Wage Disputes/Class Actions:
Recovered over $5 million, under ERISA, for thousands of employees who had their employer 401(k) plan invested in an investment that failed. (Northern District of Illinois; Chicago)
In the first 7 months of 2018, we entered into settlements for over $2 million in several wage and collective cases, including tower technicians not paid for drive time/overtime, hourly workers not paid overtime for attendance bonuses and other incentive pay, for restaurant workers who allegedly had deductions from their pay for uniforms and meals, and other alleged wage violations, employees paid straight time for all hours worked, and for workers classified as exempt.
In 2018, obtained a reversal and remand before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for our client who sued for overtime wages and other relief under the FLSA. To read more, click here or here or here or here or here.
Represented a marketing company against a putative class and collective action alleging violations of the FLSA and the Illinois Minimum Wage Law for allegedly failing to pay overtime wages. We were able to obtain a favorable settlement within months of the case being filed. (Judge Castillo, Chicago, Illinois)
Obtained a $333,000 settlement for cell tower services that challenged the practice of not factoring in all drive time for overtime purposes. The case was closely watched as it wrestled with an important issue of whether driving constituted hours worked under the FLSA. To read more click here or here or here. Our clients alleged that they were not properly paid for their drive time, i.e., the time driving to remote tower locations.
Obtained a $550,000 settlement against WeatherTech for overtime claims. To read more, click here.
In Cook County, Illinois we brought claims under the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act against a clothing store retailer who allegedly deducted money from paychecks without consent. The case was successfully settled on a class-wide basis.
In the Northern District of Illinois, we prosecuted a vacation forfeiture class-wide settlement under Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act against national school bus company and the case settled on a class-wide basis in 2016.
We successfully pursued overtime claims for “store managers” who were paid on a “salary” but subject to deductions in compensation (for cash register shortages and other reasons); case settled on class wide basis.
Represented employees of physical therapy company who worked in care facilities for their claims that they were paid improper, worked off the clock, and not properly paid overtime. Case information is available here and certification ruling is available here.
Defended a Naperville-based international marketing company in a putative nationwide class action seeking in excess of $5 million that alleged our client (directly and through its agents) had caused the transmission of unauthorized text (SMS) messages to cellular telephones in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Without paying any money whatsoever, our client was voluntarily dismissed with prejudice less than 10 months after the lawsuit was filed and prior to class certification consideration. (Northern District of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, Opposing Counsel: Edelson, Chicago, Illinois)
Defended a putative class action lawsuit alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and conversion. The complaint alleged that our clients had sent unsolicited fax advertisements and therefore sought damages on behalf of the proposed class. The plaintiff was G.M. Sign, Inc. which has brought many similar lawsuits. After being retained, we filed a motion to dismiss which Judge Castillo granted. Thereafter, the plaintiff re-filed a similar putative class action against our clients in Lake County, Illinois. We removed that case to the Northern District of Illinois, filed another motion to dismiss, and the putative class action was then dismissed with prejudice by the plaintiff. (Chicago, Illinois; Opposing Counsel: Anderson + Wanca and Botch & Hatch LLC)
Defended a putative class action lawsuit alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The complaint alleged that our clients had made unsolicited automated pre-recorded telephone calls to sell their products. Shortly after we took the plaintiff’s deposition the plaintiff agreed to dismiss the case with prejudice and without any money paid by our client to the plaintiff, the class, or its lawyers. (Chicago, Illinois; Opposing Counsel: Lite DePalma Greenberg LLC; Judge Pallmeyer)
Defended a Chicago based hotel against a putative class action lawsuit that alleged violations of wage and hour laws, including the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, defamation, and discrimination. The court denied class certification and dismissed all claims brought by two of the class representatives for discovery sanctions. Thereafter, the remaining class representatives agreed to dismiss their claims without being paid any money. (Judge Grady, Northern District of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois)
Along with other counsel, helped recover millions of dollars for approximately 2,000 investors who had invested in a limited partnership commodities fund. The fiduciaries responsible for the limited partnership entrusted the investors’ money to a company that ended up filing for bankruptcy after its officers had allegedly misappropriated assets. As a result of the bankruptcy filing, the investors were unable to access their money. After approximately one year of Federal court litigation, a settlement was reached that provided millions of dollars for the limited partners. (Chicago, Illinois) Read the Notice
Defended pizza franchisees against class and collective lawsuits alleging they failed to pay overtime and minimum wages correctly.
