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Chicago Litigation Blog

Illinois Supreme Court Holds that Collateral Source Rule Does Not Apply in Pure Economic Loss Tort Cases

Share: Plaintiffs asserting purely economic losses in tort cases already face a significant hurdle in Illinois: the well-established economic loss rule, otherwise known as the Moorman doctrine.  But those plaintiffs now face an additional challenge, because in Lewis v. Lead Industries Ass’n, 2020 IL 124107 (opinion filed May 21, 2020), the Illinois Supreme Court held […]

“Used with a View to Profit”–An Interesting Statutory Phrase and a Property Tax Dispute

Share: In University of Chicago v. Department of Revenue, 2020 IL App (1st) 191195 (opinion issued May 15, 2020), the First District of the Illinois Appellate Court faced a unique property tax dispute that required the interpretation of a curious phrase in section 15-35 of the Illinois Property Tax Code.  Section 15-35 states that "all […]

Seventh Circuit Issues Stern Warning to Violators of Telemarketing Statutes

Share: The Seventh Circuit’s recent decision in United States v. DISH Network LLC, 954 F.3d 970 (7th Cir. 2020), comes with a stern warning to companies that violate state and federal telemarketing statutes: "Someone whose maximum penalty reaches the mesosphere only because the number of violations reaches the stratosphere can’t complain about the consequences of […]

Crim v. Dietrich: Focus on the Necessity for a Posttrial Motion in a Civil Jury Trial and the Effect of Not Filing Such a Motion

Share: In the medical malpractice case of Crim v. Dietrich, 2020 IL 124318 (issued on April 2, 2020), plaintiffs, the mother and father of the injured newborn baby, alleged that defendant, the doctor who delivered the baby: (1) failed to obtain the mother’s informed consent to perform a natural birth rather than a Caesarean section, […]

Illinois Supreme Court Holds That “Daily Fantasy Sports” Contests Are Not Gambling

Share: On April 16, 2020, the Illinois Supreme Court signaled that traditional notions of gambling are changing and that Illinois law must evolve to embrace those changes.  The Court reached its decision in Colin Dew-Becker v. Andrew Wu, 2020 IL 124472 (2020).  The Court’s decision involves the "daily fantasy sports" website,  On websites like […]

What Businesses Must Know Now About Insurance Coverage For COVID-19 Claims

Share: For companies struggling with the loss of business caused by the COVID-19 crisis, insurance coverage can mean the difference between survival and extinction.  While many companies had the foresight to buy pandemic or even business interruption insurance before this crisis, some have not, and they are left to consider whether property or even commercial […]

Court Finds Duty To Defend Biometric Act Claim Under “Personal Injury” Coverage

Share: Illinois policyholders are likely covered under their insurance policies for a complaint alleging a violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (the "Biometric Act") (740 ILCS 14/1 et seq.). In West Bend Mut. Ins. Co. v. Krishna Schaumburg Tan, Inc., the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed a grant of summary judgment in favor of […]

People v. Murray: Supreme Court Disagreement on Illinois Rule of Evidence 705

Share: Illinois Rule of Evidence 705, which is substantially identical to its federal counterpart, reads as follows: The expert may testify in terms of opinion or inference and give reasons therefor without first testifying to the underlying facts or data, unless the court requires otherwise. The expert may in any event be required to disclose […]

Illinois Appellate Court: Shareholder’s Claim for Corporate Books and Records Fails

Share: Shareholders in an Illinois corporation have a statutory right to examine the corporation’s books and records.  See 805 ILCS 5/7.75.  Minority shareholder oppression claims frequently include allegations that the corporation has violated a shareholder’s right to examine the books and records, often with the added allegation that the books and records are being withheld […]

Seventh Circuit’s Decision Limiting Autodialer Definition Provides a Powerful Check Against Abusive TCPA Lawsuits

Share: In their ongoing efforts to keep the largest gravy train in modern legal history rolling, plaintiffs’ lawyers are working hard to find more companies to hit with spurious violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") by grafting thirty-year-old language on to twenty-first century technology.  Now, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has joined […]

Illinois Appellate Court Provides Lessons for Parties to Multi-Phased Services Contracts

