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McDonald’s Facing Multiple Complaints of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment can occur at any place of employment – be it a small family-owned business or a big, multi-national company. It can happen at a private firm or a government agency. One thing is for certain -- there are laws that protect victims of sexual harassment and it is not something that an employee has to tolerate. Take McDonald’s for example. As recently reported, over the last month, 15 separate complaints have been filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against McDonald’s, alleging sexual harassment. The sexual harassment ranged from inappropriate physical touching (e.g. groping) to lewd comments to offers...

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‘Dixmoor 5′ Settle Lawsuit Against State Police For $40M

Mike Krauser CHICAGO (CBS) – Five men wrongfully convicted of rape and murder in the infamous “Dixmoor 5” case have agreed to settle their federal lawsuit against Illinois State Police for $40 million. WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports attorneys for James Harden, Jonathan Barr, Robert Taylor, Robert Veal, and Shainne Sharp planned to formally announce the settlement agreement on Wednesday. The men were imprisoned as teenagers after they were convicted for the 1991 rape and murder of 14-year-old Cateresa Matthews, who disappeared after leaving her grandmother’s home on Nov. 19, 1991. Her body was found weeks later in a field near Interstate 57....

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Advocate Christ Hospital Lawsuit, Alleging Racial Discrimination

Advocate Christ Medical Center

A Chicago woman suing over incident from when she brought in her son.

Robinson claims that when she brought her 10-month-old son to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn because he had a strange mark on his ear, doctors thought it was a bruise and assumed that because he was Black, he had been abused, according to a lawsuit filed late last month.

According to the lawsuit, the mark on Robinson’s son’s ear was likely a birthmark – not a bruise, which was filed April 20 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The lawsuit claims doctors at Advocate Christ in Oak Lawn contacted the Department of Children and Family Services shortly after meeting Robinson last year, before they knew for sure what the mark was. After making a DCFS report, they performed medically unnecessary tests on her son, such as a head CT and bone scan, the lawsuit claims.

It is alleged that a DCFS caseworker told Robinson she might have to place her son in foster care, and that she was ultimately required to live with her uncle for about a week after leaving the hospital.

City of Park Ridge found liable in boy’s death, ordered to pay $5M

By JENNIFER JOHNSON March 13, 2012 1:36PM The city of Park Ridge has been ordered to pay $5.18 million to the estate of a 15-year-old Park Ridge boy following last week’s verdict in a wrongful-death lawsuit stretching back seven years. A jury on March 8 found the city liable in the death of Maine South High School student Joseph Furio, who died Oct. 31, 2004, from a drug overdose. JoAnn Abruzzo, Furio’s mother and administrator of his estate, filed the wrongful death lawsuit in 2005, alleging that Park Ridge paramedics had failed to properly evaluate her son and provide medical care when...

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A federal court partially rules in favor of the last E2 Nightclub lawsuit 20 years after it was brought

E2 Nightclub

Erick Johnson April 25, 2022 In 2014, Clear Channel Communications, whose station WGCI held an event at the nightclub, reached an out-of-court settlement with many of the victims' families. Settlement amounts reportedly ranged from $1.2 million to $2 million. The Rays received a settlement as well. According to court transcripts, the Rays rejected an undisclosed settlement offer from the city last August. In 2020, the Rays on behalf of their son’s estate filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division. According to the complaint, the Rays say while seeking justice for their son, their...

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An $1.5 million settlement is proposed for sex assault lawsuits

settlement sex assault lawsuits

An $1.5 million settlement is proposed for sex assault lawsuits brought by two special education students at Bogan High School in Chicago A special education student allegedly assaulted two classmates on separate dates in a bathroom at a southwest side high school, according to two lawsuits filed against the Chicago Board of Education. Bogan Computer Technical High School's special education student reported in June 2016 that another special education student attacked him twice in a bathroom. The special education plans for both boys required supervision in the restroom. In court, a CPS attorney argued that while the boys were supervised on trips...

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Sexual Harassment on the Job

We are frequently contacted by individuals who describe inappropriate and often vulgar conduct that they have experienced at work.  They inquire as to whether we believe they have a valid claim for sexual harassment.  In many instances, we have to advise them that we cannot assist them, despite the fact they have experienced highly offensive conduct at their job.  Here is why. Generally, prevailing in a case for sexual harassment rarely hinges on whether the conduct experienced by the employee qualifies as sexual harassment.  Often, that is obvious, and in many instances the employee has corroborating witnesses, or emails, photographs, screen...

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Chicago Public Schools is being sued by Black educators over wrongful termination


Chicago Public Schools has been sued by Black veteran teachers who claim they were unfairly terminated. According to the Chicago Alliance of Urban School Educators (CAUSE), CPS has also blacklisted many qualified teachers from rehire. "CPS secretly maintained an illegal "do not hire list" through which the mostly Black veteran teachers who had already been unjustly terminated were unknowingly blocked from being hired when they applied for other jobs for which they were qualified within the vast CPS system," the statement said. "This practice forced the terminated teachers to seek work in suburban school districts, move out of state to seek jobs...

