Another BIPA Violation Alleged in Illinois

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As a follow-up to our blog post discussing the status of the Southwest litigation currently underway in the Seventh Circuit, another complaint alleging a violation of the Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) was filed by a hotel employee in Cook County, Illinois. Donal Lydon v. Fillmore Hospitality, et al., Case No. 2019-CH-05679 (Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois). Like the allegations against Southwest Airlines, the plaintiff in Lydon, alleges Fillmore Hospitality LLC, which manages hotels in several states, including Illinois, violated BIPA by collecting and then sharing its employees’ fingerprints for timekeeping purposes. The plaintiff filed his action as a class action, seeking to represent any individual in Illinois who has scanned their fingerprints for Fillmore’s biometric time clock. More »

LIFE SCIENCES CLIENT ALERT: United States Supreme Court holds that the judge, not the jury, makes pre-emption determination in failure-to-warn pharmaceutical cases.

It is the role of the district judge—not the jury—to determine if the FDA would have approved a drug’s warning label that state law requires when deciding whether a failure-to-warn claim is pre-empted, the United States Supreme Court held on Monday. The unanimous decision provides clarity to the high court’s “clear evidence” standard it introduced over a decade ago in Wyeth v. Levine, and resolves a split between the circuit courts in how to apply the standard. More »

Michigan No-Fault Reform Update

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As an update on the changes promised by both political parties in Michigan, this morning the Michigan Senate passed Senate Bill 1, which would significantly alter the Michigan No-Fault Act.  A comprehensive review of the bill is being performed by Segal McCambridge attorneys and we will have updates throughout the coming weeks as it pertains to common problems that are encountered by insurers.  More »

Missouri Joinder/Venue Reform Bill Heading to Governor for His Signature

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On May 1, the Missouri House passed reform legislation that would impact venue and joinder rules in tort actions in the State of Missouri.  The legislation will be presented to Governor Parsons now for approval.  The bill provides that a rebuttable presumption exists that a plaintiff resides (and thus venue is proper) where the plaintiff is registered to vote at time of his or her injury.  If the plaintiff resides outside of Missouri, venue is proper where an individual defendant resides.  More »

Seventh Circuit Appellate Briefs Filed in Southwest Airlines Biometric Case Involving Collective Bargaining Agreements

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 On April 18th, Southwest Airlines Co. filed a response brief with the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in the Jennifer Miller, et al. v. Southwest Airlines Co. matter (Court No. 18-3476).

The suit involves allegations by the Miller Plaintiffs, ramp workers or operations agents for Southwest at Chicago Midway International Airport, that in 2006 Southwest began scanning employees’ fingerprints for the employees to sign in and out of work. The fingerprints were used as part of a time clock system that tracks employees’ attendance. According to the employees, Southwest did not ask their permission to collect their finger prints or publish a policy regarding the fingerprint collection. The workers alleged that the airline never got their permission to transmit the information to the time clock software program and did not tell employees what happened to their fingerprint data upon an employee leaving the company. More »

An Examination of the Illinois Insurer-Insured Privilege: What is Protected and What is Discoverable?

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Introduction
In today’s litigation climate, cases often not only involve a plaintiff, a defendant, and their attorneys, but also insurance carriers who have vested interests in the outcome of cases involving their insured. Prior to and throughout the course of litigation, an insured will often not only communicate with their attorney, but also with their insurer. It is common, for example, that an insurer will take a statement from their insured while analyzing a potential claim. The threshold question of which components of an insurance claim file are discoverable is crucial in a litigated matter. This Article explores the Illinois Insurer-Insured Privilege. A misunderstanding of this privilege can have severe consequences, including the disclosure of material information that the parties believed, in good faith, was confidential, and would never be subject to production. More »

Litigation is Expensive; Consider Mediation Instead.

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En Español

Resolving disputes through litigation is expensive. Often, the cost of lawyers and court-costs can exceed the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. These potentially astronomical costs can leave litigants feeling dissatisfied with the outcome and financially strained. An alternative and cost-effective way to resolve disputes is mediation. More »

Driver Fatigue: A Leading Cause of Accidents and Death in the Transportation Industry

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Quite often, the news portrays drunk driving as the main culprit of accidents resulting in serious injury, or even death. However, drowsiness and fatigued drivers make up a substantial chunk of injuries resulting from accidents on a yearly basis.

According to a recent review of the serious nature of driver fatigue, anywhere from 100,000 to 328,000 accidents per year are caused by tired drivers. Of those accidents, approximately 6,400 people die annually from an accident caused by a fatigued driver. More »

PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY CLIENT ALERT: Opioid Litigation - The Practitioner's Guide to Managing the FDA's 2019 Roadmap

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On February 26, 2019, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb released a press announcement detailing the FDA’s efforts in combating the opioid crisis. The FDA holds a guarded belief that the opioid crisis is improving but that significant changes to FDA rules and regulations are still needed to resolve the epidemic. While Gottlieb’s statement  considered the FDA’s efforts to curb illicit opioid proliferation, it also discussed the FDA’s plans for new regulations for medical professionals meant to further reduce and limit the use opioids in the U.S. The press announcement included a roadmap for the FDA’s 2019 regulatory plans  which could have substantial implications for medical professionals defending against opioid litigation. This Article analyzes some of the FDA’s proposed changes that could have the greatest impact on opioid litigation and how medical practitioners can prepare for opioid litigation in Illinois in the wake of these regulatory changes. (For more on how medical professionals can prepare for and protect against future opioid litigation and liability, please see Medical Professionals and Opioid Lawsuits: Protecting Against the Coming Storm.) More »

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