Along with other counsel, helped recover $1.3 million on behalf of a group of minority shareholders of a community bank. The lawsuit alleged that certain directors of the bank had breached their fiduciary duties to a class of shareholders when the bank converted from being a subchapter C to a subchapter S corporation. The case was filed in the Northern District of Illinois and the Honorable Judge Joan F. Lefkow appointed David Fish to serve as co-Class Counsel for the minority shareholders who were forced to sell their stock.
Defended a former employee of a fortune 100 financial company who was sued after he and several people he supervised went to work for a competitor. The lawsuit alleged that our client had stolen trade secrets by taking electronic files, breached his fiduciary duty by soliciting other employees to leave, and violated a non-solicitation contract. We achieved a favorable resolution for our client within 8 months of when the lawsuit was filed.
We, along with co-counsel, represented the founder and former officer of a company who was sued for misappropriating trade secrets, violating an agreement to not compete after a buy-out, and allegedly utilizing confidential information. The company sought a preliminary injunction and damages. A hearing/trial was heard before American Arbitration Association and our client prevailed.
Defended former sales manager of national entertainment company sued for going to a competitor and accused of violating trade secret laws, defamation, and engaging in a conspiracy to take customers and business away from his prior employer and to his new job. Our client’s motion to dismiss on the basis of jurisdiction granted; our client was dismissed and case remained against other parties. (Chicago, Illinois)
Employment Contract Disputes:
Defended a former employee of an Illinois based bank who was sued after it was alleged that he was a loan officer who violated his employment contract and misappropriated bank assets and committed violations of the Illinois Trade Secrets Act. All claims against our client were voluntarily dismissed. (Cook County, Illinois)
Defended medical practice and its physician owner against a psychologist claiming nearly $1 million in damages, interest and fees pursuant to an “Employment Agreement” and under the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act. We obtained summary judgment on all claims in favor of our client. (Federal Court, Chicago, Illinois) Click here for ruling.
Defended international company sued by former consultant who alleged his stock option rights were violated; (Cook County, Illinois).
Defended international franchisor against claims by a former employee/consultant before the American Arbitration Association who alleged he was owned commissions for procuring sales. Case went to final decision and claimant obtained less that what he was offered in pre-filing negotiations.
Defended a former worker at a construction company who was accused of embezzlement of funds by his own brother, along with other claims. We successfully obtained dismissal of each of the company’s claims and our client did not have to pay any money to resolve the case. (DuPage County, Illinois)
Minority Shareholder Rights:
Represented a minority shareholder being squeezed-out of a professional firm and asserted claims for breach of fiduciary duty resulting in a successful settlement.
Defended a minority owner of several LLCs who was being deprived of information about his companies which led to a positive buy-out.
Employment Discrimination/Retaliation Disputes:
On behalf of two employees, our employment lawyers helped obtain nearly $400,000 in judgments (through offers of judgment) in an employment discrimination case brought on behalf of an employee who was allegedly fired on the basis of a disability and on behalf of a human resources employee who allegedly opposed the termination. We asserted that the defendant had improperly failed to preserve evidence and we were successful in having the court agree to issue an adverse inference jury instruction for use at trial, the ruling of which is available here. Click here for ruling. (Chicago, Illinois)
Represented a 10 year + employee of a company who who went to visit his sick mother and then was fired when he returned. After we claimed violations of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the company offered our client full reinstatement. The company ultimately agreed to pay what was in excess of 1 year of compensation to our client.
In 2017, we received a ruling in our client’s favor for a claim of unlawful retaliation in a hearing before the American Arbitration Association. After a multi-day hearing, our client was awarded substantial damages for her retaliation claim.
