Committed To Your Legal Rights
Chicago, Illinois 60603
By ROBERT JABLON Associated Press
An insurance company settled a lawsuit with a Los Angeles man by dropping off buckets full of thousands of quarters, nickels, dimes and pennies, his attorney said Wednesday.
Andres Carrasco, 76, filed a lawsuit in 2012 against Adriana’s Insurance Services, a Rancho Cucamonga-based company.
The East Los Angeles man alleged that during an argument over why the company had cancelled his auto insurance, an agent assaulted him by physically removing him from the office.
The company reached a settlement in June and last week delivered partial payment in the form of a check, but also tried to leave buckets of loose change in his lawyer’s East Los Angeles office, attorney Antonio Gallo said.
Gallo said he refused to accept the delivery because he couldn’t verify the amount in the buckets. But, he said, the cash was left the next day when he was at court.
A Connecticut lawyer has been suspended for four months and barred from representing female clients for the rest of his career after he was accused of representing women in family law and domestic-violence cases in violation of a 2010 court order.
The disciplinary counsel had initially sought disbarment for lawyer Ira Mayo, alleging he had violated the court order at least 11 times, the Connecticut Law Tribune reports. Mayo agreed to the suspension and ban on representing women to resolve the disciplinary complaint.
Mayo was accused in two prior ethics cases, according to the Connecticut Law Tribune. In the first he was suspended for 15 months after he was accused of making unwanted advances to female clients referred to him by a group for abused women, the story says. In the second, he was banned from representing women in family law or domestic violence cases after he was accused of offering to waive attorney fees in exchange for a massage.
By Lina Khan
Late last year a massive data hack at Target exposed as many as 110 million consumers around the country to identity theft and fraud. As details of its lax computer security oversight came to light, customers whose passwords and credit card numbers had been stolen banded together to file dozens of class-action lawsuits against the mega-chain-store company. A judge presiding over a consolidated suit will now sort out how much damage was done and how much Target may owe the victims of its negligence. As the case proceeds, documents and testimony pertaining to how the breach occurred will become part of the public record.
All this may seem like an archetypical story of our times, combining corporate misconduct, cyber-crime, and high-stakes litigation. But for those who follow the cutting edge of corporate law, a central part of this saga is almost antiquarian: the part where Target must actually face its accusers in court and the public gets to know what went awry and whether justice gets done.
Two recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings—AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion and American Express v. Italian Colors—have deeply undercut these centuries-old public rights, by empowering businesses to avoid any threat of private lawsuits or class actions. The decisions culminate a thirty-year trend during which the judiciary, including initially some prominent liberal jurists, has moved to eliminate courts as a means for ordinary Americans to uphold their rights against companies. The result is a world where corporations can evade accountability and effectively skirt swaths of law, pushing their growing power over their consumers and employees past a tipping point.
By Adam Sege, Tribune reporter
The mother of a Southern Illinois University student found dead in February alleges in a lawsuit that the 19-year-old was beaten to death by someone who had given him a ride after a party.
Pravin Varughese was found dead in a wooded area near Carbondale on Feb. 18, six days after he was last seen leaving the party about three miles away, according to authorities.
An autopsy by the Jackson County coroner’s office concluded that Varughese died of hypothermia, with no evidence of foul play. But in a second autopsy commissioned by the student’s family, an independent forensic pathologist found evidence of four different blows to the face and head.
According to the lawsuit filed today, on the night Varughese went missing, an Illinois State Police trooper stopped to talk with a driver in the area where the student’s body was later found.
Mount Prospect has agreed to a $6.5 million settlement that will end an unusual lawsuit filed by a restaurant owner who sued the village using a federal law more commonly used to bust organized crime.
The village board on Tuesday night approved the settlement with the owner of Ye Olde Town Inn, Tod Curtis, who has run the pizzeria for more than 40 years, said one of his lawyers, Riccardo DiMonte. Under the agreement, the village and its insurer will pay $6.5 million, $2 million of which will go toward attorney fees and legal costs. The village will pay $439,002 and an insurer will cover the rest, according to the agreement.
Curtis’ lawsuit was noteworthy because he cited federal civil racketeering law in 2008 as he accused village officials and a local developer of trying to force him out of his downtown business to make way for a new development project. The lawsuit alleged the village and Oz Development LLC collaborated to try to push him out, violating the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, known as RICO.
