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Chicago class action attorneys and lawyers near Naperville and AuroraDoes Red Bull really give you wings? According to two recent consumer class action lawsuits against the maker of the energy drink, it does not. Although most of us don’t consider it a basis for a lawsuit when we fail to grow wings after drinking Red Bull, the lawsuits do allege that Red Bull’s advertisements violate a number of New York state laws.

The energy company creates advertisements claiming that the drink improves “performance, concentration and reaction speed”. However, according to the class action lawsuits, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that the ingredients in a can of Red Bull provide “any more benefit to consumers than a caffeine tablet or cup of coffee.” The lawsuits, which were filed in New York City, are seeking compensation for damages lost for consumers who paid a higher price for Red Bull’s products than they would have paid for “simpler and less expensive caffeine-only products”. Continue reading

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Defamation lawyers near Oak BrookIt is somewhat common for workers who have been fired to claim that their termination was a result of their employer retaliating against them for undesirable behavior. Proving such an accusation in court is another matter. Most states have “at-will” employment laws, which means employers can terminate a worker’s employment for no reason.

An employee who is not an at-will employee is considered to have a property interest in her employment. Under Illinois employment law, an employee can be seen as having a property interest in her employment if her employment contract provides “that termination will only be for cause or otherwise evince mutually explicit understandings of continued employment.”

In a recent legal dispute between Moraine Valley Community College and one of its former adjunct professors, the two parties disagreed as to whether the professor could be considered an at-will employee. The professor, Robin Meade, was also acting as the head of the Moraine Valley Adjunct Faculty Organization (MVAFO). The college had requested that Meade and other union leaders write to the League for Innovation in the Community College (LICC) to support Moraine Valley’s reapplication for the LICC board.

Instead of supporting the college, Meade alleegdly wrote a letter to the LICC that explained her reasons for not wanting to do so. Among these reasons, she accused the college of allegedly treating adjunct faculty as “a disposable resource” and “a separate, lower class of people.” Meade provided evidence which she said support this claim, citing the fact that the administration allocated more resources to full-time faculty and staff, and left adjuncts “to fend for themselves.” She also criticized the college for refusing to let adjuncts work on an hourly basis, as according to her that prevented them from spending extra time to tutor students. Continue reading

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Chicago class action lawyers near Lombard and ElmhurstWhen buying a car, there are many aspects to consider before deciding what to buy. Aside from cost, car buyers tend to be most concerned with safety and performance. No one wants to drive a car they don’t feel safe in. The reputation of the company making the car is also a factor, but when a car company sacrifices the safety of its vehicles to maintain its reputation, it can lose big in the long run.

Such is allegedly the case with GM, which, according to a recent class action lawsuit, allegedly failed to recall faulty vehicles the company allegedly knew were unsafe to drive. The lawsuit accuses GM of being overly concerned with cutting costs and making a profit, a factor that allegedly resulted in the neglect of the safety of its cars.  GM denies the claims.

The lawsuit is petitioning the court for consolidation of 68 cases from around the country on behalf of owners of newer-model GM cars. The lawsuit is seeking compensation for car owners for the lost value of their cars that allegedly resulted from the safety issues coming to light. According to the complaint, the “new GM” that emerged after the 2009 bankruptcy “produced an inordinate number of vehicles with serious safety defects,” which it allegedly ignored until 2014, when it recalled about 27 million vehicles in the United States.

The lawsuit only covers cases of alleged economic loss involving cars bought or leased after July 10, 2009, the day GM emerged from bankruptcy, because the company’s restructuring agreement protects it from liability claims that stem from incidents before that date. GM is currently petitioning Judge Robert E. Gerber, who presided over the company’s bankruptcy proceedings, to enforce that provision by dismissing the pre-bankruptcy cases. Continue reading

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Chicago non-compete agreement lawyers near Deerfield and Lake Forest“Can you leave a company, and take employees with you?”

In InsureOne, the Illinois Appellate Court for the First District upheld the trial court’s award of $7,670,210 in damages for alleged violations of non-compete and non-solicitation agreements.