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JMF Law Reaches $400,000 Settlement in Nursing Home Case

settlement in a nursing home death

The Law Office of Jeffrey Friedman, P.C. recently reached a $400,000 settlement in a nursing home death case against a Chicago nursing facility in which a 67-year old Schizophrenic woman with insulin-dependent diabetes suffered a hypoglycemic episode, which caused her to fall into a coma from which she ultimately never awoke. On the day before the decedent suffered her hypoglycemic episode, the nursing facility was alleged to have recorded the decedent’s blood sugar level (referred to as Accu-checks) at a level which necessitated contacting her physician. The nursing home disputed that the doctor needed to be contacted. The dispute centered around...

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Governor Pritzker Grants Civil Immunity to Health Workers Treating COVID Patients

On April 1, 2020, Illinois Governor Pritzker issued Executive Order 2020-19 granting broad immunities from civil liability to those working in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Executive Order applies to “health care facilities, health care professionals, and health care volunteers” who are assisting the state in its response to the coronavirus outbreak. Governor Pritzker issued the order to protect health care workers and facilities from civil liability for injuries or deaths during Corona Virus Pandemic. The Executive Order does not provide for absolute immunity.  Workers and facilities can still be face civil liability if “such injury or death...

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National Origin Discrimination.

Chicago IL National Origin Discrimination

Our office is pleased to announce that we recently resolved a race discrimination case on behalf of three clients. Our clients reached a confidential settlement with their former employer, after bringing a lawsuit alleging discrimination based on their Hispanic national origin. Our clients claimed that after years of excellent job performance at their jobs, a new manager was brought in who adversely treated them because of their Hispanic origin. The employees alleged that shortly after the new manager was hired, the terms and conditions of their employment at the company changed, and they experienced a hostile work environment. The employees also...

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The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act (INHCA)

The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act (INHCA) provides basic and fundamental rights for nursing home residents throughout the state of Illinois. In particular, residents Illinois nursing homes are provided with protection from abuse, neglect and serious mistreatment. Under the INHCA, nursing home residents maintain the same rights that they have if they were a private citizen living at home. New residents should be informed upon their arrival of their spousal impoverishment rights as defined in the Illinois Public Aid Code. Residents maintain the right to use their personal property as they wish, and retain the services of their own personal physician...

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Workers in Illinois are protected against being sexually harassed in the workplace

Workers in Illinois are protected against being sexually harassed in the workplace by both state law and federal law. These laws provide that employees are entitled to a safe work environment, free from sexual assault or harassment. If sexual harassment occurs in the workplace, victims may recover monetary damages for emotional damages, and other damages, such as losing their job, if they leave their job because of a hostile environment. On August 9, 2019, Illinois Governor Pritzker signed SB 75, enhancing the protection of employees and requiring that employers give interactive training about sexual harassment in the workplace. This move towards...

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Facebook to Pay a $550 million Settlement

biometric information

Photo license: Piqsels CC0 public domain Facebook recently agreed to pay a $550 million settlement to the plaintiffs in a high profile class action lawsuit brought against the social media network. This lawsuit arose out of Facebook’s alleged violation of an Illinois statute, the Biometric Information Privacy Act, commonly known as BIPA. BIPA is a consumer privacy statute enacted by the Illinois legislature in 2008. The purpose of the act is to require companies and corporations that obtain, use and store biometric data of their employees to do so only with the prior consent of their employees. Biometric data is a general term...

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Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse

Getting older is a fact of life, and for many, nursing homes eventually become their new homes. And while living in a nursing home might be as inevitable as aging, you can take certain measures to ensure that all reasonable safeguards are in place at the nursing home and that you are getting reasonable and adequate care. Nursing homes in Illinois are regulated by the Nursing Home Care Act (210 ILCS 45/1-101, et seq.) and the Illinois Administrative Code (42 CFR §483).  If a nursing home or those who work there violate these regulations and standards causing harm to a resident,...

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Chicago lawyer faces sanctions for suit against Malaysia Airlines

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...

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Chicago cop wins $540K suit against sergeant accused of taunting him

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. Chicago cop wins $540K suit against sergeant accused of taunting him...

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Family of Drowned Brothers Plans $60 Million Lawsuit

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. Family of Drowned Brothers Plans $60 Million Lawsuit...

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Suburban school district seeks dismissal of bullying lawsuit

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,"...

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Newspapers Move to Unseal Chicago’s Opioid Lawsuit

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...

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When the Boss Says, ‘Don’t Tell Your Coworkers How Much You Get Paid’

Under the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (NLRA), all workers have the right to engage “concerted activity for mutual aid or protection” and “organize a union to negotiate with [their] employer concerning [their] wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.” In six states, including my home state of Illinois, the law even more explicitly protects the rights of workers to discuss their pay. This is true whether the employers make their threats verbally or on paper and whether the consequences are firing or merely some sort of cold shoulder from management. My managers at the coffee shop seemed to...

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