Tressler LLP

Tressler LLP is a national law firm headquartered in Chicago, with eight offices located in five states - California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Tressler is comprised primarily of attorneys who devote their practice to the representation of the insurance industry in coverage analysis and resolution, litigation, underwriting consultation, product development, defense, claims management and reinsurance.

Tressler attorneys also represent clients in commercial litigation, employment, corporate transactions and intellectual property law. Tressler has one of the most experienced and multi-faceted government law practices in Illinois.

If you are like me, you look forward to sunshine and warmer temperatures.  The summer season is upon us and is always a bright spot given our winters in Chicagoland. The summer season is notably different this year given disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic, but I am hopeful that the most extreme “stay at home” orders will soon be behind us. One thing is for sure, once swimming pools can reopen, they will be in high demand. Pools are a huge perk, but if they are not properly maintained they can also be a huge pain for community associations and management. Board of…
Governor Pritzker has signed into law Public Act 101-504, amending the Illinois Pension Code (40 ILCS 5/7-135.5). It requires IMRF to post certain information regarding contributions made by local taxing bodies. Further, the Act requires that by January 1, 2021, all Illinois municipalities, as well as all other local taxing bodies that participate in IMRF, must post on their websites a link to the IMRF’s new information page.  The IMRF information page is entitled “Employer Cost and Participation Information,” and can be found at https://www.imrf.org/en/about-imrf/transparency/employer-cost-and-participation-information. The Act does not require a municipality or district to create or maintain…
Recent events have brought forth media discussions of qualified immunity in the context of the use of deadly force. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed a federal trial court’s grant of a defendant police officer’s motion for summary judgment in a case alleging that the defendant used excessive force during a traffic stop that eventually resulted in the killing of the plaintiff. Gysan v. Francisko, No. 19-1471 (July 13, 2020) N.D. Ill., E. Div. The defendant successfully asserted qualified immunity in plaintiff-decedent’s section 1983 action. The record showed that: (1) defendant stopped plaintiff after receiving a report that plaintiff had just…
Data collectors constantly struggle to balance the need for honest self-critiques of their data protection safeguards with the desire to not generate information that may be used in litigation. Indeed, it is encouraging to see a number of data collectors hiring third-party experts to look at safety measures and issue reports on their findings before there is an incident. Of course, these reports are only useful if they include an honest assessment of a data collector’s incident response preparation, digital forensics and incident remediation.  Understandably, there is trepidation that the findings in the reports may be used to establish liability…
On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extends to people that identify as gay or transgender. Title VII prohibits an employer from discriminating against any person based upon, among other characteristics, that person’s sex – in other words, male or female. In Bostock v. Clayton County, the Supreme Court considered whether Title VII’s definition of “sex” includes gay and transgender individuals. Until now, the lower courts had been divided on the question. In a 6-3 decision authored by Neil Gorsuch, the Court ruled that an “employer who fires…
Jennifer Longanecker was a tenured fifth-grade teacher in the East Moline School District. In 2014, the School Board found that she helped a student cheat on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test. In doing so, the Board reversed a hearing officer’s finding that she had not helped the student cheat. Ms. Longanecker sued and the case has been making its way through the Illinois state courts ever since. First, the Circuit Court affirmed the Board’s decision and this last stop finds the Appellate Court doing so, as well. The Appellate Court’s decision solidifies the developing trend in Illinois school law to defer to…
On June 16, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order entitled “SAFE POLICING FOR SAFE COMMUNITIES.”  The Order can be found at https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6948245/Trump-Policing-Executive-Order.pdf. There is speculation in the national press that Congress may soon enact legislation in this regard, but for now, the Order provides requirements with which all state and local law enforcement agencies must comply in order to qualify for the Department of Justice discretionary grants.  Among these requirements, local agencies must seek credentials from an independent body certified by the U.S. Attorney General.  These credentialing bodies should address such issues as the use of force training,…
