Recent Litigation Matters
Over the last decade, the attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC have represented Fortune 100 companies with regard to the defense of toxic tort claims made against such entities as a result of premise and product liability claims concerning the alleged exposure to substances such as asbestos, benzene, and vinyl chloride. Over that time frame, the attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC have handled in excess of 500 cases, each with an average exposure in each case to our clients of in excess of $5,000,000.00. During the course of our representation of these entities, we achieved volumes of voluntary and involuntary dismissals of such matters from counsel for the claimants, or by way of motion. In the event that a matter were to proceed on the merits, our average fees and settlement values for such matters were each under six figures. Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC prides itself on such results, given the high exposures to our clients in such matters. We were able to achieve such results due to our understanding of our client’s corporate history, our long standing relationship with plaintiffs’ attorneys in such matters, as well as its diligence in pursuing the merits of defensible claims.
Micula, et al. v. Gov’t of Romania
RFC attorneys successfully overturned a judgment entered by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against their client, the Government of Romania, by appealing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Plaintiffs filed an ex parte petition in the District Court seeking to enforce an international arbitration award. The District Court entered judgment against Romania in the amount of 376,433,229 Romanian Leu (RON) ($96,341,169.88), plus interest. On appeal, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit agreed with RFC’s arguments that plaintiffs violated the Foreign Sovereigns Immunity Act. Specifically, Plaintiffs should have filed a plenary action to enforce the judgment, not an ex parte petition; that the New York District Court was an improper venue for plaintiffs’ action; and that the New York District Court lacked personal and subject matter jurisdiction to enter a judgment against Romania. For those reasons, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated the District Court’s judgment. Thereafter, the District Court reversed the judgment and dismissed Plaintiffs’ petition.
Aqua Service Management Co., vs Township of Lockport
Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC (“RFC”), recently won a significant breach of contract case on behalf of one of its clients and against the Township of Lockport (“Lockport”) and its utility board. RFC asserted various claims against Lockport, with RFC primarily arguing that Lockport had prematurely and unjustifiably terminated the contract with RFC’s client. At trial, RFC obtained a high six-figure judgment in favor of its client. Lockport appealed the judgment to the Third District Appellate Court, where RFC defended the judgment on appeal. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgment in full, and the Illinois Supreme Court declined Lockport’s Petition for Leave to Appeal, which was also defended by RFC. Successful judgment enforcement was also prosecuted by RFC on behalf of its client.
Salmeron v. ERS: The attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC represented the defendant, one of the nation’s largest student loan collection agencies, against claims from a former employee alleging violations of the False Claims Act. The district court granted our dispositive motion on Plaintiff’s complaint, with prejudice. The dismissal was affirmed by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The decision is believed to be the first of its kind in holding that a claim can be dismissed as a sanction for disclosing a document the parties agreed to be for “attorney’s eyes only,” but not protected by a protective order. Our client was facing exposure in excess of $28,000,000.
ERS v. Salmeron: The attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC represented the plaintiff in an action against a former employee for fraud in the inducement and breach of fiduciary duty. Employee stole proprietary information and fraudulently induced plaintiff into executing a settlement agreement upon termination of her employment. After successfully barring the defendant from producing any evidence in her defense, the trial court granted our motion for summary judgment and awarded damages in mid-six figures.
McCaffrey v. Kerr-McGee: Our client operated a rare earths facility in West Chicago, Illinois. The plaintiff, an employee of a contractor, filed suit against our client after he slipped and fell at the facility. The attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC successfully resolved the claims by establishing contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff.
Blankenship v. Kerr-McGee: In defending a lawsuit filed by 18 former employees of a Firestone facility in Decatur, Illinois, the attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC were able to reach a favorable settlement with each plaintiff by attacking the cause of plaintiff’s injuries as well as the evidence linking our client’s product to the facility. The confidential settlements were a small percentage of the client’s ultimate exposure.
Midwest Bank v. Union Pacific: Our attorneys successfully resolved action for breach of contract and negligence arising out of contamination that occurred in rail yard in Chicago’s south side. Our client was facing exposure in excess of $2 million. The confidential settlement was a fraction of the exposure.
Hawkinson Nissan v. Planet Honda: Represented Hawkinson Nissan (plaintiff); within 30 days of filing suit, obtained consent judgment, permanent injunction, and attorney fees for improper use of client’s trademark.
