Articles Posted in Best Business And Class Action Lawyers Near Chicago

Published on:

Uber settled its legal fight after being accused of plotting to steal self-driving technology, which is considered to be the way of the future. It took more than four days in court, which included arguments and testimony. An overall case worth stood at $245 million.  The settlement was mainly concerning the trade secrets. The case was between Google’s parent company, Alphabet, and could be considered one of the most intense legal fights of Silicon Valley. This is especially since it concerns a startup vs. one of the biggest technology giants’ parent. The overall potential of the industry is trillion-dollars that are predicted to transform transportation.

The case showcased what many in Silicon Valley normally struggle with: the sudden rise of start-ups, the workings of the rich companies, the rivalries, and competition for talent.  Continue reading

Published on:

Bands work hard to build and maintain a certain image, which is why they have to react quickly when someone tries to infringe on that image.

According to a recent trademark lawsuit, a Mexican hotel, located in Baja, California, was allegedly trying infringe on the image of the famous rock band, the Eagles, by changing the hotel’s name to Hotel California. The hotel was also allegedly playing the band’s music in and around the hotel, and selling T-shirts and other merchandise with “Hotel California” emblazoned across them as part of the hotel’s marketing campaign for their new name.

The hotel’s original title was actually “Hotel California” when it was founded back in 1950. Over the years, it acquired new owners and new names, but when John and Debbie Stewart bought the hotel in 2001, they decided to restore its original name.

The hotel is now owned by a company called Hotel California Baja LLC, which applied for a trademark for the name of the hotel, and that’s when the Eagles filed their lawsuit against the hotel company in the U.S. District Court of Los Angeles. Continue reading

Published on:

Environmental groups have sued to stop the Bayou Bridge pipeline after it received construction permits and the green light to start. The construction will take a toll on the environment. This has affected local businesses who used to harvest large amounts of crawfish but now the traps yield dead crawfish.

The purpose of the pipeline is to deliver crude oil to a terminal in St. James Parish. The first phase of the project, which consists of a 30-inch pipeline from Nederland to Lake Charles.

The U.S. Army Corporation of Engineer’s decision to issue the permit for construction followed completion of an environmental assessment, review of its compliance with Section 408 of the Clean Water Act and feedback received during a public notice.

Construction must comply with provisions aimed at protecting nesting periods for birds.  Builders of the pipeline also will have to survey the route for the presence of both active and inactive eagle nests.

Engineers had a permit issued in around mid-December and the people in the vicinity of the Atchafalaya Basin know of its uniqueness to the whole world. Part of nature provides subsistence for the Cajun people.  The water quality is substantially affected.

Environmental groups are trying hard to block further construction by requesting the state court to force the company to turn over records to seize private property or obtain easements on property along the pipeline path. Surveillance records from a company have also been requested.  The suit, called a writ of mandamus, was filed against the pipeline and its president, by the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of Atchafalaya Basinkeeper.

Public purpose and the right to the state’s public laws are being asserted and become grounds for being subject to Public Records Law.  The land that was once public will become for private profit usage with no oversight.  The pipeline process could affect health, the natural environment, and people’s livelihoods.  Multiple parties have a stake in this: from small business operators who harvest food, locals and those who profit.

To challenge the making of the pipeline for violations of environmental law is the starting ground for the attack on a corporation that is said to have a history of violations. The plaintiffs claim the permit granted violates the Clean Water Act and Rivers and Harbors Act. Continue reading

Published on:

Jurisdictional issues can affect any case and are most likely to be more common in America where the variances in counties and states are, perhaps, greater than anywhere else in the world.  Such concerns affect all cases in terms of venue and the ties that parties may have to a certain jurisdiction over another.

The death of Charles Manson has been no exception to challenging jurisdiction.  His recent death has to lead to unexpected claims over his remains and the venue for the matter still needs to be decided.

Shortly after his death, two Wills have resurfaced with each one leaving the estate to a different person.  He died at a hospital in Bakersfield, California but those that wish to claim rights reside in a different jurisdiction.  A judge in Los Angeles considers it to be too early to determine who has the right to the remains and the estate of the cult leader that died in November. He was originally have thought not to have any next of kin and now that people claiming entitlement have surfaced, the decision over his remains and estate should be decided in a separate hearing.  The judge will also decide whether the case should be tried in the county where he lived before the crimes that he was involved in were committed, where he was imprisoned before his death or where he died.  Continue reading

Published on:

Although most board members of publicly traded companies are paid an annual salary, plus a bonus based on performance (usually in the form of company stock), being on the board of a company or organization tends to be a part-time job and most members have day jobs in addition to their position on the board.

But because board members bear a fiduciary responsibility to look after the financial interests of the company’s investors, they have to be very careful where they get the rest of their income. Accept some money or do a favor for someone from the wrong company, and you raise suspicions that you might have a conflict of interests.

Alan Kahn, an investor in United Flexible, Inc., an aerospace parts manufacturer and an affiliate of Arlington Capital Partners, filed a lawsuit in Delaware against two of Kreisler Manufacturing Corp.’s board members for allegedly conducting a merger in bad faith. According to the lawsuit, the two board members, Edward Stern and his brother Michael, received side deals from Arlington just before the board decided to drop its asking price for the company.

