The Business Litigators
The Business Litigators
The Business Litigators
The Business Litigators
Patrick Austermuehle and Andrew Murphy were selected by Super Lawyers as Rising Stars
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Our Chicago, Illinois consumer rights private law firm handles individual and class action gift card, data breach, privacy rights, deceptive advertising, predatory lending, unfair debt collection, lemon law, and other consumer fraud cases that government agencies and public interest law firms such as the Illinois Attorney General may not pursue. Class action lawsuits our law firm has been involved in or spear-headed have led to substantial awards totaling over a million dollars to organizations including the National Association of Consumer Advocatesthe National Consumer Law Center, and local law school consumer programs. The Chicago consumer lawyers at DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle are proud of our achievements in assisting national and local consumer rights organizations to obtain the funds needed to ensure that consumers are protected and informed of their rights. By standing up to consumer fraud and consumer rip-offs, and in the right case filing consumer protection lawsuits and class-actions you too can help ensure that other consumers’ rights are protected from consumer rip-offs and unscrupulous or dishonest practices.

Our Joliet and Bollingbrook consumer attorneys provide assistance in data breach, privacy violation, fair debt collection, consumer fraud and consumer rights cases including in Illinois and throughout the country. You can click here to see a description of the some of the many individual and class-action consumer cases our Chicago consumer lawyers have handled. A video of our lawsuit which helped ensure more fan friendly security at Wrigley Field can be found here. You can contact one of our Cicero and DeKalb consumer protection, gift card and data breach attorneys who can assist in consumer fraud, consumer rip-off, lemon law, unfair debt collection, predatory lending, wage claims, unpaid overtime and other consumer, or consumer class action cases by filling out the contact form at the side of this blog or by clicking here.  You can also call our toll-free number at (877) 990-4990.

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Fox news has recently come under fire for yet another sexual harassment lawsuit involving a political contributor who alleges she was forced into a sexual relationship with Charles Payne, a Fox Business anchor.

The lawsuit, filed by Scottie Nell Hughes, alleges she repeatedly refused Payne by telling him “stop” and “no,” but he allegedly disregarded her protests and forced her to stay in a sexual relationship with him for an extended period of time. Hughes alleges she received extra appearances on both Fox Business and Fox News while she remained in the relationship with Payne, but that when she cut things off, she was allegedly “blacklisted” by the media giant.

In addition, Hughes alleges that, after she brought her concerns over the sexual assault to Fox in confidence, the media company allegedly leaked her name to the press, along with a “statement” in which Payne apologized for the affair. Hughes and her attorney object to both the manner in which Fox handled the situation and Payne’s use of the term, “affair,” which implies she consented.

Payne was suspended from the network, pending an internal investigation into Hughes’s allegations, but has since returned to work.

Hughes has said that the complaint her attorney recently filed speaks for itself, and that she is pursuing litigation so that no other woman will have to suffer through the hell she says she is now experiencing. Continue reading

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Patent licenses can mark the beginning of a fruitful relationship for both the patent owner and the licensee, but patent owners that focus only on the instant deal, waste time trying to pocket a little more money and draft a vague agreement may wind up going from the bargaining table to the courtroom.

Just recently, a major technology group involved in the production of cell phones has dropped two patent infringement lawsuits based on a new patent license agreement that has been entered into which continues the making of payments from the one company to the other.  At the time of the dispute, it was alleged that multiple patents were being used without permission and the patent pertained to the proprietary technology in commercial mobile devices.

The agreement has an ongoing agreement between the companies, so as to ensure that the payments do not stop.  Settlement was contingent upon withdrawal of litigation and the reaching of terms by which both parties could agree.  The financial structure of the terms ensured that this would be the case.   As the terms were reached privately, it was a matter of complete confidentiality.  The fact that this occurred, perhaps, changes the way in which other litigation can be viewed.  Attorneys may now suggest that new terms of agreement be reached prior to even filing suit, unless, of course, sometimes filing suit becomes strategy to bring an opposing party to settlement terms when a compromise situation seems unlikely.  Continue reading

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Our Chicago, Illinois consumer rights private law firm handles individual and class action gift card, data breach, privacy rights, deceptive advertising, predatory lending, unfair debt collection, lemon law, and other consumer fraud cases that government agencies and public interest law firms such as the Illinois Attorney General may not pursue. Class action lawsuits our law firm has been involved in or spear-headed have led to substantial awards totaling over a million dollars to organizations including the National Association of Consumer Advocatesthe National Consumer Law Center, and local law school consumer programs. The Chicago consumer lawyers at DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle are proud of our achievements in assisting national and local consumer rights organizations to obtain the funds needed to ensure that consumers are protected and informed of their rights. By standing up to consumer fraud and consumer rip-offs, and in the right case filing consumer protection lawsuits and class-actions you too can help ensure that other consumers’ rights are protected from consumer rip-offs and unscrupulous or dishonest practices.

