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On September 20, 2018, the Michigan Court of Appeals in an unpublished decision, Morrish v. Sun Communities, Inc., highlighted an important argument available to landlords defending lawsuits brought by a non-tenant occupant of a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

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 »

DATA BREACH LITIGATION UPDATE: District Court Judge Rejects Remijas Settlement and Decertifies Class

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A judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has dealt the latest blow to a consumer class seeking recovery from Neiman Marcus following the 2013 exposure of credit card information, as the result of a data breach. On September 17, 2018, Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman decertified the class and rejected a $1.6 million settlement reached between the class and Neiman Marcus Group LLC.   More »

LIFE SCIENCES CLIENT ALERT: Artificial Intelligence, Healthcare, Life Science, and the Next Merger

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As the world nears the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century, it should not come as a surprise that Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) will continue to impact a variety of business sectors. For proper context, AI has thus far been utilized primarily within consumer goods and technological sectors by familiar corporations such as Amazon, Apple, and Google. However, less familiar corporations in other business sectors have not been standing idly by. In the March 31st, 2018, issue of The Economist, the authors reported that in 2017, companies spent $22 billion dollars, 26 times more than they had in 2015, on AI-related mergers and acquisitions. Corporations, insurers, and attorneys that work in both the healthcare and life science industries would be wise to keep an eye on the next healthcare merger. The long-term benefits of AI in healthcare may be similar to the benefits that it has had on other sectors: lowering costs to consumers, creating a more efficient stream of services, and providing people with the ability to make more informed decisions. More »

PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY CLIENT ALERT: Physicians Beware: New Jersey Supreme Court Erodes Self-Critical Analysis Privilege

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A recent New Jersey Supreme Court decision has eroded the long held self-critical analysis privilege applicable in New Jersey medical malpractice lawsuits. Health care facilities, physicians and their insurers will likely face increased liability exposure as a result of the Court’s decision in Bugaletta v. Garcia.[1]  Conversely, this decision should benefit patients alleging medical malpractice as they now have a means to obtain a summary of facts relevant to the alleged malpractice.    More »

EMPLOYMENT LAW CLIENT ALERT: Tenth Circuit Rules Failure to File Discrimination Claim with EEOC No Longer Jurisdictional Bar

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In a surprising decision overturning 40 years of precedent, the Tenth Circuit recently ruled that a plaintiff’s failure to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) was not a jurisdictional bar to a federal court adjudicating an employment discrimination claim. Lincoln v BNSF Railway Company, --- F3d --- (10th Cir. August 17, 2018). More »

EMPLOYMENT LAW: Can Employers Really Take a Deep Breath in the Wake of Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis?

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Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the enforceability of individualized arbitration agreements as a matter of law in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis. The decision left employers everywhere taking a collective and long-sought sigh of relief. But how protected are employers, really? More »

LIFE SCIENCES CLIENT ALERT: Seventh Circuit Reverses $3 Million Judgment Against GlaxoSmithKline Citing Preemption

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A three-judge panel for the Seventh Circuit reversed a verdict awarding the widow of a Chicago attorney $3 million following the death of her husband. Wendy Dolin alleged drug manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline LLC (“GSK”), was negligent in failing to warn consumers about the potential increased risk of suicide associated with the drug Paxil.

In 2010, Mr. Dolin was prescribed Paxil, the brand-name of the drug paroxetine manufactured by GSK, for the treatment of his depression. Mr. Dolin’s prescription was filled with a generic form of paroxetine manufactured by Mylan, Inc. While on paroxetine, Mr. Dolin committed suicide. Mr. Dolin’s widow brought suit alleging that Mr. Dolin’s suicide was a result of GSK’s failure to warn that Paxil was associated with increased risk of suicide in patients over the age of 24. Mrs. Dolin filed suit against Mylan and GSK in state court, but the matter was removed to the Northern District of Illinois by GSK. At trial, Mrs. Dolin advanced a new theory of liability where brand-name drug manufacturers, who have control over prescription drug formulas and labels, are held liable for injuries caused by taking generic forms of the drug, also known as innovator liability. After a jury awarded Mrs. Dolin $3 million in damages at trial, GSK appealed to the Seventh Circuit arguing Mrs. Dolin’s state law failure to warn claims were preempted by federal law and that GSK owed no duty of care since Mr. Dolin took a generic form of paroxetine rather than the brand-name drug, Paxil. The Seventh Circuit ruled that that GSK should not have been held liable since Mr. Dolin did not ingest the brand name prescription medication and because Mrs. Dolin’s state law failure to warn claims were preempted by federal law. More »

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