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Ruling in Paramedics' Overtime Suit Against Chicago Reversed; Plus Criminal, Civil Rights and ERISA Matters

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By FindLaw Staff on May 21, 2010 4:26 PM

In Estate of Blanco v. Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., No.08-2074, the Seventh Circuit faced a challenge to the district court's affirmance of defendant-Prudential's motion for summary judgment in deceased plaintiff's ERISA suit, arising from a denial of his claim for long term disability (LTD) benefits following a heart attack.  In affirming the decision, the court held that  plaintiff was not eligible for LTD because his disability was due to a preexisting condition under the policy.     

Carmichael v. Village of Palatine, No. 09-1010, concerned plaintiffs' 42 U.S.C. section 1983 suit against police officers and their employer claiming unreasonable search and seizure, false arrest and excessive force, as well as other state law claims.  In reversing the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants for the most part, the court held that the district court erred in finding that probable cause supported the initial stop of plaintiffs.  The court also reversed district court's judgment with respect to plaintiff's claim that he was searched in a manner violative of his rights under the Fourth Amendment.  However, the district court correctly concluded that all of plaintiffs' pendent state law claims had been waived.     

US v. Ramirez, No. 09-1815, concerned a challenge to the district court's conviction of defendant for possessing more than two tons of marijuana with intent to distribute and imposition of a 300 month sentence as a career offender.  In affirming the conviction and the sentence, the court held that, on plain-error review, the burden of demonstrating both error and prejudice is on the defendant, and here, defendant not only has not demonstrated that the PSR's statements were incorrect but has not even argued that they could not be supported by allowable sources.     

Alvarez v. City of Chicago, No. 09-2020, concerned two lawsuits against the City of Chicago brought by paramedics, claiming that it willfully failed to properly compensate them for overtime.  In reversing the district court's grant of city's motion for summary judgment, the court held that the district court erred in dismissing the claims of the named plaintiffs as they have the right to proceed individually.  The district court is directed on remand, to consider whether a collective action might be the most efficient judicial resolution of this matter.   

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