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 »

Attorney Termination of the Attorney-Client Relationship in New York

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A client has the unqualified right to terminate the attorney-client relationship at any time, with or without cause, regardless of whether a contract exists formalizing the relationship.  In re Thelen LLP, 24 N.Y.3d 16, 28, 20 N.E.3d 264, 270 (2014); Matter of Cooperman, 83 N.Y.2d 465, 472, 633 N.E.2d 1069, 1072 (1994).1 More »

New Developments for Michigan Employers

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Beginning March 29, 2019, Michigan laws are changing in a way that will greatly impact employers. Specifically, pursuant to the Improved Workforce Opportunity Act (MCL 4008.934). Michigan’s minimum wage will increase from $9.25 to $9.45 an hour. (MCL 408.934). More »

CYBER RISK CLIENT ALERT: Supreme Court Remands Google Settlement - Might Resolve Existing Circuit Splits On Proving Actual Harm

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On March 19, 2019, the United States Supreme Court remanded a privacy class action settlement back to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to address whether the class members can plausibly claim to have suffered concrete harm. This ruling serves as the latest hurdle for plaintiffs in cybersecurity litigation to establish standing to sue companies for data breaches and unauthorized data sharing. More »

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 »

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