LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's IP/Tech - Copyright, Trademark Claims Survive Dismissal Request In Illinois Court

CHICAGO - Efforts by two defendants to obtain dismissal of allegations they committed copyright and trademark infringement by copying and exhibiting photographs by the late Vivian Maier were unsuccessful on Nov. 20, when an Illinois federal judge deemed claims by a public administrator appointed to Maier's estate upon her death in 2009 adequately pleaded (The Estate of Vivian Maier v. Jeffrey Goldstein, et al., No. 17-2951, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 191294).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Employer's Collection Of Biometric Data Violates Illinois Law, Class Suit Claims

CHICAGO - The owner of assisted living facilities violates the Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by collecting biometric data, one former employee alleges in a class complaint filed Nov. 14 in the Cook County, Ill., Circuit Court (Jonnae Taylor, et al. v. Sunrise Senior Living Management, Inc., et al., No. 2017-CH-15152, Ill. Cir., Cook Co., Chancery Div.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Employer's Collection Of Biometric Data Violates Illinois Law, Class Suit Claims

CHICAGO - The owner of assisted living facilities violates the Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by collecting biometric data, one former employee alleges in a class complaint filed Nov. 14 in the Cook County, Ill., Circuit Court (Jonnae Taylor, et al. v. Sunrise Senior Living Management, Inc., et al., No. 2017-CH-15152, Ill. Cir., Cook Co., Chancery Div.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Attorney Fees Denied For Objector In Southwest Voucher Suit

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Nov. 13 denied a motion for attorney fees filed by a class member who filed an objection following a settlement in a lawsuit against Southwest Airlines Co. after it stopped honoring drink vouchers, ruling that any order would undo the settlement that has already been approved by a district court and the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (In Re: Southwest Airlines Voucher Litigation, No. 11-8176, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186937).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Plaintiffs Say VTech Data Breach Revealed Products' Diminished Value

CHICAGO - Stressing that the claims in their amended complaint center on a benefit of the bargain damages theory, the plaintiffs in a putative class action filed in the wake of a 2015 data breach experienced by VTech Electronics North America LLC oppose the firm's dismissal motion in a Nov. 9 brief in Illinois federal court, arguing that the breach revealed VTech's failure to provide a promised kid-safe environment (In re VTech Data Breach Litigation, No. 1:15-cv-10889, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - All But 1 Claim Survive Volvo Dismissal Motion In Suit Over Electric Mileage

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Nov. 8 trimmed a single claim from a class complaint accusing Volvo Cars of North America LLC (VCNA) and Volvo Cars USA LLC (VCUSA) of misrepresenting the average mileage its hybrid sport utility vehicle could achieve on a single charge, finding that most of the claims that had previously been dismissed based on mootness and then reinstated by the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals survived the defendant's alternative motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim (Xavier Laurens, et al. v. Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, et al., No. 16-4507, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184992).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Sexual Misconduct Suit Against Psychiatrist Potentially Triggers Coverage

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Nov. 8 found that an underlying lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct against a psychiatrist insured suggests an error in the insured's professional treatment and, therefore, potentially triggers coverage under a professional liability insurance policy (Professional Solution Insurance Co. v. Dale Giolas, M.D, et al., No. 16-9868, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184995).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Dollar General Seeks Documents, Clarification In EEOC Suit Over Background Checks

CHICAGO - The operator of the Dollar General retail chain on Nov. 2 asked an Illinois federal court to compel the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to respond to discovery requests in which the retailer seeks clarification about the commission's claims of disparate treatment related to employee background checks, as well as to remedial measures it should take (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Dolgencorp LLC, No. 1:13-cv-04307, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Dollar General Seeks Documents, Clarification In EEOC Suit Over Background Checks

CHICAGO - The operator of the Dollar General retail chain on Nov. 2 asked an Illinois federal court to compel the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to respond to discovery requests in which the retailer seeks clarification about the commission's claims of disparate treatment related to employee background checks, as well as to remedial measures it should take (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Dolgencorp LLC, No. 1:13-cv-04307, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Insurance - Fungi, Bacteria Exclusion Does Not Bar Insured's Defects, Panel Concludes

ELGIN, Ill. - A fungi and bacteria exclusion does not apply to preclude otherwise covered property damage from construction defects, an Illinois appeals panel affirmed Nov. 2, finding that an insurer had a duty to defend an underlying action (Pekin Insurance Co. v. JB Architecture Group Inc., et al., No. 15-MR-1755, Ill. App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2236).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Missouri Federal Judge Permits Discovery On Insured's Understanding Of Policies

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Missouri federal judge on Nov. 1 determined that a pollution liability insurer is entitled to the production of documents related to whether overlapping coverage exists under the policies at issue and what the insured's understanding of the policies at issue was when the policies were issued (Sunflower Redevelopment LLC v. Illinois Union Insurance Co., No. 15-577, W.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180710).