The lawsuit further alleges board members deliberately failed to disclose important information from shareholders regarding the merger. As evidence, Kahn’s complaint points to the fact that the board members refused to make copies of the merger agreement, requiring instead that all shareholders who wanted any information about the details about the agreement needed to be willing to fly to Philadelphia to see a physical copy of the contract. Continue reading

Published on:

Summer Zervos, who was a contestant on The Apprentice back in 2007 is attempting to sue President Trump for defamation claims which he denies yet claims her suit cannot proceed until his Presidency ends. Zervos alleges that, while she was in meetings with Trump that were supposed to be about business, Trump allegedly kissed her on the mouth multiple times and touched her breasts without her consent.

Trump denied the accusations, publicly calling them “lies” and “nonsense,” but Zervos is not letting this go. She and 18 other women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct and Zervos is currently suing Trump for defamation. The lawsuit asks Trump to take back the statements he made about her, apologize to her, and provide financial compensation.

Trump’s attorneys have filed a motion to have the case dismissed, but if Justice Jennifer Schecter refuses, Trump’s presidential campaign might be required to release any and all documents they have relating to all the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct – not just Zervos.

Trump’s attorneys argued that a state court does not have jurisdiction over a sitting president. They have also asked to delay the case with a stay if the judge does decide to allow the case to proceed. That would put off the trial until after Trump is no longer president.

Zervos’s attorney cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1997 decision in Clinton v. Jones to allow a sexual harassment case against President Clinton to continue in the federal courts while Clinton was still president. Trump’s attorneys argued that decision does not apply to the current case because that lawsuit was filed in federal court, rather than state court. Continue reading

Published on:

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

Published on:

The New York Times is reporting that consumers need to beware that flood vehicles will be dumped on the market due to the Hurricanes in Florida and Texas.  The article provides the following guidance on how to avoid purchasing a flood vehicle:

Consumer Reports has suggested tips for identifying cars that may have spent time underwater. A buyer or mechanic should look for these telltale signs:

■ Caked-on mud and a musty odor from the carpets. New carpets in an older vehicle may be another red flag.

■ A visible water line on the lens or reflector of the headlights.

■ Mud or debris trapped in difficult-to-clean places, such as gaps between panels in the trunk and under the hood.

■ Rusty exposed screws under the dashboard. Unpainted metal in flood cars will show signs of rust.

■ Rubber drain plugs under the car and on the bottom of doors that have been removed. That may have been done to drain floodwater.

The full New York Times article can be viewed here.

If you are the victim of purchasing a flooded vehicle, you can contact us and we will pursue litigation to return the vehicle or obtain money damages. Continue reading

Published on:

The bait and switch tactic of selling goods and services is a trick as old as time, but it’s not always legal. If a customer signs a contract agreeing to pay a particular price for something, it is expected that the price will not change for the duration of the contract, unless both parties agree to the change in writing. That change can happen, either as an amendment to the contract, or as part of a new contract.

According to a federal class action consumer lawsuit that was recently filed in California, Comcast allegedly lured new cable customers with promises of low rates, which they then jacked up without warning or gaining consent from their customers. The fees in question are: the “Broadcast TV Fee,” which allegedly went from $1.50/month in 2014 to $6.50/month in 2016; and the “Regional Sports Fee,” which allegedly went from $1/month in 2015 to $4.50 in 2016.

When customers complained to Comcast, they were allegedly told by company representatives that the fees were government-related taxes or fees over which the company said it had no control – an assertion the plaintiffs claim is a blatant lie.

Comcast asked the court to dismiss all the claims put forth by the plaintiffs, saying its online order submission process was not enough to constitute a legally-binding contract. On the other hand, the Subscriber Agreement and Minimum Term Agreement were binding contracts in which the customers had allegedly agreed to pay Comcast’s fees.

Judge Vince Chhabria, of the U.S. District Court of Northern California, rejected Comcast’s motion to dismiss, saying that, by submitting their order, Comcast customers were agreeing to pay Comcast’s advertised prices, in addition to government-related taxes and fees. Chhabria denied Comcast’s assertion that consumers agreed to its higher fees in the Subscriber Agreement. As far as the Minimum Term Agreement was concerned, the plaintiffs allege they never saw it when submitting their order, in which case they cannot be bound by its terms. Chhabria said the plaintiffs had plausibly asserted that they never saw the agreement, although determining it in fact will have to be left to the more in-depth analysis of a summary judgment. Continue reading

Published on:

The world of big-money executive bonuses is one that most of us can only dream of, but it was the subject of a recent opinion by the Illinois Appellate Court. The First District held that under the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, ABN Amro Inc. could not deny a former executive a $2-million bonus simply because he had no written compensation agreement. (Robert D. Schultze v. ABN Amro, Inc., 2017 IL App (1st) 162140)

Robert S. had held various executive positions with ABN subsidiary LaSalle Bank since 1983. He earned his salary and bonuses under an oral employment agreement. If Robert and his team met certain performance goals, he could expect to receive a multiple of his salary as a bonus.

In 2007, ABN promoted Robert to managing director and chief operating officer of Global Markets North America Division. He was then asked to manage the $21-billion sale of LaSalle to Bank of America and the $93-billion sale of ABN to Royal Bank of Scotland and two other banks, as executive lead of the ABN North America Transition Leadership Team.

Based on the bonuses paid to his predecessors in the COO job combined with his significant added responsibilities, he expected a bonus of $2-$5 million for 2008. When he learned in March 2009 that his 2008 bonus was only $200,000, he objected as the amount was not in proportion to the responsibilities he had assumed, and was much lower than his recent annual bonuses. Continue reading