Our Willowbrook and Burr Ridge consumer attorneys provide assistance in data breach, privacy violation, fair debt collection, consumer fraud and consumer rights cases including in Illinois and throughout the country. You can click here to see a description of the some of the many individual and class-action consumer cases our Chicago consumer lawyers have handled. A video of our lawsuit which helped ensure more fan friendly security at Wrigley Field can be found here. You can contact one of our Bollingbrook and Glen Ellyn consumer protection, gift card and data breach attorneys who can assist in consumer fraud, consumer rip-off, lemon law, unfair debt collection, predatory lending, wage claims, unpaid overtime and other consumer, or consumer class action cases by filling out the contact form at the side of this blog or by clicking here.  You can also call our toll-free number at (877) 990-4990.

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At least one Trump supporter is, not only well aware of the issues that face minorities in this country, but is actively fighting to support those minorities.

His target? Fox News.

Because Fox News has been such a strong supporter of Trump, you’d think an attorney who donated $40,000 to Trump’s campaign and voted for him in both the primary and general elections would also support Fox News, but that’s not the case for attorney Douglas Wigdor.

Wigdor started filing lawsuits against Fox News late last year after a reporter for Fox 5, Lidija Ujkic, sought him out after having heard about a case he had settled in which he had argued on behalf of a woman who claimed her pregnancy had led to her demotion at Goldman Sachs. Ujkic’s claims against Fox were similar.

Wigdor took Ujkic’s case, and a few months later, took on another, this time alleging racial bias. Eleven new plaintiffs ended up joining that case in the following month, including Kelly Wright, the only black man to work as a news anchor on the conservative news channel.

That apparently opened the floodgates, as Wigdor followed it up by suing the media giant two more times that month, three times the following month, once in July, once in August and again in September. Continue reading

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A trademark infringement suit recently filed in Chicago federal court shows how it doesn’t pay to have the same initials as a reality TV queen. Kim Kardashian West has won the right to have the case against her newly launched cosmetics company transferred from Illinois to her home base of California.

A Danish makeup artist and cosmetics producer is accusing Kardashian West and her company, Kimsaprincess Inc., of promoting a similar-sounding product line that could potentially get consumers confused between the two brands. Kirsten Kjaer Weiss, who brands her own products with her name and initials, KW, filed the trademark suit in the Northern District of Illinois, claiming that Kardashian West’s KKW brand sounds too much like hers.

U.S. District Judge Robert M. Dow Jr. ruled that even though the suit was properly brought in Illinois because both companies’ products are sold in the Chicago area, the Central District of California is a more appropriate venue because that is where Kimsaprincess is based, and where key witnesses for the company are subject to jurisdiction. Both KW and KKW products are also sold in California. Weiss’s line is sold in retail stores, while Kardashian’s are sold only online.

Weiss launched her organic cosmetics and skincare line in 2010, through Kjaer Weiss LLC, which is based in New York. She had argued for the Southern District of New York as an alternate venue to Illinois. Continue reading

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Celebrities who were superstars in life are often bigger moneymakers in death, their estates raking in huge revenues from posthumous sales of their music, memorabilia, or commercial use of their image. One need look no further than the lucrative afterlife of Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson.

Professional sports icons are no different. Heavyweight boxing legend Muhammad Ali has been gone for over a year now, but his name and image are still worth big bucks to advertisers. Now the company he formed during his lifetime to manage the commercial use of his persona is suing Fox Broadcasting Co. for $30 million for unauthorized use of the late champion’s identity in a pre-Super Bowl promotional ad in February 2017.

Muhammad Ali Enterprises LLC (MAE) filed the complaint Oct. 10 in federal district court in Illinois, charging that Fox used Ali’s name and likeness as the centerpiece of its three-minute promotional spot. The ad depicts Ali along with living NFL legends including Joe Montana and Joe Namath and makes repeated reference to Ali’s “The Greatest” title.