Mealey's Insurance - Missouri Federal Judge Permits Discovery On Insured's Understanding Of Policies

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Missouri federal judge on Nov. 1 determined that a pollution liability insurer is entitled to the production of documents related to whether overlapping coverage exists under the policies at issue and what the insured's understanding of the policies at issue was when the policies were issued (Sunflower Redevelopment LLC v. Illinois Union Insurance Co., No. 15-577, W.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180710).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Proves No Duty To Defend Absent 'Suit,' But Duty To Indemnify Remains

CHICAGO - Although the absence of a "suit" means that an insurer has no duty to defend a general contractor, an Illinois federal judge ruled Oct. 31 that the insurer failed to identify a limitation or exclusion that would preclude its duty to indemnify (Old Republic Insurance Co. v. Kenny Construction Co., No. 15-03524, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180412).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Illinois Federal Judge Transfers Suit Over Honda's Soy-Covered Wiring To California

CHICAGO - A class complaint accusing American Honda Motor Co. Inc. of warranty violations for failing to cover the cost to replace wiring covered in a soy-based product that was allegedly eaten by rodents belongs in California based primarily on the interest of justice, an Illinois federal judge ruled Nov. 2, granting a motion to transfer filed by the defendant (Michael Preston, et al. v. American Honda Motor Company, Inc., No. 17-3549, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181635).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Plaintiffs Will Ask 7th Circuit To Review Dismissal Of Dimensional Lumber Suit

CHICAGO - Two men who initiated a class action lawsuit against a home improvement store claiming that the company falsely advertised the size of dimensional lumber on Oct. 30 filed a notice of appeal in Illinois federal court stating that they intend to appeal a Sept. 29 ruling dismissing their suit (Michael Fuchs, et al. v. Menard, Inc., No. 17-01752, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Plaintiffs Will Ask 7th Circuit To Review Dismissal Of Dimensional Lumber Suit

CHICAGO - Two men who initiated a class action lawsuit against a home improvement store claiming that the company falsely advertised the size of dimensional lumber on Oct. 30 filed a notice of appeal in Illinois federal court stating that they intend to appeal a Sept. 29 ruling dismissing their suit (Michael Fuchs, et al. v. Menard, Inc., No. 17-01752, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Plaintiffs Defend Article III Standing In Facebook Biometric Class Action

SAN FRANCISCO - In an Oct. 26 brief opposing Facebook Inc.'s dismissal motion, the plaintiffs in a putative class action alleging violation of Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) via a photo-tagging feature tell a California federal court that they established standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution due to Facebook's invasion of their concrete, statutorily protected privacy rights (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer's Motion To Remove Bad Faith Suit Was Not Timely, Federal Judge Says

SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on Oct. 25 granted an insured's motion to remand in an auto coverage suit after determining that the insurer's notice of removal was not timely filed because the insurer had knowledge when the insured filed the complaint in state court that the damages would exceed the federal jurisdictional minimum amount of $75,000 (Anthony Grazia v. Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois, No. 17-1130, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177179).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Has No Duty To Indemnify Insured For Loss Over Damaged Lawns, Panel Affirms

ELGIN, Ill. - An Illinois appeals panel on Oct. 26 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an insurer has no duty to indemnify its insured for the expenses it incurred in restoring 26 lawns that were damaged due to the negligence of one of its employees (DeMeester's Flower Shop and Greenhouse, Inc. v. Florists' Mutual Insurance Company, Inc., et al., No. 2-16-1001, Ill. App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Ill. App. LEXIS 666).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Illinois Federal Judge Awards $650,000 In Copyright, Trademark Case

CHICAGO - A defendant who sold counterfeit "Monster Energy" products online was ordered by an Illinois federal judge on Oct. 23 to pay Monster Energy Co. $650,000 in damages in connection with allegations of copyright and trademark infringement (Monster Energy Company v. Zheng Peng, et al., No. 17-414, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175287).

Mealey's Insurance - Illinois Panel Reverses Ruling In Insurer's Favor In Dispute Over $5.2M Verdict

CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on Oct. 18 found that a lower court erred in determining that emergency medical services fell within the scope of an insurance policy's "products-completed operations hazard" provision, reversing and remanding a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer in a dispute over coverage for an underlying $5.2 million jury verdict (The City of Park Ridge, et al. v. Clarendon American Insurance Company, et al., No. 01-17-0453, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 3rd Div., 2017 Ill. App. LEXIS 656).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Divided Federal Circuit Upholds Patent Ineligibility Findings

WASHINGTON, D.C. - An Illinois federal judge did not err in declaring four patents ineligible under Section 101 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 101, because the invention is directed to the abstract idea of paying for public transportation with a credit card and lacks a sufficiently inventive concept, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 18 (Smart Systems Innovations LLC v. Chicago Transit Authority, et al., No. 16-1233, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 20333).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Expert For Bankruptcy Fraud Defendant Cannot Testify, Federal Judge Rules

CHICAGO - An expert witness for a man charged with criminal bankruptcy fraud was barred from testifying at trial on Oct. 14 by an Illinois federal judge, who found that the expert's opinions are unreliable due to a lack of any methodology and amount to "legal conclusions that are not within the province of the expert" (United States of America v. Eric E. Neushwander, No. 15-cr-542, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170130).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Trade Secrets, Other Claims Not Plausible On Face, Former Business Partner Says

CHICAGO - A company has failed to show that its trade secrets misappropriation, trademark infringement, breach of contract and other claims against its former business partner are plausible on their face and, thus, dismissal of those claims is warranted, the former business partner argues in an Oct. 10 motion to dismiss filed in Illinois federal court (Mighty Deer Lick Inc., d/b/a Mighty Deer Lick Sweet Apple Inc., v. Morton Salt Inc., No. 17-5875, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Finds Fact Issues Exist Over Knowledge Of Claim Under Performance Bond

CHICAGO - Material fact issues remain as to when a contractor knew of a construction defects claim under a performance bond, an Illinois federal judge ruled Oct. 10, denying summary judgment on a surety's statute of limitations defense (James McHugh Construction Co. v. International Fidelity Insurance Co., No. 14-02399, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166729).