Successfully represented former employee of association in wrongful termination claim of national original and race discrimination. Company asserted termination was based upon poor performance. Summary judgment was denied and a settlement was reached shortly before trial. (Chicago, Illinois)
Represented engineer of company regulated by the nuclear regulatory commission (NRC). After he made safety-related complaints to the NRC about whether the company was complying with the ASME Code related to safety, he was terminated. We asserted claims for common law discharge and violations of the Whistleblower Act. (Chicago, Illinois)
Defended manufacturing company in an age and disability discrimination lawsuit brought by a former employee claiming he was wrongfully fired as a result of his age and disability in violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act. Following the filing of our motion for summary judgment, the employee agreed to voluntarily dismiss his lawsuit without any payment. (Kane County, Illinois)
Represented high-ranking employee at a company that instituted a plan to terminate older employees because of their perceived lack of energy. After our client (who was not one of the older workers) opposed and protested the age-based decisions, he was fired and we filed a claim of retaliation for opposing age discrimination in violation of the ADEA. Case successfully resolved after litigation filed. (Chicago, Illinois)
National Labor Relations Board:
Defended employer in complaint filed by National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB alleged that our client had retaliated against an employee for engaging in protected and concerted activities. At trial, the administrative law judge recommended a finding in favor of our client on each and every claim. The NLRB General Counsel appealed the judge’s decision by filing exceptions. On appeal, our client prevailed. Ruling is here.
Represented numerous parties in disputes alleging violations of the National Labor Relations Act before the NLRB.
Medical/Dental Practice Disputes
Defended dental practice against claims by independent contractor dentist who alleged claims for breach of contract and fraud arising out of work for a dental practice. (DuPage County, Illinois) We have also been engaged in several matters involving employment disputes in the medical field, including relating to non-compete disputes.
We represented a highly compensated professional in a medical practice who alleged sexual harassment and retaliation arising out of a relationship with one of the owners of the business where she worked. Resulted in outstanding settlement for client prior to filing a lawsuit.
Represented worker who alleged she was sexually assaulted at a workplace event and fired in retaliation for reporting it to her local police department. Claims were asserted under the Illinois Whistleblower Act and also for wage claims. Obtained substantial agreed judgment. (Chicago, Illinois)
Represented auditing firm in litigation in suing former vice president and board member after he had been accused of sexual harassment and had his employment terminated; allegations included breach of fiduciary duties and counterclaims for compensation under various contracts. (DuPage County, Illinois)
Represented medical professional who had an intimate relationship with one of the married physician owners where she worked. After the relationship ended, the nature of the work relationship ended. We were able to resolve on a pre-lawsuit basis, including all sexual harassment claims, our client’s case to her satisfaction.
Defended a university professor against allegations of harassment and sex discrimination by his former students. The plaintiffs alleged that the professor violated Title IX, committed assault and battery, and inflicted negligent and intentional emotional distress upon them based upon conduct that occurred while they were students at a private university. Within less than 1 year of the lawsuit being filed, we convinced the plaintiffs to voluntarily dismiss their claims against our client–with prejudice (i.e., they cannot file another case on the same claims against our client) — and without being paid any money whatsoever. (Chicago, Illinois) We have represented several woman who have been sexually harassed, or had inappropriate sexual behavior from their superiors at work.
Business Disputes and Partnership Litigation
In the Northern District of Illinois, Mr. Fish helped obtain a $2.35 million jury verdict in a commercial bribery/trade defamation case brought on behalf of a manufacturing company. The lawsuit was filed after our client discovered that one of its main competitors was “dumpster diving” to obtain valuable customer and sales information from the dumpster behind its corporate headquarters. The jury assessed $635,000 in punitive damages.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty:
Represented a business and one of its shareholders in a jury trial in Will County (Joliet), Illinois. At trial we argued that a former shareholder of the corporation had breached her fiduciary duties by, among other things, working with a property management company and a neighboring business to misappropriate corporate assets. The jury found in favor of our clients on all counts which went to the jury, including conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, and aiding and abetting the breach of fiduciary duty. Compensatory and punitive damages were assessed against all five defendants, including the neighboring businesses (and its owners individually), the property management company (and individually against a physician who acted on its behalf), and our client’s former business partner. (Will County, Joliet, Illinois)
Fraud and Contract Claims:
Defended a Cook County general contractor and its president who were sued for fraud and breach of contract in the Circuit Court of Cook County. The case proceeded to trial. At the close of the plaintiff’s case, we obtained a directed finding in favor of one of our clients and the case was resolved very favorably as to our other client. (Cook County, Illinois)
On behalf of two international clients, we sued a seller of a nearly $2 million airplane who refused to honor an oral commission agreement. The airplane–which was housed at the Aurora Municipal Airport in Aurora, Illinois–was being sold to a large foreign medical company from Argentina. We filed a lawsuit against the Illinois seller/leasing company in the Circuit Court of Kane County, Illinois. Within months of filing suit, the case was resolved. (Kane County, Geneva, Illinois)
Went to trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County in a partnership dispute over a real estate company. Our client had provided a substantial sum of money towards what she thought would make her 50/50 partners in an Illinois LLC. Unfortunately, no written agreements were executed and the defendants took the position that the money was an investment that could be kept. The trial court dismissed our oral breach of contract claim in pre-trial proceedings so went to trial on an unjust enrichment theory. At trial, the judge ruled in our client’s favor, the defendants withdrew their appeal before the Illinois Appellate Court, and our client received 100% of the judgment that was awarded.
