Safehouse, a nonprofit directed at fighting drug addiction and overdose, sought to open an “Overdose Prevention Site” to offer a variety of services aimed at preventing the spread of disease, administering medical care, and encouraging drug users to enter treatment. Specifically, the Safehouse facility plans…
It can be tempting for a business to push back on a negative review on social media. However, health care providers cannot disclose patients’ protected health information (PHI) in response to negative reviews posted on social media. In June 2016, a patient filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) alleging that their dental service provider had responded to the patient’s social media review on Yelp by disclosing the patient’s last name and details of their health condition. The OCR investigation found the dental office had disclosed PHI of multiple patients…
In Re: Stepen Brian Gates, Jeremy Black Docket No. 2018-2331 MOORE, REYNA, STOLL October 16, 2019 Non-precedential Brief Summary: PTAB appeal decision affirming the examiner’s anticipation and obviousness rejections reversed and remanded since the prior art did not disclose the claimed device “arranged as claimed”. Summary: Patent applicant Gates appealed PTAB decision affirming the examiner’s rejection of the claims of their ‘668 application directed to an integrated handheld device that can operate via a computer mouse or a remote control depending on the proximity of the device to a surface (e.g., a table) for anticipation and obviousness. The claims include…
Companies Can Prevent Fatal Lung Disease in Stone Fabrication Workers Thousands of U.S. workers are getting sick from cutting, grinding and polishing slabs of artificial stone used to make kitchen and bathroom countertops. The “engineered stone” is at risk of creating damaging levels of respirable crystalline silica in a workplace. Workers have been linked to cases of death and dangerous and irreversible lung injury in stone fabricators who cut, grind and polish high levels of the mineral silica, and then breathe in silica dust outputs. An updated report by the Centers for Disease Control Doctors titled Severe Silicosis in Engineered
Legal organizations around Illinois and the nation will celebrate Pro Bono Week October 20-26. During and after Pro Bono Week, legal and civic organizations will hold events raising awareness of pro bono opportunities and the contributions of lawyers. Attorneys will also have the opportunity to volunteer their time. Model Rule 6.1 states that lawyers have a “professional responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay.” Last year, 32,866 Illinois lawyers performed over 2 million hours of pro bono service, according to the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission’s 2018 Annual Report. The report also states that 19,871 Illinois…
Flu season and seasonal outbreak of influenza and cold virus infection as a medical health care concept with a calendar background and three dimensional human disease cells. Severe and Fatal Illnesses Caused by Influenza Outbreaks in Nursing Homes Each year, the flu continues to be one of the deadliest illnesses in the United States, with the elderly affected most severely. More than 7.3 million flu cases in adults aged 65 years and older were tracked in 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Many of these patients were also residents of nursing homes and care facilities responsible for…
A client recently came into our office and asked this very question: “Can I recover worker’s comp for back pain?” Our office was not the first law firm that this 37-year-old man had consulted on the issue. In fact, he had previously been represented by another Illinois worker’s compensation lawyer. Not satisfied with the progress of his case, he sought out a firm with a reputation like ours – known for taking cases to trial where other firms are satisfied with a quick settlement, often to their clients’ detriment. Like many who experience chronic back pain, our client had been…
Lake Michigan’s waves lap at one of the borders of Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood. According to police, one end of an illegal drug pipeline is there in one of the city’s better-known communities and the other end is in Texas. Ten people have been arrested on federal drug charges in “Operation Grapevine,” an investigation of the pipeline, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois said. Law enforcement officials said 14 kilos of cocaine and more than a dozen guns were seized in a raid on a Kenwood home. Officers also took possession of about $215,000 in cash and…
In most circumstances, Illinois courts have followed the “cause test” for determining the number of occurrences under an occurrence-based insurance policy. E.g., Nicor, Inc. v. Associated Electric & Gas Insurance Services Ltd., 223 Ill. 2d 407, 418-20 (2006). Under the cause… Continue Reading → The post Number of Occurrences for Toxic Torts appeared first on Commercial General Liability Dispatch.…
Knauf Insulation, Inc. et al. v. Rockwool International A/S Docket No. 2018-1810-11, -1891 DYK, LINN, TARANTO October 15, 2019 Non-precedential Brief Summary: PTAB inter partes reexamination obviousness determination vacated as being based on inherency. Summary: Knauf appealed PTAB’s inter partes reexamination decision finding certain claims of US 7,888,445 and 7,772,347 relating to compounds (malanoidins), compositions and methods used to produce fibrous products such as fiberglass to be invalid for obviousness. Rockwool cross-appealed the PTAB’s decision that other claims were not invalid for obviousness. PTAB found obviousness in view of a combination of three US patent references (Wallace, Worthington and Helbing).…
Online review sites such as Yelp have been the bane of companies’ existence ever since they first started popping up on the internet. While businesses work hard to provide each of their customers with the best experience possible, one can never please everyone, and the displeased will inevitably turn to the internet to vent their frustration for all potential clients to see. As problematic as that is for any business (especially small businesses), is suing customers who leave a bad review really the answer? Lisa Agostino, of Macomb County, Michigan, is being sued by North Wind Heating and Cooling for…
Last week, the United States Supreme Court heard the trio of LGBT cases. I was previously on record as saying that I expected sexual orientation to be a difficult call, and the transgender plaintiff would win because discrimination occurring against transgender individuals is usually based upon stereotypes. I then read the transcript of the oral argument, and it certainly didn’t work out that way. Reading tea leaves from the oral arguments is next to impossible but here goes anyway. You might ask what does LGBT rights have to do with disability discrimination. The answer to that is it does for…
After two companies got into dispute over fallout from jointly hosted party during Indianapolis 500, the appellate court affirmed the district court’s view that the plaintiff had no non-speculative evidence of damages, and that the plaintiff had committed a breach of contract by not promoting the event across the social media channels that it agreed to use. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC sponsors the annual Indianapolis 500 race and associated race-weekend events, which include musical acts and other festivities. In 2015, Karma International became a licensee of Maxim, a men’s magazine. Karma has hosted Maxim-branded entertainment at large sporting events,…