CHICAGO - The First District Illinois Appellate Court on Dec. 5 affirmed a trial court's ruling that underlying asbestos bodily injury claims constitute only one occurrence under an insurer's policies because the underlying claims arose from the single cause of the insured's manufacturing of ash-handling conveyor systems for coal plants (United Conveyor Corp. v. Allstate Insurance Co., et al., No. 1-16-2314, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 2nd Div., 2017 Ill. App. LEXIS 744).
CHICAGO - Plaintiffs' attempt to bring alternative claims under state law in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act class suit that alleges that two defined-benefits plans were improperly classified as "church plans" creates an "absolute conflict," an Illinois federal judge ruled Dec. 5 dismissing the five state law claims (Sheilar Smith, et al. v. OSF Healthcare System, et al., No. 16-467, S.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199805).
CHICAGO - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit against a for-profit college and certain of its current and former senior executives is warranted because the lead plaintiff in the action failed to plead falsity or scienter in making its federal securities law claims against the defendants, a federal judge in Illinois ruled Dec. 6 in granting the defendants' motion (Pension Trust Fund for Operating Engineers v. DeVry Education Group Inc., et al., No. 16-5198, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200272).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A judge properly ordered a boiler company to produce more than 5,000 index cards after the company voluntarily permitted inspection by an asbestos plaintiff, an Illinois appeals court held Dec. 5 (Larry Salvatore Sr., et al. v. Cleaver-Brooks, et al., No. 4-17-0173, Ill. App., 4th Dist.).
MOUNT VERNON, Ill. - An Illinois appeals panel on Dec. 6 held that underlying claims against an attorney and his law firm can be rationally said to fall within coverage of a professional liability insurance policy, rejecting the insureds' argument that coverage is barred by the policy's' business enterprise exclusion (Bruce A. Wiley, et al. v. Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-144, Ill. App., 5th Dist.).
CHICAGO - Three women may largely proceed with their class action claiming that their health insurance company erected insurmountable barriers rendering it impossible to procure in-network lactation services and imposed illegal cost-sharing on out-of-network services in violation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a federal judge in Illinois held Dec. 4 (Laura Briscoe, et al. v. Health Care Service Corp., et al., No. 16-10294, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198452).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Nov. 29 partially granted a motion filed by property investors who were unable to obtain a mortgage to dismiss a counterclaim by a seller for breach of contract for liquidated damages, finding that a liquidated damages provision in a modification to a purchase agreement was unenforceable (Randall Ewing, et al. v. 1645 W. Farragut LLC, No. 16-cv-9930, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196197).
CHICAGO - A trial court did not err in dismissing a primary insurer's counterclaim seeking contractual subrogation and alleging unjust enrichment against an insured's excess insurers in an asbestos coverage dispute because the primary insurer did not have a legal obligation to pay for any of the insured's liabilities incurred as a result of the underlying asbestos claims, the First District Illinois Appellate Court, Third Division, said Nov. 29 (Century Indemnity Co., et al. v. American Home Assurance Co., et. al., No. 1-16-3311, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 3rd Div., 2017 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2428).
MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota federal judge on Nov. 30 determined that an insurer is not precluded at trial from claiming that pathogenic avian influenza is caused by a naturally occurring material because the court previously held that fact issues exist on the applicability of the naturally occurring material exclusion (Rembrandt Enterprises Inc. v. Illinois Union Insurance Co., No. 15-2913, D. Minn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196924).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The Illinois Supreme Court on Nov. 30 unanimously affirmed a decision from an Illinois appeals court to reinstate a wrongful death claim in a medical malpractice suit because the claim was not barred by the four-year statute of repose (Sheri Lawler v. University of Chicago Medical Center, et al., No. 120745, Ill. Sup., 2017 Ill. LEXIS 120745).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A retiree seeking reinstatement of his terminated health benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and asking the U.S. Supreme Court to decide a forum-selection dispute is not likely to have his petition for writ of certiorari granted and so no stay should be issued pausing the district court proceedings, the retiree's former employer, Caterpillar Inc., argues in its opposition to application to stay filed Nov. 29 in the U.S. Supreme Court (George W. Mathias v. United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, et al., No. 17-740, U.S. Sup.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Nov. 22 denied an insurer's motion for summary judgment as it pertained to the policy's pollution exclusion after determining that an exception to the exclusion for loss caused by a hostile fire may apply to provide coverage (Richard Building Supply I LLC v. The North River Insurance Co., No. 16-9053, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 193033).
NEW YORK - Mostly affirming a trial court's dismissal ruling, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 21 held that the lead plaintiffs in a class action alleging violation of an Illinois biometrics statute failed to establish any concrete harm from a software firm's use of their facial scans in basketball video games, thus defeating their standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (Ricardo Vigil, et al. v. Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., No. 17-303, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 23446).
CHICAGO - Pharmaceutical company Akorn Inc. has agreed to pay $24 million to settle claims that it and certain of its current and former executive officers misrepresented the company's financial results in violation of federal securities laws, according to a motion for preliminary approval of settlement filed by lead plaintiffs in Illinois federal court on Nov. 20 (In re Akorn Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 15-1944, N.D. Ill.).
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).
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.).
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).
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.).
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).