In late 2019, Chinese health officials informed the World Health Organization (“WHO”) of a mysterious pneumonia outbreak.[1] Now, a quickly spreading virus known as Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) has infected people in multiple countries around the world. To date, almost half a million people have contracted the virus, and just over 22,000 cases have resulted in death worldwide.[2] Twenty-one states in the United States have issued stay-at-home orders, affecting more than 50% of the population.[3] Many practicing attorneys in the United States must continue their practice and contact with their clients remotely. One challenge attorneys may face, among many…
HeplerBroom understands how staying abreast of the latest developments related to COVID-19 is important to your business and planning for the future. We have assembled some of the executive, legislative, and regulatory actions related to COVID-19 that may affect you. Indiana has recently taken a number of actions to manage this public health crisis, which are summarized below. EMERGENCY SERVICES Like many other states, in response to the coronavirus epidemic, the Governor issued an Executive Order to the Indiana Emergency Operations Center, Indiana National Guard, Food Service Establishments, Hospitals and Health Centers, and the General Public. The executive order directs…
HeplerBroom understands how staying abreast of the latest developments related to COVID-19 is important to your business and planning for the future. We have assembled some of Missouri’s additional executive, legislative, and regulatory actions related to COVID-19 that may affect you and summarized them below. HUMAN RESOURCES Across the United States, 3.3 million initial unemployment claims were filed last week. In Missouri alone, unemployment claims jumped from 4,016 to 40,508 in just one week. The nationwide weekly unemployment filings were the highest reported since 1982. These jumps are a result of the spread of COVID-19 and the stay-at-home orders, resulting…
HeplerBroom understands how staying abreast of the latest developments related to COVID-19 is important to your business and planning for the future. We have assembled some of Illinois’ additional executive, legislative, and regulatory actions related to COVID-19 that may affect you and summarized them below. HUMAN RESOURCES The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) reported that monthly unemployment claims totaled 133,763. This unemployment number is almost five times what it was over the same period in 2019 when unemployment was at a near-record low. No doubt, COVID-19 has significantly affected the State of Illinois by causing a skyrocket in unemployment…
HeplerBroom understands how staying abreast of the latest developments related to COVID-19 is important to your business and planning for the future. We have assembled some of the executive, legislative, and regulatory actions related to COVID-19 that may affect you. Missouri has recently taken a number of actions to manage this public health crisis, which are summarized below. SOCIAL & CIVIL LIFE Several Missouri counties have issued executive stay-at-home orders. These counties include Cass, Jackson, Clay, Platte, Johnson, Kansas City, Columbia, and Boone. Some counties issued orders through April 24 but leave open the option to extend if necessary. The purpose…
HeplerBroom understands how staying abreast of the latest developments related to COVID-19 is important to your business and planning for the future. We have assembled some of the executive, legislative, and regulatory actions related to COVID-19 that may affect you. Illinois has recently taken a number of actions to manage this public health crisis, which are summarized below. HUMAN RESOURCES Under current law, the One day in Seven Rest Act (“ODISRA”) requires that employees receive at least 24 consecutive hours of rest in every calendar week. As a response to COVID-19, and in an effort to support employers who require…
On August 28, 2017, several new, employer-friendly provisions of the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) took effect. Since then, the Missouri Supreme Court has issued a string of employment law opinions favorable to employers. Most recently, the Supreme Court struck a victory for employers defending retaliation claims asserted under the MHRA based upon requests for accommodation of disability. In the case Li Lin v. Ellis, SC 97641, 2020 WL 203145 (January 14, 2020)*, the Court held as an issue of first impression that an employee’s mere request for accommodation of a disability was not sufficient to support a retaliation claim.…
HeplerBroom understands how staying abreast of the latest developments related to COVID-19 is important to your business and planning for the future. We have assembled some of the executive, legislative, and regulatory actions related to COVID-19 that may affect you. Illinois has recently taken a number of actions to manage this public health crisis, which are summarized below. ENERGY SECTOR/UTILITIES/MUNICIPALITIES Recently, the Illinois Commerce Commission (“ICC”) voted unanimously to formalize Governor Pritzker and the ICC’s request of Illinois electric, natural gas, water, and wastewater utilities to cease disconnections and the threat of disconnections during this public health emergency. In addition…
