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Author Archives: Andrew R. Schwartz

Claims Against Benefit Plan Sponsors Grow More Sophisticated

Lawsuits against sponsors of retirement plans have been fairly common over the past decade. Typically, these claims involved relatively obvious violations, like excessive costs, negligent oversight and other types of blatant mismanagement. However, ERISA actions stemming from alleged fiduciary breaches and other misconduct have become increasingly complex. A claim filed against Community Health Systems highlights […]

Fired Agent Files Suit in Illinois Against Baseball Star’s Financial Adviser

J.D. Martinez of the Boston Red Sox is a Major League Baseball All-Star who earned more than $23 million during the 2019 season. Sports agents battle fiercely to represent players with that level of stature and salary. However, a prominent Chicago agent claims that a third-party financial adviser led Martinez to terminate his contract prematurely. […]

John Deere Files Suit Accusing Former Workers of Stealing Trade Secrets

A husband and wife who both held high-ranking positions at John Deere now face a lawsuit by the farm equipment manufacturer for allegedly misappropriating trade secrets. According to the company’s complaint, the couple collected and downloaded confidential materials prior to their departure. Deere & Company’s lawsuit, filed in federal court in Illinois, alleges Seth and […]

Fraudulent Transfer Questions Cast Doubt on Oxycontin Settlement

A tentative settlement involving Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin, received great fanfare in the media, with the company claiming that it will pay at least $10 billion “to address the opioid crisis.” That figure may seem astronomical, but critics and the attorneys general of numerous states say the agreement rests on misrepresentations about the […]

Court Bars Business Oppression Even Though Shareholders Were in Litigation

Business oppression occurs when the shareholder majority exercises its voting power to abuse the ownership rights of the minority. A lawsuit alleging such abuse is a disruptive event that forever changes the relationship among shareholders. However, it does not end the parties’ fiduciary responsibilities to the company, or to others with a stake in the […]

Pension Intercept Requested for East St. Louis Firefighters’ Fund

For the third time since enactment of the Illinois pension intercept law, a municipal employee pension board seeks to have city monies redirected to replenish long-neglected funds. This time, the East St. Louis Firefighters Pension Fund asks state Comptroller Susana Mendoza to intercept more than $2 million originally slated for the city’s budget. A January […]

Understanding Creditors’ Options When Enforcing Judgments

Whether you’ve won a legal case, performed professional services or leased commercial property to a tenant, collecting the payment often proves to be the toughest part of the task. Even for undisputed debts, strict laws exist to ensure that creditors use proper legal collection methods. This is particularly true in complex debt collection matters and […]

Fraudulent Intent Not Always Necessary to Unwind an Improper Transaction

Creditors may use Illinois’ Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (IUFTA) to recover funds improperly shifted by a debtor to a third party. Although “fraud-in-fact” claims require proof that the debtor intended to defraud creditors, creditors may also pursue “fraud-in-law” or “constructive fraud” claims, which do not require evidence of intent. Gecker v. Estate of Flynn provides […]

Business Oppression Case Divides Family-Owned Construction Company

A major construction company with Illinois roots has demonstrated that serious “business oppression” conflicts can happen even in family-run businesses. As in many of these situations, allegations of fiduciary breaches and oppression of minority shareholders have triggered litigation and driven apart individuals who once enjoyed a close relationship. Payne & Dolan is a Wisconsin-based business […]

Chicago Police and Fire Pension Trustees Seek to Intercept Funds

For years, local governments in Illinois have had trouble balancing their budgets. Several struggling local governments have either failed to make public pension fund contributions, or paid far less than what they owe. The shortfall creates financial problems for the police and firefighter pension funds, and may threaten the livelihoods of retirees. Until recently, police […]