New Illinois Workers’ Compensation Legislation: Unconstitutional If Applied Retroactively

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With the passage of Senate Bill 1596 and the expected signing of the law by Governor J.B. Pritzker, Illinois lawmakers have again attempted to address perceived injustices associated with long-standing statutes of repose that bar claims of some plaintiffs who have been diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases many years after they were exposed to asbestos during their employment. Specifically, the law indicates that plaintiffs whose workers’ compensation claims against their employers are barred by the statute of repose for workers’ compensation claims may bring civil suits against their employers. This creates an exception to the exclusive remedy provision of the workers’ compensation system, which typically prevents employees from suing their employers for work-related diseases and injuries. More »

TRANSPORTATION LAW CLIENT ALERT: City of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s Lawsuit Challenging the Michigan No-Fault Act’s Constitutionality Gains Traction

As many are aware, City of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, along with several other handpicked plaintiffs, filed suit challenging the constitutionality of Michigan’s No-Fault Insurance Act. The lawsuit is premised on Mayor Duggan’s belief that the No-Fault Act violates procedural and substantive due process under both the Michigan and United States Constitution. No-Fault insurance is mandatory for the lawful registration and operation of a motor vehicle and the Plaintiffs believe they possess a constitutional right to fair, equitable, and reasonable insurance premiums, which they allege are not currently available in the City of Detroit. More »

CYBER RISK CLIENT ALERT: Actual Harm is not Necessary Under BIPA

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Recently, the Illinois Supreme Court resolved contradictory rulings from lower courts regarding standing under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”), 740 ILCS § 14/5 (West 2016). The likely result of this ruling was that there will be increased litigation under BIPA.

In Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp., 2017 IL App (2d) 170317, the Illinois Supreme Court held that an individual is not required to show actual harm; establishing a technical violation of under BIPA is sufficient to be “aggrieved” and allow a plaintiff to seek remedial measures. More »

Judge Grants First Summary Judgment Based on Medical Causation in NY County Asbestos Litigation

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On January 31, 2019, Justice Manuel Mendez issued a decision granting the first summary judgment motion based on medical causation in a New York County Asbestos Litigation (“NYCAL”) case, Thomas Mantovi v. American Biltrite (Index No. 190055/2017). Judge Mendez held that “Amtico floor tiles did not produce breathable dust to a level sufficient to cause decedent’s mesothelioma.” More »

TRANSPORTATION LAW CLIENT ALERT: The Supreme Court’s Decision in New Prime v. Oliveira

Transportation companies frequently rely on independent contractor agreements with owner-operators to conduct many essential logistics operations. “Owner-operators” are self-employed and independently contract with large companies to haul goods across the country. This relationship can produce disputes between the owner-operator and transportation company. For example, when a load is not delivered on time or goods are damaged in the delivery process, transportation companies may seek to hold the owner-operator liable. In anticipation of these disputes, owner-operators almost routinely sign arbitration agreements as a part of their independent contractor agreements with transportation companies. However, when the issues between transportation companies and owner-operators pertain to wage and hour claims or other employment concerns, the recent Supreme Court decision in New Prime v Oliveira may have them changing course. More »

CYBER RISK CLIENT ALERT: Will This Become a National Trend? Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules That Employers Have a Legal Duty to Protect Employees' Electronic Data

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Recently, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in Dittman v. UPMC, ruled that employers have a have a legal duty to exercise reasonable care to safeguard employees’ electronically stored personal information.  The dispute in Dittman arose after a data breach at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (“UPMC”) impacted 62,000 employees.  Hackers accessed UPMC’s computer system, and stole employees’ personal and financial information including birth dates, social security numbers, tax forms, addresses and bank account information.   More »

PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY CLIENT ALERT: Application of Judgmental Immunity in Illinois

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Like other professional malpractice lawsuits, an Illinois plaintiff claiming legal malpractice against a former attorney must allege and prove that the former attorney owed the plaintiff a legal duty of care, that the former attorney breached that duty of care, that the plaintiff suffered an injury in the form of damages, and finally, that the former attorney’s breach of that duty proximately caused plaintiff’s claimed damages. Nelson v. Quarles & Brady, LLP, 2013 IL App (1st) 123122, ¶ 27. However, unlike other professionals, attorneys sued in legal malpractice lawsuits can assert an additional defense to shield themselves from liability—the Judgmental Immunity doctrine. Due to this common law doctrine, an attorney can seek the early dismissal of any legal malpractice claim where an unsatisfactory outcome/damages were allegedly caused by the former attorney’s good faith error in judgment in the underlying matter. More »

REAL ESTATE CLIENT ALERT: Michigan Court of Appeals Held That Non-Tenants May Not Sue Landlords Under Common Theories of Liability

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On September 20, 2018, the Michigan Court of Appeals in an unpublished decision, Morrish v. Sun Communities, Inc., highlighted an important argument available to landlords defending lawsuits brought by a non-tenant occupant of a rental unit who never signed the lease.  The Court in Morrish held that non-tenants, even if identified on the lease as authorized occupants of a rental unit, may not sue landlords under several different common theories of liability. More »

Illinois Appellate Court Concludes that Actual Harm is not Required under Biometric Information Privacy Act

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An Illinois appellate court’s recent opinion may very well open the flood gates for litigation arising out of alleged violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) by eliminating the need to allege actual harm to have standing to sue. Sekura v. Krishna Schaumburg Tan, Inc., 2018 IL App (1st) 180175. More »

CYBER RISK CLIENT ALERT: What Companies can Learn from Uber’s Recent $148 Million Settlement

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On September 26, 2018, Uber Technologies, Inc. (Uber) reached a joint settlement with all 50 states and Washington, D.C.’s attorney generals to pay a record breaking $148 million for its 2016 data breach and subsequent cover-up. More »

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