Justia Consumer Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Supreme Court of Illinois
Cothron v. White Castle System, Inc.
An employee alleged that her employer, White Castle, introduced a system that required its employees to scan their fingerprints to access their pay stubs and computers. A third-party vendor then verified each scan and authorized the employee’s access. In a suit under the Biometric Information Privacy Act, 740 ILCS 14/15(b), (d), White Castle argued that the action was untimely because her claim accrued in 2008 when White Castle first obtained her biometric data after the Act’s effective date.The Seventh Circuit certified the question to the Illinois Supreme Court, which held that section 15(b) and 15(d) claims accrue each time a private entity scans a person’s biometric identifier and each time a private entity transmits such a scan to a third party, respectively, rather than only upon the first scan and first transmission. The court “respectfully suggested” that the legislature address the policy concerns inherent in the possibility of awards of substantial damages. View "Cothron v. White Castle System, Inc." on Justia Law
West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. v. Krishna Schaumburg Tan, Inc.
Sekura purchased a membership from Krishna that gave her access to L.A. Tan’s salons. Her membership required Sekura to provide Krishna with her fingerprints. Sekura filed a class-action lawsuit against Krishna, alleging that Krishna violated the Biometric Information Privacy Act: because it “systematically and automatically collected, used, stored, and disclosed their [customers’] biometric identifiers or biometric information without first obtaining the written release required by 740 ILCS 14/15(b)(3) … systematically disclosed ... biometric identifiers and biometric information to SunLync, an out-of-state … vendor and … does not provide a publicly available retention schedule or guidelines for permanently destroying its customers’ biometric identifiers and biometric information as specified by the [Act].” The complaint also alleged negligence and unjust enrichment. Krishna tendered Sekura’s lawsuit to West Bend, its insurer.West Bend sought a declaratory judgment that it did not owe a duty to defend Krishna against Sekura’s lawsuit. The trial court entered a judgment for Krishna. The appellate court and Illinois Supreme Court affirmed after construing the policy terms “personal injury or advertising injury,” “publication” of material, and violation of Sekura’s “right of privacy” to conclude that the allegations in Sekura’s complaint fall within or potentially within West Bend’s policies’ coverage for personal injury or advertising injury. A “violation of statutes” exclusion in the policies does not apply to the Act. View "West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. v. Krishna Schaumburg Tan, Inc." on Justia Law
Accettura v. Vacationland, Inc.
Plaintiffs purchased a recreational vehicle (RV) from Vacationland for $26,000.25. When it leaked during a rainstorm, they brought it in for repair. When it leaked again, causing extensive damage, they brought it back. A little more than two weeks after they dropped it off the second time and without a timetable for when the vehicle would be repaired, they told the seller that they no longer wanted the RV and asked for their money back. Plaintiffs sued, citing revocation of acceptance under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty-Federal Trade Commission Improvement Act, 15 U.S.C. 2310(d); breach of implied warranty of merchantability under the Magnuson-Moss Act; revocation of acceptance and cancellation of contract under Illinois’s adoption of the Uniform Commercial Code; and return of purchase price under the UCC. Defendant argued that plaintiffs’ failure to give it a reasonable opportunity to cure was fatal to their claims. The circuit court granted the defendant summary judgment. The appellate court affirmed. Plaintiffs sought review of the revocation of acceptance claim under the UCC (810 ILCS 5/2- 608(1)(b)). The Illinois Supreme Court reversed. The plain language of subsection 2-608(1)(b) does not require that the buyer give the seller an opportunity to cure a substantial nonconformity before revoking acceptance. View "Accettura v. Vacationland, Inc." on Justia Law
McIntosh v. Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.
Plaintiff’s class action complaint alleged that Walgreens violated the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, 815 ILCS 505/1, by unlawfully collecting a municipal tax imposed by Chicago on purchases of bottled water that were exempt from taxation under the ordinance. The circuit court dismissed the action, citing the voluntary payment doctrine, which provides that money voluntarily paid with full knowledge of the facts cannot be recovered on the ground that the claim for payment was illegal. The appellate court reversed, reasoning that the complaint pleaded that the unlawful collection of the bottled water tax was a deceptive act under the Consumer Fraud Act. The Illinois Supreme Court reinstated the dismissal, first holding that claims under the Consumer Fraud Act are not categorically exempt from the voluntary payment doctrine. The court rejected an argument that the receipt issued by Walgreens constituted a representation that the tax was required by the ordinance. Misrepresentations or mistakes of law cannot form the basis of a claim for fraud. View "McIntosh v. Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc." on Justia Law
Sienna Court Condominium Assoc. v. Champion Aluminum Corp.
