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Case Results

Labor Lawyers | Employment Law

Race Discrimination:

School District Pays $1,100,000 to Settle Reverse Race Discrimination Claims
Patricia Benassi and Athena Herman represented a white male campus police officer who alleged “reverse” race discrimination and retaliation against Peoria Public School District 150.  The case settled in 2011 for $650,000 after trial began. (Stimeling v. Peoria Public School District 150, et al).  That same year, the same school district paid an additional $450,000 to settle “reverse” race discrimination and retaliation claims brought by multiple white teachers. (Williams et al. v. Peoria Public School District 150, et al.)

45 Individuals and Class Settle Race Discrimination and Retaliation Cases Against Mitsubishi
Patricia Benassi and Athena Herman were co-counsel for 45 individual African-Americans & class counsel in race discrimination/retaliation cases against Mitsubishi Motors Manufacturing of America.  (Gillespie. et al. v. Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America, Woodard, et al. v. Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of AmericaWarr v. Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America)

Appellate Court Holds that African-American Retaliated Against for Complaining about Race Discrimination
Patricia Benassi and Athena Herman represented an African-American employee of the Peoria Housing Authority who was retaliated against for complaining about race discrimination in favor of white employees by her African-American supervisor.  After trial, the Illinois Appellate Court directed a judgment in her favor.  The Peoria Housing Authority was compelled to pay over $400,000.  (2010, Lewis v. Peoria Housing Authority)

Worker's Compensation Retaliation:

Jury Awards Man $1.76 million against Caterpillar for Workers' Compensation Retaliation
Patricia Benassi and Athena Herman obtained a $1.76 million jury verdict against Caterpillar and on behalf of a gentleman who was terminated in retaliation for filing a workers' compensation claim.  (2007, Albright v. Caterpillar)

Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination:

Landmark Mitsubishi Sexual Harassment Case
Patricia Benassi was Plaintiffs' lead co-counsel in this sexual harassment/sex discrimination case, representing 27 female plaintiffs.  The case gained world-wide attention, and was the biggest sexual harassment case of its time.  Although the terms of the settlement are confidential, Mitsubishi donated $100,000.00 to organizations benefiting women in addition to relief obtained for the plaintiffs.  (Evans. et al. v. Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America)

Female Employees Obtain $8.5 Million Settlement and Workplace Improvement
Patricia Benassi and Athena Herman were Plaintiffs' lead co-counsel and class counsel for individual women and class members who alleged sexual harassment and sex discrimination in wages, job assignment, promotions and other terms and conditions of employment.  Plaintiffs obtained a Consent Decree and class settlement in the amount of $8.5 million, as well as extensive changes in working conditions, promotion practices, complaint procedures, human resource procedures and court-appointed monitors.  (2005, Palmer v. Combined Insurance Company of America; Radmanovich v. Combined Insurance Company of America)

Jury Awards $850,000 to Woman Who Was Retaliated Against for Complaining about Gender Discrimination
Patricia Benassi and Athena Herman represented a female security guard who alleged gender discrimination and retaliation when Caterpillar failed to promote her.   A jury returned a verdict against Caterpillar and on behalf of Plaintiff in the amount of $850,000.  Caterpillar appealed, and lost.  (2001, Lori David v. Caterpillar. Inc.)

City Pays $3 Million and Makes Beneficial Changes for Female Employees
Patricia Benassi was Plaintiffs' lead co-counsel in a 50 plaintiff gender discrimination case against the City of Peoria alleging discrimination in wages and benefits, promotional opportunities, training and other terms and conditions of employment, sexual harassment and retaliation. Settlement was $3 million, including wage increases, wage and job reclassifications for female employees, promotions, training and other improvements in job benefits. (Huffhines, et al. v. City of Peoria , et. al.)

Constitutional Civil Rights (First Amendment, Due Process, etc.)

Jury Awards $4.9 million for Violation of Constitutional Rights to Equal Protection and Due Process
Patricia Benassi was Plaintiffs' lead counsel in a constitutional equal protection and due process case. Jury awarded $4,900,000 to two employees of DCFS.  Case settled in 2004.  (Ryan & Gillespie v. DCFS, et al.)

Employee Gets Job Back and State Pays Over $500,000 for Retaliating because of Court Testimony
Patricia Benassi was Plaintiff's counsel in a First Amendment and retaliation claim by a DCFS case worker who was terminated for testifying in state court. Employee was reinstated and Defendants paid over $500,000.00. (Wright v. DCFS,1997)

Man's Record Cleared, Gets Old Job Back, and is awarded $517,000 by jury
Patricia Benassi represented a teacher who was retaliated against for engaging in protected free speech.  The jury returned a verdict in the teacher's favor, awarding him $517,000.   (Knapp v. Whitacker, et al.)

Disability Discrimination:

Two Police Officers Receive Full Disability Benefits
Patricia Benassi was Plaintiffs' counsel on behalf of two police officers who were denied disability benefits in violation of the ADA. Case settled with full benefits paid for by local governmental entities.  (Piquard & Duran v. East Peoria Police Dept. Pension Board)

Diabetic Discriminated Against and Settles for More Than $400,000
Patricia Benassi represented a diabetic client in a handicap discrimination case. Case settled favorably for Plaintiff, who received wages, training benefits and job guarantees valued in excess of $400,000.  (Leslie Linton v. Chicago & Northwestern Transportation Company, Human Rights Department No. 1982-CN-1225)

Age Discrimination:

70 Management Employees Fight Age Discrimination
Patricia Benassi represented 70 management employees who alleged they were subjected to illegal age discrimination when they were forced to retire. Results confidential.  [Isaacs et al. v. Caterpillar, Inc., 765 F.Supp. 1359 (C.D. Ill. 1991)]

25 People Alleging Age Discrimination Settle for More Than $1.5 Million
Patricia Benassi was Plaintiffs' counsel in a multi-plaintiff age discrimination case involving 25 plaintiffs. Case settled favorably to Plaintiffs prior to trial.  Settlement in excess of $1.5 million. (James G. Sanders. et al. v. Northwestern Steel & Wire Company)

Government Pays Over $400,000 After Age Discrimination
Patricia Benassi represented an employee in an age discrimination case for failure to promote a 65-year-old employee. She tried the case and won. The federal government paid over $400,000.00 in lost wages, benefits and attorney's fees. (Allen v. Bureau of Census)

Traditional Labor Law

Union Members Receive Full Relief and Back Pay
Patricia Benassi represented a union and its members in arbitration involving the issue of plant closing, removal of bargaining unit work and discrimination. Case settled after two days of hearing with full relief to Union and back pay to all affected employees.  (Carpenters Local Union No. 183 v. Advance Millwork, Inc.)

Employees Paid After Being Laid Off
Patricia Benassi was counsel for a union in a class action grievance affecting approximately 100 employees involving interpretation of seniority and layoff provisions. Case won. Employees ordered to receive full back pay.  (American Federation of Grainmillers, Local 347 v. The Quaker Oats Co.)

Employer Made to Contribute to Pensions
Patricia Benassi successfully represented the International Association of Machinists, Local Lodge No. 360 against the Pabst Brewing Co. regarding payment of increased pension contributions.  After arbitration, the employer was ordered to make the requested pension contributions.  Employer Made to Contribute to Pensions.  (International Association of Machinists, Local Lodge No. 360 v. Pabst Brewing Co.)

Practice Areas

Workers’ Compensation
Motor Vehicle Accident
Family Law/Dissolution
Personal Injury/Nursing Home Negligence/Medical Malpractice
Sexual Harassment and Hostile Work Environment

Practice Areas

Employment Discrimination
Retaliation claims and Whistleblower in the Workplace
Class Action Lawsuit and Multi-Plaintiff Cases
Civil Rights Litigation
Employment Law

Awards