WASHINGTON, D.C. - A class of in-home care providers, classified as "partial public employees," who do not wish to join or support a union cannot be required to pay an agency fee, a split U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 30 (Pamela Harris, et al. v. Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois, et al., No. 11-681, U.S. Sup.; 2014 U.S. LEXIS 4504).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on June 27 refused to certify a class of small businesses that received allegedly unauthorized faxed advertisements from an industrial supply company, based on inadequate class representation (David Davies d/b/a Davies Home Services, et al. v. W.W. Grainger, Inc., et al., No. 13-3546, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87582).
CHICAGO - The statute of limitations was not equitably tolled for an insurer, as a subrogee to its insured, to file a negligence lawsuit against contractors over water damage to the insured's home, an Illinois appeals panel ruled June 27, finding that the insurer's failure to obtain an executed assignment was not an extraordinary circumstance (American Family Mutual Insurance Co., as subrogee of Michael P. McGrath Jr. v. Patrick Plunkett and Patrick Plunkett Architectural Design Ltd., No. 1-13-1631, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 5th Div.; 2014 Ill. App. LEXIS 447).
CHICAGO - Employees suffering from asbestos-related injuries may pursue a tort action against an employer where the state's Workers' Compensation Act's statute of repose bars a workers' compensation claim, an Illinois appeals court panel held June 27 (Ellen Folta, et al. v. Ferro Engineering, a division of ON Marine Services Co., No. 1-12-3219, Ill. App., 1st Dist.).
CHICAGO - A Wisconsin federal judge did not err in finding that a defendant is liable for infringing a winery's "Hallowine" trademark, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 25 (C&N Corporation, d/b/a Door Peninsula Winery v. Gregory Kane and Illinois River Winery Inc., No. 13-3786, 7th Cir.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois appellate panel on June 25 reversed class certification in a complaint filed by firefighters who allege that certain truck and engine sirens caused them to lose their hearing (Albert Lamb, et al. v. Federal Signal Corporation, No. 1-13-1016, Ill. App., 1st Judicial Dist., 3rd Div.; 2014 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1365).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on June 24 denied a reinsurer's motion to compel an insurer to join as a party to a pending arbitration over a reinsurance agreement of which the insurer is not a party (Transatlantic Reinsurance Co. v. National Indemnity Co., No. 14-cv-01535, N.D. Ill.).
CHICAGO - Saying it faces "a terrible choice" just days from now, a Christian liberal arts college on June 24 asked an Illinois federal judge to reconsider his decision to not enjoin the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate (Wheaton College v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, et al., No. 13-8910, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85194).
ELGIN, Ill. - An Illinois appeals panel on June 19 affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit seeking coverage for the $8.9 million settlement of an unsolicited fax ads dispute on the alternative ground that the plaintiff failed to exercise reasonable diligence in serving the summons to the insurer pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 103(b) (Wilder Chiropractic Inc. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 2-13-0781, Ill. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Ill. App. LEXIS 412).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on June 20 agreed to increase by more than $300,000 the attorney fee award for the plaintiffs in the settlement of a class suit over an airline's decision to no longer honor its drink coupons (In re: Southwest Airlines Voucher Litigation, No. 11-8176, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84072).
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - A federal judge in Illinois on June 19 granted the federal government's motion to enter a consent decree to resolve lawsuits brought by the government and State of Illinois over violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA), Clean Air Act (CAA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) against the owner of two facilities where polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resins (United States of America v. PolyOne Corp., No. 13-cv-1550, State of Illinois v. PolyOne Corp., No. 13-cv-1551, C.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83317).
CHICAGO - Because no reasonable trier of fact could find that Lady Gaga's "Judas" is substantially similar to a Chicago artist's song "Juda," an Illinois federal judge on June 17 granted Gaga a summary judgment of no copyright infringement (Rebecca Francescatti v. Stefani Joanne Germanotta et al., No. 11-5270, N.D. Ill.).
CHICAGO - Deeming an appeal by the estate of Arthur Conan Doyle one that "borders on the quixotic," the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 16 affirmed findings by an Illinois federal judge that the editor of an anthology of stories inspired by the Sherlock Holmes character does not need a license to publish his work (Leslie Klinger v. Conan Doyle Estate Ltd., No. 14-1128, 7th Cir.).
CHICAGO - A Lanham Act dispute cannot proceed in Illinois federal court because a distribution agreement between the relevant parties mandates arbitration in the State of New York, an Illinois federal judge ruled June 16 (FarmedHere LLC v. AeroFarm Systems LLC, No. 14-370, N.D. Ill.).
CHICAGO - An engineering firm failed to establish that insureds' damages are ensuing losses under an "all-risk" insurance policy, an Illinois federal judge ruled June 12, denying partial summary judgment to the firm in a subrogated insurer's lawsuit (Chubb Indemnity Insurance Co. as subrogee of Gordon Siegel, M.D. and Clari Wechter v. 21 East Cedar LLC, et al., No. 10-7111, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79906).
URBANA, Ill. - A federal judge in Illinois on June 9 dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Sierra Club claiming that modifications to a coal-fired power plant in Meredosia, Ill, require defendant companies to obtain a prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permit under the Clean Air Act, ruling that the group's challenge constituted a collateral attack on a decision by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to issue an air pollution control construction permit to the companies (Sierra Club v. Futuregen Industrial Alliance Inc., et al., No. 13-CV-3408, C.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77902).
ELGIN, Ill. - An insurer has a duty to defend its insured and additional insured against an underlying antitrust lawsuit stemming from the insured's adoption of two ordinances requiring the use of radio transmitters, an Illinois appeals panel affirmed June 9 (American Alternative Insurance Co. v. Lisle Woodridge Fire Protection District, et al., No. 2-13-0803, Ill. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1174).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 4 rejected an Illinois man's argument that a federal interstate anti-stalking statute was facially unconstitutional, upholding a lower court's conviction and sentence related to the man's harassment of his ex-girlfriend (United States of America v. Christopher Osinger, No. 11-50338, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10377).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on June 4 found that an adult entertainment firm chose "to air its laundry for strategic reason" in a motion for a protective order in a copyright infringement case against an alleged file sharer, leading the judge to mostly deny the firm's motion to seal in favor of "the public's presumptive right of access" to court records (Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe, No. 1:13-cv-06312, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75718).