Plaintiffs InsureOne Independent Insurance Agency, American Agencies General Agency, Inc., and Affirmative Insurance Holdings, Inc. purchased the assets of several insurance companies owned or controlled by James P. Hallberg, who covenanted not to compete with the Plaintiffs or to solicit any of their employees or customers for a period of time to be determined based on the circumstances of his termination. Hallberg was to run the company as its president, subject to the non-compete and non-solicitation covenants. The Plaintiffs retained several of Hallberg’s former employees, including his nephew, who also signed a covenant not to compete with, or solicit employees of the company for twelve months following termination. Continue reading

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Chicago Restore and Rust-Oleum Product Defect Attorneys and Lawyers near Wheaton and NapervilleCompanies often invest a lot of money in the products they sell, especially new products that have recently been released. They spend money on advertising and they sometimes train employees in retail stores to conduct demonstrations of their new product.

One company that recently launched a new product and talked it up in Home Depot stores is Rust-Oleum Corp. and their product was Restore. Restore was sold as a liquid armor coating that could be applied to wooden decks or room-swept concrete surfaces. According to a recent class action lawsuit though, Restore did not act as the protective coating it was advertised to be. Instead, the product allegedly peeled off surfaces, leaving them exposed.

The lawsuit was filed by Ulbardo Fernandez, who purchased the product at Home Depot. He alleges that Restore was advertised as being a “smart alternative” to replacing decks and concrete. Fernandez allegedly decided to purchase Restore as a result of the advertisement he saw for it in Home Depot. Continue reading

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Chicago's best attorneys -- lawyers who concentrate on consumer fraud class actionsUnder the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), defendants in a class action lawsuit are able to have the case moved to federal court. This law was enacted to prevent plaintiffs from “forum shopping”, or filing their lawsuit in the court that they knew would be most favorable to their side. There are limits to the law though. If the claims of a class action lawsuit amount to less than $5 million, or if at least two thirds of the class members are residents of one state, then the lawsuit can proceed in a district court of that state.

According to a recent ruling by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the plaintiff bears the burden of providing evidence that allows the court to determine the citizenship of the putative class members as of the date that the case was removed to federal court. The ruling came out of a class action lawsuit that was filed against an Illinois insurance company for allegedly violating relevant state laws when it pulled out of the market in 2002 and cancelled all of its policies. The defendants had the case removed to federal court, but the plaintiffs argued that it belonged in Illinois state courts under the home-state exemption.

The plaintiffs argue that the lawsuit belongs in Illinois state court based on the fact that the defendants’ policy was offered only to people who represented that they lived in Illinois or, for group policies, to employers who represented that most of their beneficiaries lived in Illinois. The plaintiffs assert that, assuming that former policyholders left Illinois at the normal rate of 2% per year since 2002, about 87% of the putative class members were Illinois residents when the case was removed to federal court. Continue reading

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Chicago's best consumer fraud class action lawyers and attorneysCompanies know the importance of advertising. Many people are attracted by a particular label or claims that a product is associated with a certain time in history or perceived social standing. This is especially true of alcohol where, aside from the taste, many people make their purchasing decisions based on a sense of prestige. Breweries and distilleries often try to given their brand a pretigious image and use that image in their advertising, including the producers of Templeton Rye Whiskey.

According to a recent class action lawsuit against the company, Templeton Rye allegedly violated consumer protection laws by allegedly misleading consumers with stories of the whiskey’s origins. Marketing material released by the company claims that its founders were inspired by the Prohibition-era recipe of Alphonse Kerkhoff, which was handed down through his family on a scrap of paper. The label on the whiskey bottle also bears an old black-and-white photo, which is reminiscent of America in the 1920s when Prohibition was in effect. The label matches the whiskey maker’s claims to a recipe that has been handed down through the generations, and reinforces the belief that the whiskey is made using a recipe that is almost 100 years old. Continue reading

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Super Lawyers named Chicago and Oak Brook business trial attorneys Patrick Austermuehle  and Andrew Murphy Super Lawyers/Rising Stars in the Categories of Class Action, Business Litigation and Consumer Rights Litigation. DiTommaso-Lubin’s Oak Brook and Chicago business litigation lawyers have over a quarter of century of experience in litigating complex class action, consumer rights and business and commercial litigation disputes. We handle emergency business law suits involving injunctions, and TROS, covenant not to compete, franchise, distributor and dealer wrongful termination and trade secret lawsuits and many different kinds of business disputes involving shareholders, partnerships, closely held businesses and employee breaches of fiduciary duty. We also assist businesses and business owners who are victims of fraud.