By Steve Schmadeke
A Chicago aviation lawyer who made international news when she filed the first court action shortly after a Malaysia Airlines jet vanished earlier this year now faces sanctions from Illinois’ attorney disciplinary agency for filing the allegedly frivolous case.
Monica Kelly held a heavily publicized news conference in Kuala Lumpur in March to announce she’d filed a petition alleging that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 had experienced a catastrophic mechanical failure before plunging into the southern Indian Ocean, killing all 239 passengers and crew on board.
A complaint made public Tuesday by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission alleged that the claims “had no basis in fact and were frivolous” because Kelly had no evidence of a mechanical malfunction on the still-missing Boeing 777.
Chicago lawyer faces sanctions for suit against Malaysia Airlines
Retired Chicago Police Sgt. Lawrence C. Knasiak was twice commended by the city council for his “dedication, professionalism and personal sacrifice” during a nearly 30-year career with the department.
Apparently that sense of civic duty didn’t extend to cops he supervised, including a Jewish officer Knasiak allegedly called a “bloodsucking parasite,” the Sun-Times is reporting.
On Monday, a federal jury awarded $540,000 to that officer, who was supervised by Knasiak in a Southwest Side police district from 2000 to 2007.
The woman seen on a now-viral video being repeatedly punched by a California Highway Patrol officer said her dress was violently ripped to expose her bare buttocks as she told the officer “I didn’t do anything to you,” according to a federal civil rights lawsuit filed last week and amended Friday.
Marlene Pinnock, 51, said in the lawsuit that she had dealt with the officer in the past, and that he called her by name as she walked in the area of the 10 Freeway west of downtown Los Angeles July 1. When she began to leave the area the lawsuit alleges she was “violently thrown to the ground” by the officer.
“He was bamming me in my temples with all the strength he had,” Pinnock said in the lawsuit. Pinnock said she told the officer, “stop, I didn’t do anything to you.”
CHP Commissioner Joseph Farrow told the Sacramento Bee newspaper last week that “the need for more (training) has been exposed,” in reference to the video and how the law enforcement agency deals with the mentally ill.
Public health advocates are fuming over a new court ruling that they say could hasten the coming of the next pandemic.
In a 2-1 decision released Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration need not consider banning the use of antibiotics in healthy food-producing animals.
“We believe that this decision allows dangerous practices known to threaten human health to continue,” said Avinash Kar, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Adding antibiotics to farm animals’ feed, day after day, is not what we should be doing. It’s not what the doctor ordered and it should not be allowed.”
In March 2012, a federal court ruled that the FDA must act on scientific knowledge that the overuse of antibiotics in animals raised for food has contributed to the rise of antibiotic-resistant infections in humans. That decision came in response to a lawsuit filed by the NRDC concerning findings made by the FDA back in 1977. Feeding livestock low doses of penicillin and most tetracyclines, the agency had concluded, might pose a risk to human health. The FDA never acted on or retracted those findings.
By Christy Gutowski Tribune reporter 6:40 p.m. CDT, July 24, 2014
It was supposed to be a workplace exercise to build mutual respect, understanding and empathy between co-workers of an Addison fire safety company.
Instead, according to a DuPage County lawsuit, one employee experienced “pain and suffering in body and mind” when he fell to the floor after being “propelled” into the air during what was supposed to be a team-building event.
Antonio Gonzalez filed the suit earlier this month against Guardian Quest, an Aurora business management consulting firm that held the “diversity inclusion” training workshop two summers ago in an Oakbrook Terrace hotel.
Michael Muskal Los Angeles Times 1:35 p.m. CDT, July 25, 2014
In the second recent scandal to cloud a nationally acclaimed marching band, the director of the Ohio State University band has been dismissed after investigators found a sexualized culture of rituals in the group that bills itself as the “Best Damn Band in the Land.”
Band director Jonathan Waters was fired by the school after an investigation prompted by a parental complaint found the band’s “culture facilitated acts of sexual harassment, creating a hostile environment for students.” The lawyer representing Waters said the band leader will fight to clear his name.
According to the report, musicians were pressured to march through the stadium in their underwear, sing school anthems that had been massaged with bawdy and culturally inappropriate lyrics and force rookies to endure hazing.
By David Ovalle
During a Hialeah Gardens school “Spirit Day,” a teen girl dressed in an inflatable sumo wrestler suit for what was supposed to be a goofy match with a classmate.