The owners of units in Sienna Court Condominiums, a newly-constructed 111-residential-unit Evanston property sued, alleging that the developer, TR, sold the units with latent defects that resulted in water infiltration and other conditions that rendered the individual units and common areas unfit for habitation. The complaint alleged breach of an express warranty and breach of an implied warranty of habitability against TR, the general contractor, the architect and engineering design firms, material suppliers and several subcontractors. TR and the general contractor were bankrupt. The unit owners obtained relief from the automatic bankruptcy stay. TR and the general contractor had two separate insurance policies, each providing coverage of $1 million per occurrence with $2 million aggregate limits. Plaintiffs had recovered approximately $308,000 from TR through a warranty escrow fund required by Evanston ordinance. Subcontractors and the material suppliers asserted that they were not subject to an implied warranty of habitabililty. The circuit court denied their motion to dismiss. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed, holding that a purchaser of a newly constructed home may not assert a claim for breach of an implied warranty of habitability against a subcontractor who took part in the construction of the home, where the subcontractor had no contractual relationship with the purchaser. View "Sienna Court Condominium Assoc. v. Champion Aluminum Corp." on Justia Law
Henderson Square Condo. Ass’n v. LAB Townhomes, LLC
In 2011, Henderson Square Condominium Association sued, alleging: breach of the implied warranty of habitability, fraud, negligence, breach of the Chicago Municipal Code’s prohibition against misrepresenting material facts in marketing and selling real estate, and breach of a fiduciary duty. The defendants were developers that entered into a contract with the city for a mixed use project, the Lincoln-Belmont-Ashland Redevelopment Project. Sales in the project had begun in 1996. The trial court dismissed, finding that plaintiffs failed to adequately plead the Chicago Municipal Code violation and breach of fiduciary duty and that counts were time-barred under the Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/13-214). The appellate court reversed. The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed. A condominium association generally has standing to pursue claims that affect the unit owners or the common elements. A question of fact remains as to whether defendants’ failure to speak about construction deficiencies or to adequately fund reserves, coupled with earlier alleged misrepresentations, amounted to fraudulent concealment for purposes of exceptions to the limitation and repose periods. It is possible that minor repairs, along with the limited nature of water infiltration, reasonably delayed plaintiffs’ hiring of professional contractors to open the wall and discover latent defects. The date when plaintiffs reasonably should have known that an injury occurred and that it was wrongfully caused was a question of fact. View "Henderson Square Condo. Ass'n v. LAB Townhomes, LLC" on Justia Law
Ballard RN Center, Inc. v. Kohll’s Pharmacy & Homecare, Inc.
In 2010, plaintiff filed a complaint and sought class certification, alleging that defendant sent unsolicited fax advertisement, violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47 U.S.C. 227) and the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (815 ILCS 505/2) and constituting common-law conversion of toner and paper. Each count included class allegations indicating that plaintiff was filing on behalf of a class estimated at over 40 individuals. Defendant unsuccessfully sought summary judgment solely on count I (federal Act), alleging that on three separate occasions it tendered an unconditional offer of payment exceeding the total recoverable damages, rendering the claim moot. The court reasoned that defendant did not offer tender on count I before plaintiff moved for class certification and rejected defendant’s argument that the motion was merely a “shell” motion. The appellate court affirmed certification of the class on counts II and III but reversed class certification on count I, agreeing that plaintiff’s initial motion for class certification, filed concurrently with its complaint, was an insufficient “shell” motion. The Illinois Supreme Court reinstated the trial court decision, holding that its precedent did not impose any explicit requirements on the motion for class certification, let alone a heightened evidentiary or factual basis for the motion. View "Ballard RN Center, Inc. v. Kohll's Pharmacy & Homecare, Inc." on Justia Law