Defended a large rental company in a lawsuit brought by a doctor who alleged violations of The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, and public disclosure of private facts. The doctor alleged that the rental companies had violated state and federal law in retrieving their property. Approximately 11 months after the case was filed, the court granted our motion to dismiss the federal claim and declined to exercise jurisdiction over the state law claims, which brought the litigation to an end against our clients. (Northern District of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, Judge Gottschall).
Defending Physicians In Business Disputes:
Defended a physician who purchased a medical practice in Cook County, Illinois after he was sued for not paying for the medical practice. We filed counterclaims against the seller of the medical practice alleging that the sale was tainted by fraud. Prior to any depositions taking place in the case, we were able to achieve an outstanding settlement for our client. (Cook County, Chicago, Illinois)
Defended a not-for-profit company against allegations of defamation, invasion of privacy, and false light after a posting was made by one of its employees on the company’s Internet site. We removed the case from the Circuit Court of DuPage County (Wheaton, Illinois) to the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago and filed motions asking that the lawsuit be dismissed in its entirety. Within 60 days of the lawsuit’s filing, Federal Judge Blanche M. Manning dismissed the case with prejudice.
We were retained to enforce the provisions in a will and trust in a dispute between siblings. For years, our client’s brother had unilaterally used and benefited from valuable real estate and refused to distribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to our client. We filed suit in the Circuit Court of DuPage County, Illinois and filed an emergency motion to have our client’s brother removed as the trustee. Shortly thereafter, the case was resolved favorably for our client. (Judge Wheaton, DuPage County, Illinois)
Tried to verdict a case where the plaintiff alleged that our client (a fitness company and its owner) had induced him to invest substantial sums of money into a business in exchange for the repayment of loans, ownership in a business, and other benefits. The Plaintiff had begun taking steps towards franchising the business and allegedly believed millions would be made. After that failed to occur, the plaintiff alleged piercing the corporate veil, breach of fiduciary duty, and sought a constructive trust over a new company that our client had formed. We were able to obtain the dismissal of our individual client before trial. The plaintiff proceeded to trial against the new company that our client had formed. At trial, we prevailed in demonstrating that there was no liability against the new company that had been formed. (Will County, Joliet, Illinois, Judge Petrungaro)
Piercing The Corporate Veil Cases:
A former shareholder of an Illinois corporation retained The Fish Law Firm, P.C. after creditors of the company sought to “pierce the corporate veil” by suing him, and two other shareholders of the same company, for fraud in DuPage County, Illinois. Mr. Fish’s client was dismissed from the case, with prejudice, a few months before trial was scheduled. (Judge Wheaton, DuPage County, Wheaton, Illinois)
Dissolution/Asset Misappropriation Cases:
Defended an Illinois contractor after one of its former officers and shareholders sued for breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, violations of ERISA, seeking the payment of dividends, and requesting dissolution. The lawsuit settled shortly after we filed a counterclaim alleging that the minority stockholder had breached his fiduciary duties by: paying himself when he did not show up to work, used company assets for personal expenses, misappropriated company equipment, and committed negligence by neglecting his duties when he was employed. (Judge Popejoy, DuPage County, Wheaton, Illinois)
NOTE: The outcome of each case is dependent upon the unique facts. Nothing herein should be interpreted to suggest that a case that we handle in the future will experience a similar result. The above are examples of cases that our firm or our lawyers have worked on or assisted with.