Kirk Jenkins

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Illinois Supreme Court Clarifies Scope of Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress Without Physical Impact

Courts in most jurisdictions have been cautious about the parameters of any possible cause of action for negligent infliction of emotional distress where the plaintiff has pled no physical impact.  The Illinois Supreme Court clarified the scope of that claim in one of its last decisions of 2016, affirming the Appellate Court in Schweihs v. … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Overturns Dismissal of Tenured High School Teacher

In early December, a unanimous Illinois Supreme Court held that a Board of Education’s decision to terminate a tenured high school teacher’s employment was “arbitrary, unreasonable, and unrelated to the requirements of service,” affirming an earlier order that she be reinstated with back pay and benefits. The Court affirmed a decision from the Fifth District … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Affirms Constitutionality of Cook County Inspector General’s Office

In 2007, the Cook County Board of Commissioners created the Office of the Inspector General. The Board tasked the IG with investigating corruption, fraud, waste and mismanagement, including by “separately elected County officials,” and instructed all county departments, employees and elected officials to cooperate in the IG’s investigations. The IG is empowered to conduct sworn … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Sequel to Attorneys’ Fees Dispute

Is an attorney referral agreement enforceable if it doesn’t expressly state that the attorneys are assuming “joint financial responsibility” in representing the clients?  Late in the November term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide that issue, allowing a petition for leave to appeal in Ferris, Thompson & Zweig, Ltd. v. Esposito, a decision from … Continue Reading

May A Hospital Lien Be Enforced Against a Minor?

Illinois law provides that every health care professional and health care provider that “renders any service in the treatment, care, or maintenance of an injured person,” the care provider may assert a lien against “all claims and causes of action” of the injured person up to the amount of the care provider’s charges. In the … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court to Clarify What Constitutes a Public Utility in Dispute Over Proposed Transmission Line

May the Illinois Commerce Commission grant a certificate of public convenience and necessity, authorizing construction of new projects by an entity which not only is not a public utility, but isn’t applying to be certified as one?  That’s one of the many important questions for the utility bar which the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Med Mal Statute of Repose Bars Relation Back

Under Illinois law, claims for medical malpractice are subject to a four-year statute of repose (735 ILCS 5/13-212(a).) The statute of limitations is two years, but the statute also provides for application of the relation back doctrine (735 ILCS 5/2-616(b).) In late September, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide whether the statute of repose … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide If State Freedom of Information Act Applies to High School Association

The Illinois state Freedom of Information Act applies broadly to any “public body” in state or local government. The Act defines “public body” to include subsidiaries of any public body, “including but not limited to committees and subcommittees thereof.” The Act does not, however, expressly define what is meant by a “subsidiary public body.” The … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Trial Court Can Hear Reparation Claim Against Alternative Retail Electric Supplier

Does the Illinois Commerce Commission have exclusive jurisdiction over a claim by a residential consumer against an alternative retail electric supplier for restitution of rate overpayments? Last month, the Illinois Supreme Court answered a certified question from the Seventh Circuit in Zahn v. North American Power & Gas, LLC, holding that the answer was “no.” … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Adopts Broad Construction of Gaming Board’s Jurisdiction

Is a contract purporting to assign rights to place video gaming terminals in certain establishments from one unlicensed operator to another within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Illinois Gaming Board where the terminals had not yet been placed and began operation? In late September, a unanimous Illinois Supreme Court held that the answer was “yes,” … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Employer Liable for Part of Employee’s Legal Fees in Workers Compensation Dispute

When attorneys for a worker covered by the Workers Compensation Act successfully sue a third party for injuries sustained by the worker in the course of his or her employment, the employer can get reimbursed for some or all of the workers compensation benefits it paid to the employee. In recognition of the benefit the … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Dispute Over Alleged Predatory Real Estate Practices

In the closing days of its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court allowed a petition for leave to appeal in People ex rel. Madigan v. Wildermuth.  Wildermuth, a decision from Division Five of the First District, poses the following question: “Whether the State may claim a violation under the Illinois Human Rights Act pursuant to … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Clarify Conduct Sufficient to Overcome Schools’ Immunity

Section 3-108 of the Illinois Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act provides that local public entities and their employees are immune from tort liability caused by a failure to supervise an activity on public property except where their failure to supervise rises to a level of willful and wanton conduct. 745 ILCS 10/3-108(a). … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Six-Person Limit on Jury Size Unconstitutional

Late in its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court handed down its unanimous opinion in Kakos v. Butler, holding that Public Act 98-1132, a 2015 statute in which the Illinois legislature limited civil juries to six persons, was facially unconstitutional.  Here’s our report on the oral argument, predicting that the Court would strike down the … Continue Reading

Sharply Divided Illinois Supreme Court Keeps Redistricting Reform Off November Ballot

Last night, in a case that produced four opinions from the seven-member Court, a sharply divided Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s judgment in Hooker v. Illinois State Board of Elections holding that a ballot initiative which would have fundamentally rewritten the legislative redistricting procedures in Illinois was not constitutionally eligible for the ballot. … Continue Reading

Divided Illinois Supreme Court Holds No Property Disputes Between Ex-Domestic Partners

In Blumenthal v. Brewer, the Illinois Supreme Court was asked to overrule its thirty-seven year old decision in Hewitt v. Hewitt and hold that Illinois would join the vast majority of states in recognizing a cause of action for equitable division of property between unmarried domestic partners. Last Thursday, a divided court declined that invitation, … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Clarifies the Constitutional Law of the Takings Clause in O’Hare Flooding Case

Earlier this month, the Illinois Supreme Court clarified Illinois constitutional law on compensable takings with its unanimous decision by Chief Justice Garman, reversing in Hampton v. Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Our detailed summary of the underlying facts and lower court decision in Hampton is here. The plaintiffs in Hampton own property in … Continue Reading