Rivera v. Sheridan Place LLC: Represented plaintiff; within 60 days of filing suit, obtained full amount asked for in damages for contractor’s failure to perform a residential construction contract.
Rokos v. Unilever, et al.: Represented Unilever; settled for a high six figure demand premise liability matter for a double digit confidential amount and obtained indemnification from third-party insurer for 90% of attorney fees and costs and 80% of settlement payment.
VMedia v. Meadows Club Realty LLC: Represented Meadows Club Realty LLC (defendant); VMedia, without notice, executed a writ of replevin on certain stereo equipment in the possession of our client. We immediately obtained an Order from the Court returning the parties to status quo. After the matter was heard on its merits, the court found in our client’s favor, and ordered plaintiff to forfeit their replevin bond, which resulted in a payment to our client for the full amount of damages.
OS&M v. Blackwing Ostrich Farm: The attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC represented OS&M. After 24 months of non-payment for a high six figures worth of imported product, our client retained us to obtain said amounts of money from delinquent defendant. The entire outstanding amount was obtained in less than 60 days.
Laborers’ Pension Fund, et al. v. MACC Environmental, LLC, et al.: The attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC represented defendants. Facing exposure of over $1.5 million for alleged unpaid union ERISA contributions, back wages, interest, costs, and attorney fees, and allegations of fraud, we procured a settlement for approximately a single digit percentage of the amount to be claimed.
Maitland v. Connor: The attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC were able to achieve a voluntary dismissal of Defendant emergency room physician that did not have insurance coverage. The matter arose out of an allegation of a misdiagnosis of meningitis. Subsequent to the dismissal of our client, the remaining physician defendants settled the matter for in excess of $5 million.
Wasikowski v. Connor, Furlan, and Urgo: The attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC were able to achieve the voluntary dismissal of three emergency room physicians that did not have insurance coverage for the allegations contained within plaintiff’s complaint, which alleged the failure to diagnose an existing condition which resulted in plaintiff suffering an alleged neurological disorder. The remaining physicians in this matter subsequently settled the case with plaintiff for undisclosed amount believed to be near seven figures.
Toth v. Rush University Medical Center: The attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC obtained a high six figure jury verdict in favor of the client, who was the plaintiff in a medical malpractice matter which alleged negligence on the part of the plaintiff’s attending physician and Rush University Medical Center during the performance of a partial mastectomy. We represented the plaintiff during a week-long jury trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County. Plaintiff was able to enforce her verdict against both named defendants.
Aqua Service v. Bates: The attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC were able to achieve a settlement that was in the high six figures for Aqua Service after defendant, a former principal of Aqua Service, utilized Aqua Service trade secrets for the creation of his own business, in competition with Aqua Service. We were successful in establishing that the materials obtained by defendant in this case were its client’s trade secrets and, therefore, protected by way of court order.
Morkos v. Naim: The attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC were able to obtain a judgment against defendant with regard to a breach of contract claim concerning defendant’s failure to perform his obligations pursuant to a promissory note. The judgment achieved by us values in high six figures. The judgment obtained by us also included our client’s fees and costs associated with the prosecution of this claim.
Amada v. Precision: The attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC were able to achieve a judgment against defendant in an amount in excess of $1 million due to defendant’s breach of its contract with our client. The judgment achieved by us in this matter also included values for the client’s fees and costs related to the prosecution of its claim. From inception, the matter was concluded within six months of our initial filing of plaintiff’s complaint.
Excel Dowel v. “X”: The attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC were able to achieve a successful resolution of claims made against its defendant client via mediation in advance of litigation. Plaintiff’s allegations arose out of an alleged breach of an asset purchase agreement. The value of the original agreement was in the eight figure range. Our efforts in advance of litigation facilitated the resolution of the dispute, which resulted in the parties’ ability to finalize the asset purchase agreement in an amicable fashion.
CEVA Logistics, Inc. and EGL Eagle Global Logistics, LP v. American Home Assurance Company: Underlying litigation arose out of the destruction of a multi-million dollar jet engine while in transit. The attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC represented the freight forwarder in a coverage dispute matter with the carrier, American Home Assurance Company. Subsequent to an outright denial of coverage, our attorneys negotiated and secured its client substantial coverage in advance of the settlement of the underlying litigation.