Share: On Monday February 24, my colleague Amie Bauer posted an article on the purpose of Supreme Court Rule 213(f) as gleaned from ESP Global, LLC v Northwest Community Hospital, 2020 IL App (1st) 182023.  That same case also provides important lessons for parties wishing to engage in services agreements that contemplate multiple phases, and […]

First District Confirms that Independent Auditors Generally Do Not Owe Fiduciary Obligations to Their Clients

Share: On February 14, 2020, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, made some law when it confirmed, apparently for the first time, that, under Illinois law, independent auditors do not owe a fiduciary duty to their clients.  See Asian Human Services Family Health Center, Inc. v. James Wong, 2020 IL App (1st) 191049.  While the […]

Illinois Supreme Court Rule 213(f): Avoiding surprise and discouraging tactical gamesmanship

Share: In ESP Global, LLC v. Northwest Community Hospital, the appellate court affirmed that the defendant, Northwest Community Hospital ("Northwest"), breached its contract implied in fact with the plaintiff, ESP Global, LLC ("ESP"). 2020 IL App (1st) 182023. On ESP’s cross-appeal, the court reviewed the exclusion of some of ESP’s damages testimony based on the […]

Avoiding Pyrrhic Victories: How to preserve third-party contribution claims when a plaintiff might re-file a voluntarily dismissed action

Share: Lawyers are almost always happy to accept a voluntary dismissal of claims against their client.  However, such a dismissal can create a trap for the unwary.  In particular, a tort defendant might lose the ability to bring contribution claims against others if the plaintiff later re-files the action.  Fortunately, there are steps counsel can […]

Necessary Stays: What happens when a necessary party in a multi-party Illinois case files for bankruptcy?

Share: In bet-the-company litigation, it is not unusual for one or more defendants to file for bankruptcy during the course of the proceedings. While the Bankruptcy Code normally imposes an automatic stay of the claims against the debtor, is an Illinois state court plaintiff still free to pursue its claims against the other, non-debtor defendants? […]

Court Orders Production of Privileged Documents Reviewed by 30(b)(6) Witness

Share: A recent Northern District of Illinois case illustrates privilege issues that arise when a corporate party designates an in-house attorney to testify as a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition witness. In Baxter International, Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson and Co., 2019 WL 6258490 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 22, 2019), Magistrate Judge Sidney I. Schenkier ordered the defendant to produce […]

Bankruptcy Stay Did Not Toll Limitations Period for Claims Against Accountants

Share: On New Year’s Eve, the Illinois Appellate Court issued an unpublished order that affirmed the circuit court’s dismissal of colossal claims against a major accounting firm.  See Ritchie Capital Mgmt, LLC v. McGladrey & Pullen, LLP, 2019 IL App (1st) 180806-U (order issued Dec. 31, 2019).  The order, while unpublished and thus generally non-citable […]

Effect of Stricken Post-Judgment Motion for Reconsideration

Share:Joseph v. Evergreen Motors, 2019 IL App (1st) 180360 (Sept. 20, 2019) is a cautionary case regarding a trap for the unwary that lost an Illinois appeal. Following summary judgment for the defendant, the plaintiff timely filed a motion to reconsider. Under the rules, a timely motion to reconsider tolls the time for filing an […]

Court bars vexatious litigation against UMG and Kanye West under doctrine of res judicata

Share:In April, the Honorable Charles Norgle of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed “a frivolous lawsuit brought purely for the purpose of causing an annoyance” against UMG Recordings, Inc. and Kanye West.  Hijrahannah v. Def Jam Recordings, et al., Case No. 15-CV-11830 (slip op. April 11, 2017).  The case presents a […]

Fighter Jets and Math: Patent Subject Eligibility After Alice

Share:The recent case Thales Visionix Inc. v. United States, Appeal No. 2015-5150 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 8, 2017), which considered technology used in helmets created for use by the pilots of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter planes, adds context to the ongoing debate about patent subject matter eligibility after Alice Corp. Pty. v. CLS Bank Intl., 134 S. […]

Illinois Appellate Court Clarifies When Jurisdiction Arises To Review Rule 137 Sanctions Order

Share:The Illinois appellate court recently faced an unusual issue and took the opportunity to clarify the law regarding the appealability of orders under Rule 137.  It held that, absent a certification under Rule 304(a), an order granting sanctions under Rule 137 is not appealable if the amount of the sanctions remains to be determined, even […]