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The attorneys of Levin & Perconti are pleased to announce the firm secured more settlements over $500,000 than any other law firm in Illinois over the last year.

Having reached 58 of these top-dollar settlements between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019, the firm brought in more than $75 million for its clients and was also highlighted in Chicago Lawyer Magazine’s 2019 Settlement Survey as one of the top five law firms in the state for total settlements secured.

Each year, Chicago Lawyer and the Illinois Jury Verdict Reporter — a sister publication within Law Bulletin Media — examine top reported settlements. This year’s report is based on 634 Illinois settlements of $500,000 or more submitted to Jury Verdict Reporter.

“Emissions are continuing to contribute to ambient levels of ethylene oxide in the atmosphere.  This impact creates an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health.”

-John Kim, Acting Director of the Illinois EPA

On Friday, relying on new data from independent 30 day continuous air quality tests ordered by Willowbrook village officials, Governor Pritzker overruled the U.S. EPA  and, in tandem with the Illinois EPA, ordered the immediate closure of Sterigenics.

As part of a weeklong series, the personal injury attorneys of Chicago’s Levin & Perconti have been highlighting the list of companies named by the American Association for Justice (AAJ) as having the “Worst Corporate Conduct of 2018.” These companies have each engaged in behaviors that have emotionally and physically harmed patients, clients, customers, employees, and young female student athletes.

Today, we’re focusing on the alleged human rights violations committed by Nestlé USA.

A group of former child slaves are forcing Nestlé USA to acknowledge and make amends for their role in not only allowing, but allegedly encouraging child slavery at cocoa plantations in the Ivory Coast of Africa. The Ivory Coast, or the Côte d’Ivoire, supplies the majority of the nation’s cocoa and is known for allowing child labor in order to sell mass amounts of cheap cocoa to the world’s chocolate manufacturers.

In 2003, a 19-year-old Stanford University dropout named Elizabeth Holmes launched Theranos, a Silicon Valley startup that promised quick blood tests at a lower cost than a traditional lab. Raising millions from private investors, Theranos claimed that just a few drops of blood sent away to their lab could be screened for a long list of health conditions, all at a cost of less than $3. By 2018, the company was bankrupt and founder Elizabeth Holmes was charged with 9 counts of federal wire fraud, as well as 2 counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The company officially closed its doors in September 2018.

Real Partnership with Walgreens, False Claims of Association with Department of Defense

Business really began to boom when Theranos partnered with Walgreens in 2013. Forty Walgreens locations across the country would carry Theranos’ Edison blood testing device, which the company claimed could quickly and cheaply screen for a myriad of disease. It has been claimed that Walgreens blindly agreed to a deal without personally testing the device’s accuracy to avoid a competitor partnering with Theranos first. Soon after, questions began being raised about the accuracy of blood tests allegedly run on the Edison device. A class action lawsuit filed in California by Theranos patients alleges that the company’s tests falsely diagnosed them with diseases they didn’t have. Clinical scientists suspect that such small samples of blood (which is all Theranos claimed to have needed) would then have had to be diluted to be run on standard blood testing machines. This dilution leads to less accurate test results and is not considered acceptable practice for blood-based lab tests. Walgreens ended its partnership with Theranos and sued them for breach of contract in June 2016.

On Monday, we began a week long feature on our blog about major companies and organizations that engaged in poor corporate conduct. The list of these companies and their bad deeds are courtesy of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), a group committed to preserving Americans right to a trial by jury. The list, officially titled “Worst Corporate Conduct of 2018” can be found here.

Today’s focus is on General Motors and their refusal to recall their newer model cars equipped with Takata airbags. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “Roughly 37 million vehicles equipped with 50 million defective Takata air bags are under recall. Long-term exposure to high heat and humidity can cause these air bags to explode when deployed. Such explosions have caused injuries and deaths.” NHTSA also says that an additional 15-20 million airbags will be recalled by December of this year.

To date, at least 24 people have died from defective Takata airbags and nearly 300 have been injured.

On Monday, we began a week long feature on our blog about major companies and organizations that engaged in poor corporate conduct. The list of these companies and their bad deeds are courtesy of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), a group committed to preserving Americans right to a trial by jury. The list, officially titled “Worst Corporate Conduct of 2018” can be found here.

Today’s focus is on State Farm, the Bloomington, Illinois-based company that provides a full spectrum of insurance, from auto to pet coverage. State Farm is currently the largest provider of auto insurance in the U.S. Unfortunately, last year they were also found to have been in violation of something called the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a federal law better known as the RICO Act.

Read below to find out what, exactly, landed them on the bad businesses list.

Yesterday, we began a week long feature on our blog about major companies and organizations that engaged in poor corporate conduct. The list of these companies and their bad deeds are courtesy of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), a group committed to preserving Americans right to a trial by jury. The list, officially titled “Worst Corporate Conduct of 2018” can be found here.

Today, we’re focusing on the oil industry and major U.S. players who have denied any knowledge of their role in climate change, despite evidence proving otherwise. These 5 oil behemoths, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell were also co-defendants in a lawsuit filed by the City of New York. Read below to find out what, exactly, landed them on the bad businesses list.


New York City Wants Big Oil to Pay

In December, the American Association for Justice (AAJ) released their 2018 compilation of major companies and organizations that engaged in poor corporate conduct. These businesses, in an effort to protect their own best interests, put the financial, emotional, and physical well-being of their clients, customers, and students at risk. AAJ highlights the use of many of these corporations’ textbook-style apologies, questioning whether or not these apologies are merely part of the business handbook, or are true attempts at honest remediation.

Apologies are easy. Fixing the way you do business is harder and significantly more expensive. Without the public calling them on the carpet and forcing them to make things right, these businesses will continue to act in their own best interests in order to save face and money. This is where the law comes in. Holding offenders accountable for their actions and forcing them to right wrongs is what protects us as both individuals and as consumers.

First Corporate Offender: Navient

Until now, OSHA has never before undone a law that put safety requirements in play to protect workers from known carcinogens. Not once.  

Beryllium, a toxic element and known carcinogen, is at the heart of a fight between construction and shipyard employees and the federal government. On January 9, 2017, less than 2 weeks before President Trump was sworn into office, former President Obama published a law that would require construction and shipyard industries to protect their workers by requiring air quality testing and monitoring employees for beryllium exposure. The law, set to go into effect in June 2019, was stalled on March 21, 2017 by the Trump administration, saying it wanted to delay the law due to concerns over the impact it would have on abrasives manufacturers, shipyard and construction companies. In late June, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) announced it wanted to completely abandon beryllium safety protections.


Beryllium Puts Shipyard and Construction Works at Risk for Disease & Cancer

Nearly 75% of all firefighter deaths in 2016 were cancer-related.

So says data from Firefighter Cancer Support Network, an organization whose aim is to bring comfort, support, and resources to families of firefighters who have received a cancer diagnosis. Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn called the number of firefighter cancer deaths in his city an “epidemic”  in a 2017 interview with NBC News’ Tom Costello.

In his NBC interview, Boston Fire Commissioner Finn recalls a 2002 explosion at a power plant. 200 city firefighters responded to a fire that left them covered with chemicals pouring from the ceiling. A quarter of those who responded have since been diagnosed with a cardiac issue or cancer.

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