Amada America, Inc. v. Precision Metals, et al.: The attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC represented a manufacturer and global lessor of heavy machinery and factory equipment, against a Chicago-based metal manufacturing company that was in breach of various contractual obligations to our client. Our attorneys secured a seven figure judgment in our client’s favor. While enforcing that judgment, our attorneys also recouped dozens of pieces of heavy machinery while fending off numerous creditors and purchasers of the opposing party’s assets.
City of Chicago v. 529 Condominium Association, et al.: The attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC represent numerous condominium associations in matters adverse to the City of Chicago, developers, and contractors. In this particular matter, our attorneys secured the dismissal of this action filed against the condominium association and its individual members. Additionally, our attorneys secured a partial occupancy for the condominium owners, ensuring that future actions could not be filed by the City of Chicago. Concurrently, our attorneys negotiated with the City of Chicago and brokered a reduced payment of delinquent taxes related to the condominium property, which were caused by a fraudulent developer that had fled the country. Our attorneys then recouped additional funds owed to our clients pursuant to the original sale of the condominium units and applied those funds to satisfy the outstanding tax liens on the property.
Cook County v. 2930 Lee Street Property: The attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC defended their small business client in a zoning action filed by Cook County. Had the zoning action been successful, it would have threatened the business operations of our client and presented a real potential that the company itself, would be shut down. Our attorneys successfully secured a ruling that estopped Cook County from enforcing the zoning code against our client’s property. In other words, Cook County and the State’s Attorney were prevented from enforcing a portion of the existing zoning code that threatened our client’s livelihood.
Illinois Central Sweeping v. International Teamsters: The attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC represent many small and mid-sized business in various disputes with local unions. In this instance, we successfully defended our business owner client against union harassment by pursuing remedies through the Illinois Department of Labor and the Federal Court system. Our attorneys negotiated an agreement through the federal court action, whereby certain union actions became prohibited, the leader of the Local was removed from his International post following the resolution and our client was able to resume his normal business operations.
Murphy Paving v. Illinois Department of Labor – The attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC represent many businesses in disputes with the Illinois Department of Labor. In this instance, the Illinois Department of Labor alleged that our client owed mid-six figures in back-due wages for prevailing wage work done in Illinois. Our attorneys successfully cut the alleged amount owed by over 80% and negotiated a settlement and release of the all the alleged claims against our client.
Peerless Industries, Inc. in re: Various Asbestos Matters – The attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC have secured dismissals for our client, a major Chicagoland manufacturer, of various asbestos matters in which our client has been improperly named. Prior to engaging our attorneys, our client had previously engaged a large Chicago law firm to handle these matters. Our attorneys handled these same matters at a substantially lower cost than the much larger firm that our client had previously engaged.
Standard Equipment v. International Union of Auto Mechanics Local 701 – The attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC successfully represented our equipment manufacturing client in negotiations with its employee base, and its union representatives, in the comprehensive overhaul of the company’s union agreement. Our attorneys secured terms that were more favorable to our client, in this uncertain economic climate.
Scrip v. Hessco – The attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC represented our client, a chiropractic device distributor, in a dispute arising from our client’s acquisition of a device distribution company. Our attorneys successfully negotiated a settlement in our client’s favor in mid-six figures.
“X” v. AEGON – The attorneys associated with Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC represented one of the world’s largest publicly traded asset management companies in the successful negotiation of a settlement agreement arising from the potential failure of a stable value insurance fund.
Lorillard Tobacco v. Shah – Our attorneys obtained a favorable verdict for one of our clients after a trial in the United States Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The Plaintiff, a fortune 500 company and owner of a number of trademarks and copyrights, claimed that our client, an owner of a chain of retail liquor stores, violated the Federal statutes governing trademarks and claimed that he personally, as well as his company, was guilty of a number of pendent claims relating to fraud and unfair competition. The Plaintiff also asked that they be awarded their attorneys fees and costs which are believed to be in the mid six figure range. The Plaintiff requested over $500,000 in damages. The Judge ruled that our client did not “willfully” violate any of the Acts or laws claimed and, as a result, judgment was entered for a mere $2,000. Our client had previously offered a sum greater than the verdict to settle the matter, but that offer was rejected by the Plaintiff prior to trial.
