Inside these posts: legal issues

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Caterpillar said to pay $9M to resolve tractor suit

From Bloomberg News | Peoria-based manufacturing giant Caterpillar Inc. paid more than $9 million to settle a paralyzed worker’s lawsuit over a tractor accident that generated one of last year’s largest produc-liability verdicts, according to people familiar with the accord.

Chicago lawyer reprimanded by federal appeals court

The federal court of appeals in Chicago took the unusual step of reprimanding a Chicago lawyer for unprofessional behavior and fined him $5,000.

The court cited Michael Greco, 47, for repeatedly missing deadlines and ignoring phone calls from court officials, in an opinion released Tuesday. Judge Frank Easterbrook, who wrote the opinion, described Greco’s conduct in harsh terms. Get the full story »

Abbott settles HIV pricing claims with pharmacies

Abbott Laboratories has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by CVS Caremark Corp., Rite Aid Corp. and other retailers who accused it of unfairly boosting the price of HIV drugs, a company spokeswoman said. Get the full story »

Deere accused of systematic sex bias in hiring

From BusinessWeek | Moline-based Deere & Co., the world’s largest maker of agricultural equipment, was accused in an amended lawsuit of systematically discriminating against women seeking entry-level positions.

Walgreen Co. accused of selling patient data

A lawsuit filed in California this week accuses national drug-store chain Walgreen Co. of unlawfully selling medical information gleaned from patient prescriptions, another front in the battle over personal information.

Unlike suits that focus on patient privacy, the plaintiffs accuse Walgreen Co. of depriving them of the commercial value of their own prescription information. Get the full story »

American Apparel CEO held teen as sex slave: Suit

Dov Charney. (Reuters)

American Apparel founder and chief executive Dov Charney is being sued for $250 million by a woman who said he treated her as a sex slave when she was a teenage sales employee at the clothing chain.

Irene Morales of Brooklyn, New York, has accused Charney, 42, of sexual harassment, creating a hostile workplace, gender discrimination and retaliation.

American Apparel and directors at the company have also been named as defendants in the lawsuit, filed in a New York state court on Friday. Morales accused them of failing to protect her, and said they knew or should have known that Charney was a “sexual predator.” Get the full story »

Suburban Chicago man pleads guilty to $18M fraud

A suburban Chicago businessman has pleaded guilty to stealing $18 million of public money set aside for minority businesses.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Tuesday that 58-year-old Ronald Blum of New Lenox pleaded guilty to two counts of minority business fraud. Blum owns the Markham-based Castle Construction Corp. Get the full story »

U.S. judge refuses to halt new health care law

A U.S. judge Thursday put on hold his ruling that President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul was unconstitutional, allowing the White House to continue implementing the landmark legislation for now.

But U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson failed to dispel widespread uncertainty about the fate of the highly-politicized health care reform law. He gave the Obama administration seven days to ask an appeals court to quickly review his Jan. 31 ruling and said the law could be declared void if it failed to meet the deadline. Get the full story »

Abbott wins appeal of Humira patent enfringement

Abbott's Humira drug. (Handout)

Turning back a threat to sales of Abbott Laboratories’ most lucrative drug, a federal appeals court Wednesday overturned a lower court ruling that claimed the North Chicago drug giant used Johnson & Johnson’s technology to make  a blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug.

Humira is Abbott’s largest-selling product and one of the world’s top-selling drugs, generating more than $5 billion in annual sales as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis among other autoimmune disorders.

The ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eastern District of Texas overturned a $1.67 billion verdict against Abbott from Marshall County. At the time of the lower court ruling last year, observers said it was known for being friendly to plaintiffs. Get the full story »

O’Hare expansion lawsuit to move to trial

By Jon Hilkevitch | United and American airlines’ lawsuit against Chicago over the expansion of O’Hare International Airport will move toward trial after negotiations have so far failed to break an impasse, officials said Thursday.

Both sides on Thursday asked Judge Richard Billik of Cook County Circuit Court to lift a one-week delay on hearing the lawsuit, which seeks to prevent the city from borrowing more money to keep the O’Hare project going.

The delay was intended to give negotiations a chance to resolve major differences over the financing and timing of new runways. Get the full story »

Downers Grove swindler gets 16 years in Ponzi scheme

David Hernandez’s lifetime of lying has caught up to him, said a federal judge who sentenced the Downers Grove man Friday to more than 16 years in prison for swindling more than 250 people out of $6.4 million.

Hernandez, best known for starting an Internet-based sports talk show with radio personality Mike North, apologized to his fraud victims in a rambling, tearful statement to U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman. Hernandez pleaded for sympathy because he claims to suffer from mental illness brought on by childhood abuse. Get the full story »

Conrad Black to be resentenced in June for fraud

Conrad Black, the wealthy Canadian native who was chairman of a Chicago-based newspaper empire, will be resentenced in June on two counts that survived an appellate court’s review of his 2007 fraud conviction, a federal judge decided today.

Playboy ends dispute with DirecTV

From The Hollywood Reporter | Playboy Enterprises will take a $13 million charge on its fourth-quarter earnings after having ended its legal dispute with DirecTV, the company said in a filing Thursday.

Toyota awarded $2.6M over whistleblower’s claims

An arbitrator has awarded Toyota $2.6 million in damages against a former in-house attorney who turned into a whistleblower and sued the automaker.

Microsoft co-founder relaunches tech patent suit

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen relaunched a wide-ranging patent lawsuit against Apple, Google, Facebook and others with specific allegations that the companies are illegally using technology owned by his company. Get the full story »