Any defense practitioner who frequently litigates in Illinois state court has seen this situation before. You are defending an action, and at some point, and for whatever reason, the plaintiff moves for a voluntary dismissal under 735 ILCS 5/2-1009. The dismissal order includes language giving plaintiff “leave to replead, with costs to be repaid upon refiling, etc.” Oftentimes, plaintiff does in fact refile the action within one year, pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/13-217, in the…
The Illinois Department of Insurance cannot adjudicate employment status disputes relating to insurance premium calculations. That is the ruling from the Illinois First District Court of Appeals in a significant decision with ramifications for trucking companies utilizing owner-operator agreements. The case, CAT Express, Inc. v. Muriel, 2019 IL App (1st) 181851, concerned whether truck drivers retained under an owner-operator agreement are employees or independent contractors for the purpose of workers’ compensation insurance. CAT Express (“CAT”),…
The old maxim that “bad facts make bad law” is only a precursor to the conclusion that “bad facts and bad law make very bad results.” Bronx Honda engaged in almost inexplicably bad behavior by engaging in discriminatory and deceptive practices related to its vehicle financing practices for minority customers. In a case that has broad industry implications, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took note and put the pedal to the metal on stopping these…
By now, most of us have seen a funny warning sign or two, either in person or perhaps as a meme on social media. While these warnings may give us a quick laugh, can they also be useful in shielding against liability for bodily injury claims? The Third District of the Illinois Appellate Court thinks so, as set forth in its recent decision in Smith v. The Purple Frog, Inc., 2019 IL App (3d) 180132.…
A product liability claim can survive a motion for summary judgment under three theories. For a plaintiff’s product liability negligence claim to proceed, the plaintiff must: (1) allege the product had a design defect, (2) allege there was a manufacturing defect, or (3) claim the product did not have proper warnings for consumers. When a plaintiff alleges a design defect, he or she must claim the product’s design made it unreasonably dangerous. If alleging a…
In the Seventh Circuit it has long been acceptable to file a Motion to Dismiss in order to enforce a forum selection clause. See Auto. Mechanics Local 701 Welfare & Pension Funds v. Vanguard Car Rental USA, Inc., 502 F.3d 740, 746 (7th Cir. 2007). But a just-published case out of the Northern District of Illinois reflects a different practice:  that a forum-selection clause, if it permits federal jurisdiction, should now be enforced via a…
A recent decision could dramatically narrow the use of protected health information (“PHI”) that is disclosed to an insurer following the conclusion of litigation in Illinois. With this decision comes possible far-reaching implications facing insurers going forward by preventing the development of future medical fraud litigation and monetary recoveries. In Haage v. Zavala, et al. 2020 IL App (2d) 190499 (March 17, 2020), Plaintiffs filed negligence suits for auto collisions, and moved for entry of…
In Graham v. Lakeview Food Pantry, 2019 IL App (1st) 182003, the First District affirmed summary judgment for defendants, including the Catholic Bishop of Chicago (“the Archdiocese”), on plaintiff’s negligence complaint following a fall at defendant’s church. Ultimately, the court found that plaintiff’s claim against the Archdiocese was time-barred by the Illinois statute of repose for construction (735 ILCS 5/13-214(b) (West 2016) (“the statute”). Case Summary On January 17, 2015, plaintiff went to the Archdiocese’s…
Most lawyers are keenly aware of Illinois’ Attorney Registration Commission’s (ARDC) role in the attorney registration, licensing, and continuing education processes.  However, many are unaware of the processes involved in the investigation and prosecution of attorney discipline matters.  Here are three tips (and a bonus!) for things you should consider if you are faced with a complaint to or Request for Investigation from the ARDC. Don’t delay, but don’t fire off an emotional response. Rule…
From West Coast to East Coast, states have rushed to issue orders, rules, and regulations to address the new coronavirus pandemic, including, in part, the states’ determinations of what construction work/services are “essential.” Those definitions of “essential” construction activities vary greatly;  some states adopted severe restrictions on construction (allowing only emergency repairs), while others issued few restrictions (leaving construction relatively unaffected). Despite the states’ attempts to maintain “essential” construction projects, the COVID-19 pandemic caused more…