Legal Updates & Alerts

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Supreme Court Update - Court Set to Weigh-In On ATSA Immunity

In Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. Hoeper, William Hoeper was a pilot for Air Wisconsin and also a Federal Flight Deck Officer authorized to carry a TSA-issued firearm.  He had previously failed three aircraft proficiency tests and was aware that a fourth failure could result in his termination at the option of Air Wisconsin.  During the final test, Mr. Hoeper allegedly exhibited irrational behavior and directed angry outbursts at his test administrator, accusing him of underm...

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The Supreme Court Rules that Lump Sum Severance Payments are Wages Subject to FICA Taxes

In a much anticipated ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court on March 25, 2014 ruled 8-0 that lump-sum severance payments made to involuntarily laid off workers are subject to FICA taxes. Currently FICA requires workers and employers to each pay a 6.2% Social Security tax on wages earned up to an annual cap as well as a 1.45% Medicare tax on all wages. In 2001 and 2002, Quality Stores, Inc. closed more than 300 stores and made severance paymets to 3,100 laid off workers. The company paid ...

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Illinois Legistlature Imposes Time Limits for Payment of Settlements

On August 26, 2013, the Illinois Governor signed into law an amendment to the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure that establishes a timeline for the tendering of a release and payment of the settlement funds after a settlement agreement has been reached.  The new provision, 735 ILCS §5/2-2301, takes effect January 1, 2014, and applies to all personal injury, property damage, wrongful death, and tort actions involving a claim for monetary damages, except class actions and claims involving ...

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Recent Cases Find Insurance Coverage for TCPA Claims, Rejecting Insurer's Arguments that Statutory Damages are Punitive in Nature

Two cases involving the application of insurance coverage for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA"), 47 U.S.C. § 227 (2012), were recently addressed by two separate state supreme Courts. The TCPA places restrictions on unsolicited, automatic telephone calls and faxes in order to protect the privacy interests of residential and commercial telephone subscribers, and permits recipients of such unsolicited communications to bring "an action to recover for actual monetary l...

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Illinois Courts Show Support for the Right of a Condo Association to Create and Enforce its Regulations

Illinois Not-for-Profit Associations will welcome several important decisions from the Illinois courts. These decisions reinforce an association's authority to promulgate and enforce reasonable rules and regulations relating to the management of its development. In Poris v. Lake Holiday Property Owners Association, the plaintiff challenged the association's authority to enforce a traffic citation issued by a private security department created by the association. The plaintiff, a membe...

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RUSSELL V. SNFA: Illinois Supreme Court Finds Specific Personal Jurisdiction Over Foreign Component Part Manufacturer

The Illinois Supreme Court issued a significant personal jurisdiction decision last week in an aviation product liability case, Russell v. SNFA, 2013 IL 113909 (Apr. 18, 2013), which has profound implications for component part manufacturers and the aviation industry. The Court found that a French manufacturer is subject to Illinois jurisdiction even though it did not have any direct Illinois customers for its custom-made helicopter bearings and lacked knowledge that its compone...

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The Changing Landscape Of Illinois And Chicago Minimum Wage Laws

The Illinois minimum wage of $8.25 has remained unchanged since 2011. It seems an increase is inevitable. On November 4, 2014, voters approved the Illinois Minimum Wage Increase Question. The nonbinding referendum asked voters whether they support increasing the minimum wage to $10 an hour by January 1, 2015. The advisory question itself has no force of law. Instead, it was introduced into the Illinois Legislature as House Bill 3814 to garner support for legislation to increase the m...

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