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Received a jury verdict in favor of a hospital client in a contentious employment dispute. In this case, plaintiff filed an eight-count employment discrimination lawsuit against the hospital alleging that it failed to hire her for a position because of her age (58) and because she was a woman (the person hired for the position was a 26-year-old male with nearly 20 years less experience). Plaintiff also claimed that her hours were reduced because of her age and gender; that she received negative evaluations because of her age and gender; and that the hospital gave her negative reviews and reduced her hours in retaliation for a letter sent to the hospital by her lawyer complaining of age and sex discrimination. After five days of trial, the jury deliberated for less than an hour before returning a verdict for the defense.

Successfully defended a hospital client in a labor arbitration proceeding alleging wrongful discharge.  The grievant, a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers, maintained he had been wrongfully discharged and that even if there were grounds for discipline, the hospital should have imposed sanctions less severe than discharge. The hospital maintained the grievant was correctly discharged because he loudly and aggressively abused his supervisor, used profane language and aggressive and belligerent behavior, flatly refused to do assigned work and was caught on video sitting in his office doing nothing while he was supposed to be doing his job of installing light fixtures.

Secured a dismissal of charges filed against their client for age and race discrimination. In both charges, the Illinois Department of Human Rights found a lack of substantial evidence to support the complainant’s case. In this matter, the complainant, who was 40 years old, alleged that he was fired from his job because of age and race discrimination. He further claimed that his discharge from the company was in retaliation to his filing the discrimination charges. However, the company asserted that the complainant was discharged because he falsified documents about when he “clocked in” at the company. Moreover, the company documented that the complainant was falsifying his “clocked in” time over a period of several weeks and resorted to having another employee “clock in” for him in his absence. The investigator found a lack of substantial evidence to support the employee’s charges noting that the employee was terminated for failing to comply with company policies.

Obtained summary judgment in favor of a private security company in a complex, and hotly contested, breach of contract insurance dispute. By securing summary judgment in this breach of contract case, Johnson & Bell effectively saved its client $1.3 million.  The breach of contract allegation arose with regard to the underlying case in which one individual was shot to death and a second individual was rendered a paraplegic in a grocery store’s parking lot. Johnson & Bell’s client was dismissed from the underlying case, having successfully argued that its contract was to only provide security services to protect the store property, not customers in the parking lot from criminal acts of third parties. Ultimately, the remaining parties settled the case for $3.9 million, with $1.3 million of that settlement being paid by the grocery store. Following the settlement, the grocery store sought reimbursement from Johnson & Bell’s client of the $1.3 million it paid for the settlement. The grocery store filed a breach of contract case against Johnson & Bell’s client, alleging that the private security company breached its contractual duties by not procuring insurance with a $2 million per occurrence limit.  Johnson & Bell argued that the grocery store was not damaged by the alleged failure to procure $2 million in insurance coverage because the insurer which insured the private security company had not paid anything from its policy covering the security company to settle the case, so the fact that its limits were less than the agreed upon amount had no impact on the amount paid by the grocery store.  The court agreed with Johnson & Bell’s argument and granted summary judgment, dismissing all of the grocery store’s arguments to the contrary.

Addressed a range of business issues confronting one of the largest private security companies in Illinois – from reviewing security contracts for upcoming events, crafting employment policies and service animal policies to handling employment discrimination matters, event security liability, parking garage security liability, complex insurance coverage matters and other disputes.

Negotiated a favorable defense settlement for a security company in a collective action brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Illinois Minimum Wage Law and the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act. The three named plaintiffs claimed they were denied overtime pay for mandatory training, waiting for replacement security officers to take their posts and donning and doffing of uniforms. The Circuit Court of Cook County recently approved the settlement which limited the number of overtime hours to substantially less than claimed by the named plaintiffs as well as reducing the time period involved in order to limit the number of potential claimants. Notice to potential claimants is now proceeding.