January 2010

Q&H Obtains Dismissal in Construction Case

Terrence Guolee and Matthew Byrne recently obtained the dismissal of all claims against their clients, a condo developer and the developer's construction project manager, in a construction accident case involving the demolition of a former roller rink on the north side of Chicago. The case involved serious injury claims of a project geologist. Interestingly, the accident allegedly occurred on the first day in which work resumed following a period where demolition at the site was suspended by the police following the discovery of two corpses sealed in the walls of the building many years before.

Q&H Municipal Practice Group Defeats Civil Rights Claim Brought By Police Officer

Congrats to Dan Gallagher and Dominick Lanzito, who recently obtained an order from the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granting their clients summary judgment and dismissing all of the plaintiff's civil rights claims. In the case, the plaintiff, a police officer, was alleged to have been present when cocaine was planted on an arrestee. In the subsequent Internal Affairs investigation, the plaintiff was ordered to appear at a location where Q&H's client and several officers connected with the Police Department's Internal Affairs Division ("IAD"), were waiting with a drug sniffing dog, which subsequently indicated "positive" for drugs possibly in a duffel bag in the back of plaintiff's patrol car. Following the plaintiff identifying the duffel bag as his property, the bag was brought into the police station for an administrative search. Q&H also represented the City of Chicago as a defendant.

Following orders for the plaintiff to remain in the station and not touch the duffel bag, the plaintiff officer walked out the station with the bag. The defendants ordered a search for the plaintiff and the duffel bag. Plaintiff then returned to the station with the bag, which had been opened. While plaintiff claimed he had left properly because he was able to leave at the end of his shift, he was placed under arrest. Plaintiff then was charged with Obstruction of a Police Officer by the State's Attorney's Office, but was acquitted following a bench trial. Nevertheless, the police department sought plaintiff's termination in an administrative hearing, based on his disobeying the orders to remain in the station and not touch the duffel bag.

Plaintiff then filed suit alleging, among other claims, that the defendants had conspired to violate his civil rights and that he had been maliciously prosecuted and falsely imprisoned. In defense, among other arguments, Dan and Dominick set out evidence that the defendants had probable cause for their detention and arrest of the plaintiff based on his removal of the duffel bag - which was potential evidence in the claim that drugs had been planted on the original arrestee. In its opinion, the District Court agreed with each of the arguments raised for the defendants and dismissed all claims.

Q&H Wins Lawsuit Following Parking Spot Altercation

Chicago shareholder Chris Johnston recently obtained a not guilty verdict for his client following a jury trial. In the case, the plaintiff alleged that Chris' client, a 54-year-old orchestra leader, was alleged to have pushed an 85-year-old to the ground during an altercation over a parking space. Plaintiff claimed over $90,000 in medical bills and sought damages for a fractured hip that required a prosthetic implant. The jury accepted the defendant's testimony that he only pushed away the plaintiff when the plaintiff came up to him swinging his fists.

Q&H Prevails in Longstanding Insurance Coverage Dispute

Michele Oshman, Robert Huebsch and Dennis Marks of our Chicago office obtained a favorable ruling for their client in a longstanding insurance coverage dispute.

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