HeplerBroom, LLC

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In Chicago, many people dread the long, windy, and cold winters. What makes matters even worse is when there’s excess ice and snow. However, most Chicagoans don’t try to blame others when they slip on ice and snow. It’s been a longstanding rule in Illinois that to recover for an injury after falling on ice or snow, a plaintiff must show an unnatural accumulation of ice and/or snow. However, many plaintiffs try and push the…
Over recent months there have been several hearings related to personal jurisdiction held before The Honorable Steven Stobbs, the Madison County, Illinois, judge assigned to asbestos matters. Each of these hearings involve jurisdictional disputes between attorneys from Plaintiff’s firm, The Gori Law Firm, and non-resident Defendants. While Gori did not disagree in any case that the Defendants were, in fact, non-residents of the State of Illinois, they argued that in the cases at issue, specific…
Economic forecasters have been anticipating a significant spike in real estate foreclosures and evictions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic since before states began issuing lockdown orders in March 2020. The effects have been muted by government action on the residential front—for now—but commercial markets are starting to feel the downturn.[1] This post examines one of the issues insurance professionals can expect when handling property claims associated with the increasing inventory of distressed…
On September 24, 2020, the Illinois Supreme Court issued its decision in People of the State of Illinois ex rel. the Department of Human Rights v. Oakridge Healthcare Center, LLC, 2020 IL 124753, constricting the avenue through which plaintiffs can bring Illinois Human Rights Act claims for workplace discrimination against their defunct employers’ corporate successors. In its 6-0 decision, authored by Justice Kilbride (Justice Neville abstaining), the court affirmed summary judgment for the succeeding corporate…
The Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) establishes safeguards and procedures relating to the retention, collection, disclosure, and destruction of biometric data. 740 ILCS 14/15. Passed in October 2008, BIPA is intended to protect a person’s unique biological traits – the data encompassed in a person’s fingerprint, voice print, retinal scan, or facial geometry. Id. But in the last few years, BIPA – with its statutory penalties of $1,000 for each negligent violation and $5,000 for…
This blog post was written by HeplerBroom Summer Associate Ryan J. Chancellor. Partner Elizabeth Dyer Kellett also contributed to the post. In Jeffords, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana’s order granting summary judgment to the defendants. It found no duty of care could be established between the defendants and Jeffords. Plaintiff Donald Jeffords was injured when he fell off of a crane while…
This blog post was written by HeplerBroom Summer Associate Chioma Chukwu-Smith. Partner Elizabeth Dyer Kellett also contributed to the post. In J.S.T. Corp. v. Foxconn Interconnect Tech. Ltd., 965 F.3d 571 (7th Cir. 2020), Plaintiff J.S.T. Corporation (“J.S.T.”) sued Defendants TE Connectivity Corporation (“TEC”) and Foxconn Interconnect (“Foxconn”) for misappropriation of trade secrets and unjust enrichment arising out of Defendants’ alleged acquisition of Plaintiff’s 183-pin connector designs from a third-party. The district court dismissed Plaintiffs’…
This blog post was written by HeplerBroom Summer Associate Andrew E. Gilkerson. Partner Elizabeth Dyer Kellett also contributed to the post. Last year, Illinois lawmakers passed legislation to increase the gas tax and the statewide minimum wage annually. This year the gas tax increased only a fraction of a cent (from $0.38 per gallon to $0.387 per gallon). The statewide minimum wage increased from $9.25 to $10 per hour. Although these increases were planned, they…
Recently, Alameda County Superior Court in California conducted a jury trial on a products liability claim for asbestos exposures. The jury selection process was carried out electronically via Zoom, and the entire trial was conducted virtually. Several issues were raised about conducting the trial remotely, including judge, jurors, witness, and/or counsel speaking without muting and jurors being inattentive (e.g., handling other tasks while the trial was being conducted). Nonetheless, the trial went forward and the…
As Missouri gears up for medical marijuana to possibly become available this month (with one licensed dispensary already doing a “dry run”), the nation has been slowly addressing the legality of marijuana. Just last month, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (“MORE”) Act was slated to be on the House floor, only to be delayed by urgent COVID-19 measures. This bill would remove marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled…