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St. Louis Legal Issues Blog

Sports Gambler Cannot Recover Losses in Games Facilitated by FanDuel

Illinois law allows a losing gambler to recover his/her losses to "any other person".  After losing $100 in a fantasy game for the selection of NBA players, the losing gambler sued the winning gambler claiming a violation of the Statute.  The game had been arranged by FanDuel and was played on line.  Neither player knew the identity of the other.  The dismissal of the complaint was affirmed by the Appellate Court, which found that the statute only applied to person-to-person gambling, and that a contrary ruling would open the flood gates to numerous small claims lawsuits by losing gamblers.  Colin Dew-Becker v. Andrew Wu (Illinois Appellate, 1st dist. 2018).

Caretaker May Recover From Elderly Client's Estate, After Pleading Guilty to Misdemeanor Elder Abuse

The Illinois Elder Abuse Act provides that anyone convicted of abuse, financial exploitation or neglect of an elderly or disabled person, shall not receive any property, benefit or other interest by reason of the death of that elderly or disabled person.  The Appellate Court recently reversed the dismissal of the complaint of an ex-caregiver, claiming $1,200,000.  The caregiver had pled guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge of the elderly client.  The Appellate Court ruled that it need not rule on whether the Quantum Meruit claim for services rendered during the life of the cleint was covered by the Act because the Misdemeanor Battery guilty plea was not among the crimes covered by the act.  The Caregiver claimed she was entitled to the value of services rendered during the life of her client, and that she was entitled for damages for breach of an agreement to prepare and sign a will with the caregiver as a beneficiary.  Estate of Lewy v. FNBC Bank & Trust (Ill App. 1st dist, Sept 28, 2018).

Pedestrian gets hit by car, suffers life-threatening injuries

A man in Illinois was just trying to cross the street when he was hit by a car. The injuries he suffered in the accident are considered life-threatening, and reports claim he is "fighting for his life."

The incident took place on a Tuesday night, right around 9:29 p.m. A car was going down Wall Street in Carbondale, heading north, as the man attempted to walk across the road. The vehicle hit the man, and emergency services were called.

Does intellectual property really matter?

Have you ever heard someone say that they do not think intellectual property violations are all that important? It's just information, they say. They don't feel like someone should be able to own it or protect it the same way that they can a physical asset.

Even if people do not voice this opinion, it's clear from the spread of stolen information on the internet that a lot of people believe it. As such, it's important to point out a few reasons why it is actually very important to have intellectual property rights.

Missed construction deadlines: 4 common reasons

One of the biggest reasons for a construction dispute is when the project goes well over its estimated deadline. This can often cost a lot of people a lot of money on commercial projects, and it can leave prospective homeowners without anywhere to live.

To get around these issues, it's important to know why projects miss their deadlines. Four of the most common reasons include:

  1. The initial estimate simply isn't any good. Maybe the contractor underestimated the needed time to try to get the job over a rival. That estimate and projected timeframe would never have worked, even if things went perfectly.
  2. Decisions aren't made quickly, delaying the process. For instance, an electrical contractor needs to get the general contractor's approval before making a crucial decision. If he cannot get in touch with the general contractor, the project grinds to a halt for a few days.
  3. Someone keeps making changes to the scope of the project. It could be the contractor or the client. Every change adds more work and more time to the job.
  4. Contractors can't collaborate and work together smoothly. Remember, everyone involved with the overall project has to be on the same page and able to work together. When they don't communicate, it can lead to mistakes and delays that hold everything back.

Employer not liable for Penalties after failing to Withhold Wages for Child Support Because Employee Made Some Payments Directly to his Ex-Wife

The Illinois Income Withholding for Support Act imposes a penalty of $100 per day, in addition to liability for the amounts not withheld, on Employers which "knowingly" fail to withhold a percentage of wages to meet child support obligations of their employees.  The Appellate Court recently refused to impose the penalty (but not liability for amounts not withheld) on an employer that failed to withhold, after notice of the child support obligations, because the employee had made some payments directly to his ex-wife during the same period.  The employer did not know about the direct payments, but nevertheless failed to withhold wages.  The Court interpreted "knowingly" strictly, concluding the employer did not "knowingly" fail to withhold wages because it did not know about the direct payments.  The concurring opinion relied on a section of the Act that required the ex-wife to keep the authorities informed of any payments received---something she failed to do. In Re: Schmidgall (Ill. App. 3d dist., Sept 11, 2018)

3-car crash closes highway and leads to serious injuries

Authorities had to close down the northbound lanes of I-270 in St. Louis County after a serious car accident. Three different vehicles were involved in the crash, leading to significant injuries, and authorities had to block the road to assist the injured and clear the wreckage.

Reports indicate that the accident happened right around 1:00 p.m., on Tuesday, Dec 11. They did not report exactly how many people suffered serious injuries.

Who pays for a construction defect in a residential property?

A new home owner has a reasonable expectation of entering into a house that is free of egregious defects. Unfortunately, such defects occur from time to time.

A construction defect can be the result of shoddy workmanship, inferior materials, poor engineering or architectural planning, or it can be the result of a natural phenomenon such as heavy rain or high winds.

What is a phishing scam?

Consumers face a battery of different scams and unethical behaviors. Some have been around for decades or even centuries. Others have sprung up with the growth of the internet. Either way, it is important for consumers to know what these scams look like and what to watch out for.

One of the most common scams, per the U.S. Department of the Treasury, is a phishing scam. Do you know what this is and how it works?

Prenuptial Agreements are Invalid if Unconscionable, or if Assets are not Disclosed

The Illinois Prenuptial Agreement Act provides that prenuptial agreements are not enforcible if they are unconscionable (unfairly one-sided), or if a party fails to reasonably disclose his/her assets before marriage, unless the right to disclosure is waived in writing.  However, a wife's attack on a prenuptial agreement was rejected where she voluntarily signed the agreement without reading it, and the husband made a fair, but not full, disclosure of his assets and liabilities before marriage.  An agreement is not unconscionable just because it is one-sided.  A valid prenuptial agreement replaces the marital rights of the parties under the law.  Marriage of Woodrum (Illinois Court of Appeals, 3rd district, Sept 20, 2018).

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