U.S. Seventh Circuit - The FindLaw 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog


A recently filed federal lawsuit by the EEOC against the University of Wisconsin has been making headlines due to the seemingly blatant age discrimination that is alleged.

The case involves a laid-off marketing and communications specialist, Bambi Butzlaff Voss, who was denied re-employment into other rather similar (and open) positions within the university. The EEOC took up her case, and it was discovered that one of the open positions went to someone thirty-years younger, and (naturally) with much less experience.

Family Feud Becomes Brother's $7.5 Million Debt

The Hatfields and the McCoys had the most famous feud in American history, but brothers William and Lester Lee had one of the ugliest in corporate history.

The brothers fought for more than a decade over their interests in a family business. When they disagreed over a proposed merger, Lester proceeded down a path of "trickery," "evasion," and "spoilation" that ultimately bankrupt their enterprise.

In The William R. Lee Irrevocable Trust v. Lee, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals said that left a $7.5 million corporate debt -- against Lester.

School Escapes Liability for Sex Abuse Claim

Jane Doe is the name of countless victims of rape and sex abuse.

In Doe v. Madison Metropolitan School District, it's also the name of an eighth-grader who lost her case. The appeals court did not say whether Doe was actually abused, but did say the school was not liable even if something bad happened there.

The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals said the plaintiff did not prove the school knew its security assistant was abusing the child. However, the court acknowledged that there were "cautionary flags."

A new strip club that was planning on opening in the same spot as a closed down strip club recently filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana when the City of Fort Wayne refused to allow the new club to open.

While the city's ordinances clearly would prohibit the strip club from opening in the disputed location, the location had been "grandfathered" in. However, when renovations ran long after a change in ownership, the city refused to honor the prior exemption, claiming it expired after a year of non-use.

No Problemo With Ex Post Facto

Joshua Vasquez and Miguel Cardona were upset when a new law required them to move.

They sued because they had no other suitable housing, but a trial judge threw out their case. And in Vasquez v. Foxx, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the trial judge.

It may have been a hardship for the plaintiffs, but it wasn't a hard case for the appeals court. Vasquez and Cardona are sex offenders, and the law said they can't live within 500 feet of child-care homes.

Terminated FBI Agent Loses Muslim Discrimination Claim

For Khalid Khowaja, it seemed like being a Muslim and an FBI agent wasn't a good fit.

In a discrimination lawsuit, he said other agents treated him differently because of his religion. One supervisor yelled Arabic holy phrases at the office, and another said he was "not our typical agent."

But in Khowaja v. Sessions, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of his lawsuit. In the end, Khowaja apparently didn't get along well with others.

Appeals Court Upholds NCAA Transfer Rule

Peter Deppe, a college football player, got a bad call.

When his college pulled his scholarship, he went to another school. Then that school withdrew its scholarship under an eligibility rule.

So he did what any athlete does after a bad call; he challenged the rule. In Deppe v. NCAA, that didn't work.

In what is sure to disappoint fans of the 'Making a Murderer' series, the United States Supreme Court has denied certiorari in the Brandan Dassey petition. The rejection effectively ends the story of Brandan Dassey, at least as far as the crime drama docu-series story.

Dassey's time on screen now may be more appropriate for a prison life series, maybe one about inmates who became famous thanks to Netflix.

What's Next in the #MeToo Michael Madigan Case?

Alaina Hampton, a political consultant who sued her own party for sexual harassment, is ready to settle.

She originally sued for $350,000 and attorney's fees, but her attorney says they are discussing settlement. That may include attorneys for Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, the Democratic party chief in the state.

It just so happens there's an opening in the organization, and Hampton wants it. Suddenly, #MeToo has a new meaning in the Land of Lincoln.

The death of Derek Boogaard is sad. He overdosed on prescription painkillers while under the NHL's care for pain pill addiction. After his death, many disturbing facts came to light.

Despite specific requirements of his drug treatment program stating that he not be given certain types of pills, team doctors prescribed the exact pills he was not supposed to have. Despite him failing drug tests, consequences specifically designed to encourage compliance with drug treatment programs did not follow those failures. And as a result of the systemic failures, Boogaard's family sued for wrongful death.

But, due to procedural failings, the NHL prevailed in the recent appeal over wrongful death lawsuit.