According to the complaint, the video begins with a narrator saying, “Walk with me as I confront greatness” while the viewer sees the back of a boxer representing Ali and wearing a robe that says “The Greatest. The Lip.” The viewer sees actual film footage of Ali and hears Ali shouting, “I am the Greatest!” The narrator again says, “Walk with me.  I can show you what it means to be the greatest.” Continue reading

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Although the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) gives consumers the right to claim thousands of dollars in punitive damages for each illegal phone call made to their cell phones, there are valid reasons for plaintiffs to seek a settlement that pays only a fraction of their eligible damages.

In a recent proposed class action consumer lawsuit against Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, the parties have agreed to a financial settlement of $17.5 million to cover the claims of more than 1.6 million customers. Attorneys representing the class of plaintiffs have said they will request reimbursement for up to $100,000 of their actual expenses, fees of no more than one third of the total settlement fund ($5.8 million), and an incentive award of $25,000 for each of the three named plaintiffs who came forward to file the TCPA lawsuit.

After all that, each plaintiff will receive anywhere from $55 to $90, depending on their individual claims. Any funds that are left over after all payments have been made will go to the National Consumer Law Center and the Public Justice Foundation. None of the funds will revert back to Ocwen, as is sometimes the case in class action settlements. Continue reading

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While colleges give promising athletes a free education in exchange for playing on the school’s sports teams, colleges and universities earn it all back and much more, not just through ticket sales and advertising space at games, but other promotional opportunities featuring their student athletes. With schools raking in millions of dollars that the athletes never get to see, many students are left wondering just what a college athlete’s image is worth, and how much (if any) of a claim those athletes have to their own images.

This issue has been addressed most recently in a lawsuit against Ohio State University, which named Honda and IMG Worldwide, Inc. as co-defendants. The lawsuit was filed in federal court by Chris Spielman, a former linebacker for Ohio State, after his image, along with images of other former Ohio State athletes, appeared on a series of banners that were sponsored by Honda and displayed around Ohio Stadium.

The series of banners is just one of several such programs listed by the lawsuit, which accuses Ohio State, Honda, and IMG of unjustly monopolizing the images of former student athletes for profit. The lawsuit is seeking an end to the marketing program, as well as $75,000 in compensation for the former Ohio State athletes whose images appeared in the program. Although that dollar amount is standard for these kinds of claims, the complaint points out that Ohio State is currently making millions of dollars through merchandising programs like the banners that were displayed around the stadium.

In September, the university filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the case hasn’t met the requirement for this type of antitrust lawsuit, and that federal courts don’t have jurisdiction over this case. Continue reading

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Our Chicago, Illinois consumer rights private law firm handles individual and class action gift card, data breach, privacy rights, deceptive advertising, predatory lending, unfair debt collection, lemon law, and other consumer fraud cases that government agencies and public interest law firms such as the Illinois Attorney General may not pursue. Class action lawsuits our law firm has been involved in or spear-headed have led to substantial awards totaling over a million dollars to organizations including the National Association of Consumer Advocatesthe National Consumer Law Center, and local law school consumer programs. The Chicago consumer lawyers at DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle are proud of our achievements in assisting national and local consumer rights organizations to obtain the funds needed to ensure that consumers are protected and informed of their rights. By standing up to consumer fraud and consumer rip-offs, and in the right case filing consumer protection lawsuits and class-actions you too can help ensure that other consumers’ rights are protected from consumer rip-offs and unscrupulous or dishonest practices.

Our Highland Park and Lake Forest consumer attorneys provide assistance in data breach, privacy violation, fair debt collection, consumer fraud and consumer rights cases including in Illinois and throughout the country. You can click here to see a description of the some of the many individual and class-action consumer cases our Chicago consumer lawyers have handled. A video of our lawsuit which helped ensure more fan friendly security at Wrigley Field can be found here. You can contact one of our Des Plaines and Elkgrove Village consumer protection, gift card and data breach attorneys who can assist in consumer fraud, consumer rip-off, lemon law, unfair debt collection, predatory lending, wage claims, unpaid overtime and other consumer, or consumer class action cases by filling out the contact form at the side of this blog or by clicking here.  You can also call our toll-free number at (877) 990-4990.