The latest decision related to Illinois’ Biometric Information Protection Act (“BIPA”) was issued by the Illinois Court of Appeals on June 16, 2020, in a matter entitled Cothron v. White Castle System, Inc, 2020 WL 3250706 (June 16, 2020). Latrina Cothron (“Cothron”) began working at White Castle in 2004 and was still a manager at the time she filed suit. As a side note, the Cothron matter differs from many BIPA suits to the extent the plaintiff remains an employee before and after filing suit. Many BIPA cases involve claims by former employees that were terminated prior to bringing suit.…
A constant question for boards is whether discussions are best suited for an open or closed session. The Open Meetings Act requires that all meetings of public bodies be open to the public. 5 ILCS 120/2.  However, there are multiple exceptions to this rule. Specifically, boards are permitted to move a meeting from open to closed session to discuss “the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees…”5 ILCS 120/2(c)(1).  A common mistake made by public bodies is interpreting this exception to mean that all conversations about any personnel matters may be held in closed session. Unfortunately, this oversimplification of the…
On June 5, 2020, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed HB 2096 into law. The Bill amends the Illinois Local Library Act and the Public Library District Act, creating the “Cards for Kids Act.”  75 ILCS 16/30-55.60. The amendment adds to the group of non-residents entitled to library cards without paying a library fee.  Non-resident students, whose household incomes fall at or below the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Income Eligibility Guidelines, cannot be charged fees for non-resident library cards.  Library boards still retain their authority to regulate the terms and conditions of their non-resident card program, but can no longer charge a fee…
In a recent per curiam decision, the Texas Supreme Court reversed a court of appeals decision holding that an insured’s claims under the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act (“TPPCA”) and for statutory and common law bad faith were barred by the payment under a unilateral appraisal clause. Steven Biasatti and Paul Gross d/b/a TopDog Properties v. GuideOne Insurance Company, ___ S.W.3d ___, 2020 WL 1898538, No. 18-0911 (Tex. April 17, 2020). In TopDog, the insured made a claim for wind and hail damage, which its insurer, GuideOne, denied after two inspections, determined that the value of the…
Over the last few months, cyber security issues may have taken a backseat to health and economic issues. Thankfully, there has not been a major cyber incident during the coronavirus pandemic. To pick up where we were before the pandemic, we were closely analyzing the number of court decisions where it was found that a litigant could not establish standing to bring a lawsuit for a data breach. However, it is only a matter of time until we are again analyzing privacy cases. The recent decision in Jantzer v. Elizabethtown Community Hosp., 2020 WL 2404764 (N.D. New York May 12, 2020), provides the perfect opportunity…
Public bodies and those who contract with public bodies should be aware of a recent appellate court decision that addressed two topics with respect to the Prevailing Wage Act – the importance of including specific prevailing wage language into contracts awarded for public work and how certain landscaping work may be covered by the Act. In Valerio v. Moore Landscapes, LLC., 2020 IL App (1st) 190185 (March 26, 2020), twelve landscape laborers filed suit against their employer, Moore Landscapes, LLC, for failing to pay them the prevailing wage for work they performed of replacing and trees pursuant to Moore’s contract…
In Lubrizol Advanced Materials, Inc. v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA, 2020 WL 1943212, — N.E.3d —- (2020), the Ohio Supreme Court addressed the certified question of “whether an insured is permitted to seek full and complete indemnity, under a single policy providing coverage for ‘those sums’ that the insured becomes legally obligated to pay because of property damage that takes place during the policy period, when the property damage occurred over multiple policy periods,” and answered in the negative. The court, which previously applied the “all sums” rule in Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v.
On May 5, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a decision that will have an immediate impact on litigation concerning Illinois’ Biometric Information Protection Act (“BIPA”). The decision in Bryant v. Compass Group USA, Inc., 2020 WL 2121463 (7th Cir. 2020), puts to rest the question of whether a litigant can establish Article III standing in a federal court for BIPA claims. Prior to the Bryant decision, a number of federal district courts found BIPA plaintiffs did not have standing to bring an action in federal court because they could not allege an “imminent,
While the Illinois COVID-19 stay-at-home order continues to keep everyone at home, the First District of the Illinois Appellate Court has been busy. The Court issued two decisions concerning the right to independent counsel and when there may be a conflict between an insurer and an insured in the defense of an underlying action. In the first, Joseph T. Ryerson & Son, Inc. v. Travelers Indemnity Co. of America, 2020 IL App (1st) 182491, issued on April 7, 2020, the court addressed issues raised by the Seventh Circuit’s decision in R. C. Wegman Construction Co. v. Admiral Ins.