But a lawsuit claims the sumo fun went horribly wrong, leaving the teen with severe brain damage after her head repeatedly struck the floor.
The girl, 15-year-old freshman Celaida Lissabet, and her mother late last week sued charter school Mater Academy and Mega Party Events, the company that supplied the inflatable suits, which the lawsuit contends are designed for use in “violent recreational sumo wrestling games.”
Adrian De La Rosa, owner of Mega Party Events, said the girl was outfitted according to instructions from the suit’s manufacturer.
The University of Connecticut will pay nearly $1.3 million to settle a lawsuit brought forward by five sexual assault victims, the school and the women’s attorney announced Friday, but it will not admit to wrongdoing in the cases.
The lawsuit, filed against UConn on Nov. 1 by high-profile attorney Gloria Allred and co-counsel Nina Pirrotti, came days after four of the women filed two federal complaints to the Department of Education. UConn was accused of mishandling rape cases and refusing to condemn or intervene on reported harassment of female students, in violation of the gender equity law Title IX.
UConn is one of 67 higher education institutions currently under review by the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights due to its handling of sexual assault cases.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — One of the two civil rights lawsuits against Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who put Eric Garner in a chokehold Thursday, ended up costing taxpayers $30,000 in settlement money, according to the plaintiffs’ attorney.
The suit, which was settled in January, accuses Pantaleo and another officer of strip-searching two men on a New Brighton street, pulling down their pants and underwear in broad daylight, in March 2012.
It alleges that Pantaleo and several other officers — Joseph Torres, Ignazio Conca, and Steven Lopez — “unlawfully stopped” a vehicle on Jersey Street in New Brighton. Another officer, Christian Cataldo, arrived at the scene later.
A law firm representing the family of two Gary boys who drowned in an excavation pit in Hobart last month plans to file a $60 million lawsuit.
Terrion Smith, 8, and Donel Smith, 9, fell into the pond at 4040 Missouri St. on June 14.
According to the NWI Times, Chicago law firm Kelley Witherspoon LLP is representing the family in the planned lawsuit against property owner Randy Goldschmidt and Goldschmidt Construction Services.
By Stephanie K. Baer Tribune reporter
3:31 p.m. CDT, July 10, 2014
St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 recently filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a former student who alleges the district did nothing to stop fellow drill team members from repeatedly bullying her.
The suit, filed with the Kane County Circuit Court in April, claims that district staff “knew or should have known” that she was verbally and physically bullied, harassed and hazed by fellow drill team members after being diagnosed with ADHD in summer 2010.
At one point in January 2011, another teammate “slapped Plaintiff in the face,” during a team practice, the complaint read. For reporting the incident, according to the complaint, the plaintiff was not allowed to participate in the drill team state competition that March and was also prohibited from participating in other team events and excluded from team emails and other communications.
The Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today have moved to intervene in the lawsuit the city of Chicago is prosecuting against pharmaceutical companies over the epidemic of opioid painkiller abuse.
The three newspapers want to intervene to unseal redacted portions of the city’s complaint and to access documents the City of Chicago Law Department obtained from the defendants and from third-party American Pain Foundation prior to filing its lawsuit, according to a filing by Jeffrey I. Cummings, of Miner, Barnhill & Galland, P.C., in Chicago.
The city said it was redacting all references in its complaint to information the drugmakers produced during the city’s pre-filing investigation and that the defendants designated as confidential.
(CBS) – Brian Davidson is a homeless man who panhandles on the streets of Joliet.
Because of that, he says police have harassed, ticketed him and intimidated him time after time. He recalls one night in December when he had a run-in with two police officers downtown.
“Next thing I know, they’re handcuffing me,they throw me in the back of the car and said they’re taking me for a ride,” Davidson tells CBS 2’s Mike Parker.
By Barbara Liston ORLANDO Fla. Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:32pm EDT
(Reuters) – A Florida jury has awarded the widow of a chain smoker who died of lung cancer punitive damages of more than $23 billion in her lawsuit against the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, the nation’s second-biggest cigarette maker.
The judgment, returned on Friday night, was the largest in Florida history in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by a single plaintiff, according to Ryan Julison, a spokesman for the woman’s lawyer, Chris Chestnut.
Cynthia Robinson of Florida Panhandle city of Pensacola sued the cigarette maker in 2008 over the death of her husband, Michael Johnson.