Stevenson Crane v. BWDC – Our attorneys obtained a favorable verdict in the Circuit Court of DuPage County on behalf of our client, Stevenson Crane, for breach of contract. Our client contracted with the defendants to purchase a parcel of property wherein the defendants were to have performed multiple improvements on the property which they ultimately refused to perform.
Stevenson Crane v. Coules – Our attorneys obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of our client in a legal malpractice action. Our client had alleged various omissions on the part of the defendant attorney in connection with a commercial real estate transaction worth several million dollars.
Wishbone Restaurant v. Yoo – Our attorneys successfully defended and obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of our client who was the owner of the premises which was rented by a popular restaurant in Chicago. Our client was accused of failing to perform repairs to the premises and causing a loss of business for the plaintiff. The plaintiff was seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages and a settlement was reached that was far less than that.
Horizon Staffing v. Stafflogix – Our attorneys filed a Motion to Dismiss this breach of contract action in the State Court of Connecticut. The Plaintiff had sought well over a hundred thousand dollars in damages. The Judge granted our motion to dismiss and the matter was settled very favorably for our client prior to appeal.
UPS v. American Airlines – Our attorneys successfully defended American Airlines in a suit in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois where the plaintiff was accusing American Airlines of negligently transporting perishable items.
Bellwood v. American National Bank, et al.: Our attorneys represented Village of Bellwood in 10 condemnation matters. During proceedings of condemnation, the economy crashed leaving the project for which the Village was acquiring the land in serious doubt. The Village moved to abandon the proceedings and the property owners objected based upon the fact that an Agreed Judgment and Stipulation had been entered by the Court. The trial court denied the motion and Bellwood appealed. On appeal, the Appellate Court, First District, agreed with the Village and allowed it to abandon the proceedings. The Illinois Supreme Court denied the petition for leave to appeal filed by the property owners.
Kosla v. Sav-Rx Prescription Services: RFC represented Sav-Rx in a putative class action where the plaintiffs alleged that the manner in which Sav-Rx shipped pharmaceutical products diminished their efficacy. RFC attorneys positioned the case such that, after filing a motion for summary judgment, plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their complaint with prejudice.
DMS Pharmaceticals v. Sav-Rx Prescription Services: RFC represented Sav-Rx in a breach of contract action in which DMS sought in excess of $1,000,000 for underpayment of invoices. Following a bench trial, the trial court found in favor of Sav-Rx and awarded DMS nothing.
Evans v. City of Chicago, et al., Docket No. 04 C 3570 (N.D. Ill.) Extremely high-profile Section 1983 reverse conviction jury trial, which resulted in a verdict for all defendants. Plaintiff was convicted of murder and served twenty-seven years before his conviction was overturned. He sued the investigating detectives and the City alleging due process violations. At trial, Plaintiff asked for over $60 million in damages.
Wade v. City of Chicago, et al., Docket No. 08 C 3063 (N.D. Ill.) Section 1983 reversed conviction jury trial, which resulted in a verdict for all defendants. Plaintiff was convicted of possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Her conviction was overturned when the arresting officers were federally indicted for stealing drug money. Plaintiff sued the investigating officers alleging due process violations. By the time the case went to trial, the arresting officers had been convicted of the federal charges and testified while serving lengthy prison sentences. At trial, Plaintiff asked for close to $5 million dollars.
Davidson v. City of Chicago, et al., Docket No. 06 L 1577 (Cir. Ct. Cook County) State law shooting case, which resulted in a verdict for all defendants. Plaintiff was an innocent bystander who was accidentally shot by police when police officers exchanged gun fire with a gang member. She alleged the officers were wilful and wanton and asked the jury to return a verdict close to $2 million.
Ramirez v. City of Chicago, et al., Docket No. 05 C 317 (N.D. Ill.) Section 1983 jury trial which resulted in a verdict for the City. Plaintiffs alleged that a series of police encounters that spanned three years between Plaintiffs and officers assigned to the 8th District, Area One and the Special Operations Section conspired to retaliate against them through numerous incidents of false arrest, unreasonable searches of their property, vehicles and persons, and excessive force. At times there were as many as twenty-nine defendant police officers, who were all dismissed prior to trial. There was also a Monell claim against the City of Chicago.