HeplerBroom’s Indiana office recently secured the dismissal of a long-standing lawsuit against its client, a product defendant in an asbestos case, on the basis that the Court lacked personal jurisdiction over the client. Notably, HeplerBroom was able to overcome the plaintiff’s various tactics for attempting to prove jurisdiction over the client, including an attempt to establish jurisdiction by piercing the corporate veil. This result was significant as it likely will bar any future attempts to name the client as a defendant in future asbestos litigation in Indiana. Below is a brief overview of Indiana-specific issues that may arise while asserting…
Under Illinois law, a healthcare provider facing allegations of malpractice knows that the standard by which his or her actions will be judged is what a reasonably careful healthcare provider would do under the same or similar circumstances based upon testimony provided by expert witnesses from the same area of practice. However, physicians and healthcare providers practicing in prisons, jails, and detention facilities will find that their decisions will be adjudicated under disparate standards that depend on a lay jury’s understanding of “objective unreasonableness.” History of the Standard Used for Evaluating §1983 Claims Against Healthcare Providers Section 1983 provides a…
While overall trends show that more and more litigants are appearing in court without an attorney, in the medical malpractice context, defending a case against a pro se plaintiff is not as common. This is particularly true in courts where the amount in controversy must be in the tens of thousands before a court can even hear the case (e.g., in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, where the Law Division only hears civil suits for recovery of monetary damages in excess of $30,000). Nonetheless, we have all had one. You probably still have one now – and every…
On January 31, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published its annual adjustments to the reporting thresholds under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (HSR Act). The newly-revised thresholds represent modest increases over last year’s thresholds. They are published in the Federal Register and will become effective 30 days after the date of their publication. The revised thresholds will remain in effect until the FTC’s next annual adjustment in the first quarter of 2021. HSR Act Basics The HSR Act requires parties to mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, and certain other transactions of a certain size or scale to file…
In 2019, 72,675 Charges were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Frequently, EEOC Charges are filed regardless of whether the claim has any merit. Since the EEOC has the authority to investigate regardless of whether there is reasonable cause to believe discrimination occurred, any EEOC Charge is going to cost an employer time, effort, and money to deal with it. During the EEOC’s investigation, the employer and the Charging Party will be asked to provide information related to the Charge. The EEOC may ask an employer to: 1) submit a statement of position (the employer’s side of the…
This post updates the October 15, 2019, blog post regarding the citizen enforcement proceeding against Midwest Generation, LLC (“MWG”) launched by several environmental advocacy groups (“Environmental Groups”). (That post can be read here.) On February 6, 2020, the Illinois Pollution Control Board (“Board”) issued an order in Sierra Club, et al. v. Midwest Generation, LLC (PCB13-15) (“Reconsideration Order”) reconsidering its June 20, 2019, interim opinion and order (“Interim Order”). As addressed in greater detail in the earlier post, MWG owns four coal-fired power plants in Illinois, each of which contains coal ash disposal ponds. After Illinois EPA (“IEPA”)…
The laws governing the Cannabis industry are changing so rapidly that it’s almost impossible to keep up with all the new legislation across the country. Currently, there are over 1,100 cannabis bills in state legislatures and Congress for 2020. While most in the industry do not believe we will see national legalization in 2020, an additional seven states could legalize cannabis in some form this year. That would bring the 2020 total to 40 states with some form of legalized cannabis. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders announced at an Iowa rally that if he is elected to the White House, he…
If you have not looked at your debt collection policies or read your form “dunning letter” in a while, you might need to add some routine check-ups to your 2020 calendar. While collection jurisprudence rarely undergoes a large overhaul, it should be no surprise that tightening protections for consumers are already on the horizon. Consumer protection issues are frequent headliners in national news. From nationwide data breaches to ever increasing household debt, and now with student loan borrowing and medical debt emerging as hot topics in the 2020 presidential election, I would not expect conversations aimed at tightening consumer protection…