Corporate & Commercial

A former teacher at a high school who was fired later sued the school, alleging he was fired because he was an atheist. After the teacher was dismissed, the school published a press release on its website stating that the teacher had been terminated. The teacher and the school entered into a settlement agreement that included a nondisparagement clause. The teacher later sued the school a second time, arguing that it violated the nondisparagement clause by keeping the press release active on its website. The district court granted summary judgment for the school, and the teacher appealed. The appellate panel…
A startup employee advised his employer that it could withhold his and others’ wages until it secured future funding. The employee was a lawyer and drew up contracts to reflect this agreement. The employee later left the company on bad terms and demanded arbitration to recover his back wages. An arbitrator ruled for the employee, determining that the company had violated the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act because it had withheld wages beyond the statutorily allowed time period. The company later sued the employee, arguing that it was the employee’s own advice that led to the company’s liability. The…
While most securities fraud lawsuits accuse the defendant of manipulating their stock prices to keep them artificially high, the current lawsuit against Goldman Sachs alleges the company lied to maintain its high stock prices, rather than lying to cause the prices to rise. It’s a unique allegation, and one the U.S. Supreme Court has not yet recognized, but two lower courts have already upheld it as a valid claim. Goldman appealed the decision made by the district court and the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court. The company alleges that, if the Supreme Court were to…
In a recent order issued in the case of PNC Capital LLC v. TCode, Inc., the trial court swatted down the plaintiff’s excuses for refusing to answer jurisdictional discovery sought by the defendant and ultimately awarded sanctions against the plaintiff after finding that it lacked any substantial justification for its refusal to respond to essential jurisdictional discovery in order to thwart plaintiff’s constitutional right to remove the case to federal court based on diversity of citizenship. The order provides a cautionary tale for plaintiffs who wish to object to discovery issued by another party. On September 4, 2020, the plaintiff…
As more workplaces reopen and Covid-19 vaccinations become available to everyone over the age of 16 years, employers must decide whether to establish mandatory or voluntary vaccination policies. See “What Questions Do Employers Need To Ask About Covid-19 Vaccinations?”  A recent poll conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management (“SHRM”) reveals that 52% of workers support policies that require Covid-19 vaccinations as a condition of employment. It further discloses that 63% of the employees surveyed stated their intention to get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available.  [SHRM Survey: Some Workers Favor Required Vaccinations].  Employers with…
Major League Baseball’s efforts to end a lawsuit filed by a woman struck by a foul ball at Wrigley Field hit a snag when an Illinois appellate court ruled recently that the injured fan can move ahead with her lawsuit. In its ruling affirming the decision of the trial court, the First District appellate court held that the plaintiff was not required to arbitrate her case with the MLB per the terms of the arbitration agreement printed on the back of her ticket. The case stems from events that took place during the Chicago Cubs’ August 27, 2018 home game,…
Almost as soon as reality TV gained prominence in our popular culture, it ceased to be reality. Producers and showrunners end up with hours and hours of footage that has to be edited down to fit the time frame of the TV show, but it didn’t take long for them to realize they could also edit the footage to tell a story … even a story that wasn’t there. Donovan Eckhardt, one of the co-hosts of the hit HGTV show “Windy City Rehab”, alleges the network and the producers sought to create a story for their viewers by making him…
What Can Small Businesses Do About the Maskless? As more states lift requirements that people wear COVID-19 masks indoors when in public, what can small businesses do to protect their employees—and other customers who still prefer to wear masks? As of April 5, more than one-third of states (18) lacked mask requirements, some of which never had them in the first place, according to the Associated Press. But business owners are certainly legally entitled to require them if they so choose, given that their public-facing spaces are still private property that they either rent or own, as long as…
A truck manufacturer was agreed to a settlement after it was sued for selling trucks with defective engines. Two members of the litigation class had filed separate suits against the company in state court. After the settlement was finalized, the manufacturer sought to have those suits dismissed. The plaintiffs attempted to intervene in the court where the settlement was approved, seeking to opt-out of the terms of the settlement. The district court refused and the plaintiffs appealed. The appellate panel affirmed the decision of the district court. The panel found that the plaintiffs had not shown that their decision to…
As our world becomes increasingly digital, we’ve been able to buy more and more things online, and that trend has only increased since everyone has been stuck at home due to COVID-19. One of the last things to make the switch to buying online was cars. Rather than going to a car dealership and test driving a car that who knows how many people have already been in, many people feel safer just ordering a car from a website and having it delivered to their door, but is that legal? While it is legal for auto dealers to sell cars…
A Cook County judge recently granted final approval to a $25 million class-action settlement to end a sweeping class-action lawsuit accusing well-known HR technology and service company, ADP, of violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) in the way it supplied equipment and support to employers requiring employees to scan their fingerprints when punching the clock at work. According to class counsel, more than 40,000 people filed claims under the settlement. According to the terms of the settlement, these individuals will receive a prorated portion of the settlement fund equal to about $375 each. The judge approved an award…
In these financially troubled times many owners are confronted with the dire choice of saving their businesses or their personal assets. Saving a business can include a reorganization. Your business can reorganize with a bankruptcy (Chapter 11) or a creditor workout. In deciding how to reorganize your business, you should consider the differences between a Chapter 11 bankruptcy and a creditor workout, including: Timing. A workout can be faster as a bankruptcy has many notice and timing requirements. Scope. While a bankruptcy involves all creditors, a workout need only involve those parties necessary to reorganize your business. Cost. Workout costs are…
Fleas and ticks can carry Lyme disease, making them dangerous, and even potentially fatal, to us all, but especially to dogs who spend a lot of time outside and in whose fur fleas and ticks like to burrow. But when it comes to a certain flea and tick collar, could the protection against fleas and ticks be worse than the dangers posed by the bugs themselves? Elanco Animal Health is an Indiana-based pharmaceutical company that makes medications and vaccines for animals, including Seresto flea and tick collars. After almost 1,700 incidents of pet deaths and about 900 humans harmed, all…
Donald J. Trump is no stranger to lawsuits. He has been sued for everything from alleged shady business practices to alleged sexual assault and harassment, but while he was president, he claimed, as have other Presidents, he was protected from legal action as long as he was in office. Two courts had ruled against that argument, and he had appealed their decision to the New York State Court of Appeals, but before that court could decide on the case, Mr. Trump was voted out of office. While Mr. Trump is currently facing multiple lawsuits across the country, the case in…
The Supreme Court recently issued a major ruling in a dispute over free speech on the grounds of a public college. By a vote of 8-1, with Chief Justice Roberts as the lone dissenter, the Court held that a Georgia student’s claims of violations of his First Amendment rights against college officials were not mooted by the school’s decision to abandon the speech restrictions at issue. Specifically, the Court found that the student had standing to proceed with his First Amendment lawsuit even though the student was only seeking nominal damages in the suit. The case had long been on…
Pandemic Relief for Restaurants Smaller restaurants and bars soon will have a new opportunity for pandemic-related relief when the U.S. Small Business Administration posts the application for the new Restaurant Revitalization Fund, a program created as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 signed by President Biden on March 11. As of this posting, the application had not been made available; however, those eligible should keep checking this page or watching out for announcements and be ready to pounce. Continue reading