DiTommaso-Lubin’s Woodridge, Lisle, Naperville, and Warrenville litigation attorneys have more than two and half decades of experience helping business clients unravel the complexities of Illinois and out-of-state business laws. Our Chicago business, commercial, class-action and consumer litigation lawyers represent individuals, family businesses and enterprises of all sizes in a variety of legal disputes, including disputes among partners and shareholders as well as lawsuits between businesses and and consumer rights, auto fraud, and wage claim individual and class action cases. In every case, our goal is to resolve disputes as quickly and successfully as possible, helping business clients protect their investments and get back to business as usual. From offices in Oak Brook, near Elgin and Aurora, we serve clients throughout Illinois and the Midwest.

If you’re facing a business or class-action lawsuit, or the possibility of one, and you’d like to discuss how the experienced Illinois business dispute attorneys at DiTommaso-Lubin can help, we would like to hear from you. To set up a consultation with one of our Chicago class action attorneys and Chicago business trial lawyers, please call us toll-free at 1-877-990-4990 or contact us through the Internet.

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Super Lawyers named Chicago and Oak Brook business trial attorneys Peter Lubin and Vincent DiTommaso Super Lawyers in the Categories of Class Action, Business Litigation and Consumer Rights Litigation. DiTommaso-Lubin’s Oak Brook and Chicago business trial lawyers have over a quarter of century of experience in litigating complex class action, consumer rights and business and commercial litigation disputes. We handle emergency business law suits involving injunctions, and TROS, covenant not to compete, franchise, distributor and dealer wrongful termination and trade secret lawsuits and many different kinds of business disputes involving shareholders, partnerships, closely held businesses and employee breaches of fiduciary duty. We also assist businesses and business owners who are victims of fraud.

DiTommaso-Lubin’s Schaumburg, Evanston, Naperville, and Aurora litigation attorneys have more than two and half decades of experience helping business clients unravel the complexities of Illinois and out-of-state business laws. Our Chicago business, commercial, class-action and consumer litigation lawyers represent individuals, family businesses and enterprises of all sizes in a variety of legal disputes, including disputes among partners and shareholders as well as lawsuits between businesses and and consumer rights, auto fraud, and wage claim individual and class action cases. In every case, our goal is to resolve disputes as quickly and successfully as possible, helping business clients protect their investments and get back to business as usual. From offices in Oak Brook, near Lake Forest and Elgin, we serve clients throughout Illinois and the Midwest.

If you’re facing a business or class-action lawsuit, or the possibility of one, and you’d like to discuss how the experienced Illinois business dispute attorneys at DiTommaso-Lubin can help, we would like to hear from you. To set up a consultation with one of our Chicago class action attorneys and Chicago business trial lawyers, please call us toll-free at 1-877-990-4990 or contact us through the Internet.

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Chicago wage theft attorneys and lawyersThe courts of the United States have seen an exponential rise in the number of wage and hour lawsuits that get filed every year, but the cause of this rise is unclear. Worker advocates allege that “wage theft” has become far too prevalent in our nation’s current economy. Many blame the recent recession, which pressured employers to cut corners in order to save costs. At the same time, employees were afraid of losing their jobs and being unable to find new employment. The result was that employers took advantage of the situation to get more work out of their employees while paying them less. It is only since the job market started to stabilize that employees have felt confident enough to file lawsuits against their employers.

Business advocates tell a different story. They assert that government officials are creating large numbers of wage and hour lawsuits, mostly so they can score points with the unions. They point to the fact that the recent wage and hour lawsuit against Schneider Logistics coincided with unions pressuring Walmart to raise wages. Although Schneider does store merchandise for Walmart, it is not owned by Walmart, and Walmart is not responsible for Schneider’s employment practices. Despite this fact, the lawyers and labor groups involved in the lawsuit against Schneider have sought to make Walmart jointly liable in the labor violations.

Business groups also claim that the onslaught of wage and hour lawsuits against McDonald’s has been coordinated with the recent movement by fast-food workers demanding a $15 minimum wage. Continue reading