CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Nov. 10 granted final approval of several settlements totaling $796,312 to be paid by U.S. honey importers to end a class complaint in which they have been accused of being involved in a global conspiracy to transship Chinese honey and evade millions of dollars of anti-dumping duties (In Re Honey Transhipping Litigation, No. 13-2905, N.D. Ill.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Facebook Inc. on Nov. 11 filed an amended answer in a putative class action brought against it under Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), with the social network operator raising a new affirmative defense that the Illinois statute violates the dormant commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution as applied by the plaintiffs (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif.).
PEORIA, Ill. - In a life insurance payment dispute, a medical doctor may testify on behalf of an estate as to the diagnosis and treatment of a man when he arrived at the hospital and his death, an Illinois federal judge ruled Nov. 9 (Jamie Troeger, administrator of the estate of Gayle Mitchell v. Minnesota Life Insurance Co., No. 14-1083, C.D. Ill..; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155334).
CHICAGO - A biomechanical engineer is qualified to testify about the mechanics and movements involved in a vehicle accident, an Illinois federal magistrate judge concluded Nov. 8, refusing to exclude an opinion that there was no mechanism that caused a man's injuries (Carlos R. Pike v. Premier Transportation & Warehousing Inc., et al., No. 13-8835, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155280).
CHICAGO - An appraisal clause's use of the word, "binding" made clear to an insured that by participating in the appraisal process, it foreclosed its opportunity to litigate the amount an insurer owed it for damage to a building covered by the insurance policy, an Illinois federal judge ruled Nov. 7, dismissing a breach of contract claim (70th Court Condo Association v. Ohio Security Insurance Co. and Donan Engineering Co. Inc., No. 16-07723, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153959).
CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on Nov. 8 affirmed a lower court's ruling in favor of an insurer in its declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing coverage for an underlying trademark infringement dispute (Selective Insurance Company Of The Southeast v. Member's Property, Inc., No. 1-14-3436, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 2nd Div.; 2016 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2366).
CHICAGO - The National Hockey League (NHL) on Nov. 4 asked the federal judge in Illinois overseeing a wrongful death suit brought by the estate of a former professional hockey player to reconsider his order allowing the estate to file a second amended complaint, saying the claims brought by the estate in the second amended complaint are preempted by Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 (Len Boogaard, et al. v. National Hockey League, et al., No. 13-C-4846, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134232).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Nov. 4 denied a man's motion to vacate a 120-month sentence for selling fraudulent commercial insurance policies to business and property owners, ruling that the defendant failed to show that his counsel acted ineffectively by not negotiating a plea agreement in response to a blind plea offer (United States of America v. Michael A. Ward, No. 15-cv-3910, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152989).
CHICAGO - An insured seeking coverage for the collapse of its roof following a snowstorm alleges in a Nov. 3 complaint filed in Illinois federal court that its insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith by denying coverage based on the policy's imminent collapse exclusion (Ravinia Vogue Cleaners v. Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America, No. 16-10311, N.D. Ill.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Nov. 2 granted in part dueling motions to bar expert witnesses in a breach of contract and bad faith coverage dispute arising from a $14 million consent judgment entered against an insured (Ray A. Fox, by and through his guardian, Rose Fox v. Admiral Insurance Co., No. 12-8740, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151738).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 31 denied a petition for writ of certiorari asking it to review a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision affirming an Illinois federal judge's determination that a pension fund need not refund contributions made by an employer on behalf of an erroneously classified employee (Bulk Transport Corp. v. Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund, et al., No. 16-457, U.S. Sup.).
CHICAGO - A reinsurer told a federal court in Illinois on Oct. 28 that its reinsured's challenge to the court's jurisdiction voiced in an answer to an amended complaint is not proper because the court has already ruled against the reinsured's motion to transfer the case (R&Q Reinsurance Company v. The American Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-04199, N.D. Ill.).
CHICAGO - Claims brought against a general contractor by a condominium owner's association and the developer of the building over alleged construction defects that resulted in water intrusion were reinstated by an Illinois appeals court on Oct. 26, after it found that the association could pursue breach of the implied warranty of habitability claims against the contractor and that the developer had standing (Board of Managers of the 1120 Club Condominium Association v. 1120 Club LLC, et al., No. 1-14-3849, 1120 Club Condominium Association v. Trapani Construction Company Inc., et al., No. 1-14-3953, Trapani Construction Company Inc. v. MacDonald Construction Services Inc., et al., No. 1-15-0033, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 3rd Div.; 2016 Ill. App. LEXIS 730).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Oct. 26 ruled that a prison inmate had sufficiently alleged that the drinking water in the facility where he is incarcerated contains toxins and may be the cause of his health problems (Jerrold Davis v. Tarry Williams, et al., No. 15-8130, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148065).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An Illinois federal judge properly construed various disputed terms of a patented method for creating custom footwear inserts for athletes, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Oct. 26 (ProFoot Inc. v. Merck & Co. Inc., No. 16-1216, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19294).
SAN FRANCISCO - In an Oct. 24 statement filed in California federal court, the plaintiffs in a putative class action alleging violation of an Illinois biometrics law by Facebook Inc. cite two recent federal court rulings that they say support their standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution under the standard established in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins (136 S.Ct. 1540 ) (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif.).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - In an Oct. 20 divided opinion, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed an intermediate appellate court and affirmed a trial court's grant of summary judgment to a railroad company in a negligence and premises liability action, finding that there are no issues of material fact to preclude summary judgment (Patrick Joseph Carney v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, No. 118984, Ill. Sup.; 2016 IL 118984; 2016 Ill. LEXIS 1234).
CHICAGO - Failing to apply for a job with a replacement subcontractor does not doom retaliation claims filed against that employer by two emergency medical technicians (EMTs) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA), the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 19 (Shannon Volling, et al. v. Kurtz Paramedic Services, Inc., No. 15-3572, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18816).
CHICAGO - A defendant charged with providing a minor with a gun used in a crime failed to establish that her expert's testimony on perception and human memory is "necessary for adequate representation," an Illinois federal judge ruled Oct. 20, declining to appoint an expert under the Criminal Justice Act (United States of America v. Vandetta Redwood, No. 16-CR-80, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145307).
CHICAGO - Individuals claiming that deck and concrete resurfacing paint made by Rust-Oleum Corp. is defective moved in Illinois federal court on Oct. 19 seeking approval of a $9.3 million settlement offered by the manufacturer, explaining that the agreement was reached in good faith and that the settlement class satisfies the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (In re: Rust-Oleum Restore Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2602, Case No. 15 C 1364, N.D. Ill.).
CHICAGO - A reinsurer on Oct. 19 asked a federal court in Illinois to strike portions of its reinsured's answer to an amended complaint, including a challenge to the court's jurisdiction over the dispute (R&Q Reinsurance Company v. The American Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-04199, N.D. Ill.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Oct. 14 dismissed a class complaint accusing Starbucks Corp. of falsely advertising the size of its iced beverages by including the ice when advertising its drinks' volume (Steven Galanis, et al. v. Starbucks Corporation, No. 16-4705, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS).