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Case Results

Representative Types of Cases for Patricia Benassi

Discrimination Cases

  1. 50 Plaintiffs in Age Discrimination Case Win $1.5 million settlement.
    Edward W. Rose, et al. v. Keystone Consolidated Industries, Inc., Federal District Court No. 83-1059. Plaintiffs' counsel in class action age discrimination case involving 50 plaintiffs. Case settled favorably to Plaintiffs shortly before final pretrial order was entered and after defeating extensive Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendant. Settlement in excess of $1.5 million. (1983-1985)
  2. James G. Sanders, et al. v. Northwestern Steel & Wire Company, Federal District Court No. 86-C-20095. Plaintiffs' counsel in class action age discrimination case involving 25 plaintiffs. Case settled favorably to Plaintiffs prior to trial after defeating Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendant. Settlement in excess of $1.5 million. (1985-1987)
  3. Marilyn Owen v. Thompson Food Basket, Inc., Federal District Court No. 85-1275. Plaintiff's counsel in age and sex discrimination case. Case settled favorably to Plaintiff after final pretrial conference and shortly before trial. Settlement confidential at Employer's request.
  4. Mary Ann Dunlavey v. City of Peoria , Human Rights Commission No. 1985-CF-2197. Plaintiff's counsel in a sex discrimination case on behalf of a female captain who was denied promotion to the position of superintendent of police. Ten-day trial and three appeals. Established principle under Human Rights Act that department heads were covered by the Human Rights Act. Case settled prior to decision for $150,000.
  5. Brennan v. Steak N Shake, Human Rights Commission No. 1986-CF-2310. Plaintiff's counsel in a sexual harassment and retaliation case filed by a female assistant manager against her employer and numerous male managers. Case won at trial level. Settled during appeal for $165,000.
  6. John Galt & Roberta Whalen v. Nestle Beich, Inc., Federal District Court No. 90-367. Plaintiffs' counsel in age discrimination case representing two management employees. Case settled favorably to Plaintiffs after extensive investigation by Plaintiffs' counsel but before initiation of discovery. Settlement confidential at Employer's request.
  7. Isaacs, et al. v. Caterpillar, Inc., 765 F.Supp. 1359 (C.D. Ill. 1991). Represented 70 management employees who alleged they were subjected to illegal age discrimination when they were forced to retire. Results confidential. (1988-1992)
  8. Allen v. Bureau of Census, Federal District Court No. 89-1136. Represented employee in age discrimination case for failure to promote a 65-year-old employee. Tried case and won. Federal government paid over $400,000 in lost wages, benefits and attorneys' fees. (1994)
  9. Huffhines, et al. v. City of Peoria, et al., Federal District Court No. 93-3162. Plaintiffs' counsel in a 50 plaintiff sex discrimination and First Amendment case 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 increase, wage and job reclassifications for female employees, promotions, training and other improvements in job benefits. (1996)
  10. Evans, et al. v. Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America , Case No. 94-1545. Plaintiffs' counsel in sexual harassment sex discrimination case representing 27 female plaintiffs. One of the largest multi-plaintiff sexual harassment cases. Case settled in October, 1997. Terms of the settlement are confidential. Mitsubishi donated $100,000 to organizations benefiting women in addition to relief obtained for the plaintiffs. (1997)
  11. Frank Malone v. City of Peoria , et al., Human Rights Department No. 1986-CF-2948. Counsel for discharged employee due to race discrimination. Arbitration case won, but City ultimately refused to comply until federal court litigation was threatened. Thereafter, City of Peoria settled with substantial payments to former employee. Settlement confidential at Employer's request.
  12. Charlottte Gordon v. Illinois Bell Telephone Company. Plaintiff's counsel for race and sex discrimination case. Case settled favorably to Plaintiff. Settlement confidential at Employer's request.
  13. Gillespie, et al. v. Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America , United States District Court Case No. 99-1102, Woodard, et al. v. Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America, United States District Court Case No. 00-1038, Warr v. Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America, United Stated District Court Case No. 00-2112. Counsel for 45 individual plaintiffs and class counsel in race discrimination/retaliation case. Case settled. (July 2001)
  14. Lori David v. Caterpillar, Inc., Federal District Court No. 98-1250. Plaintiff's counsel in Title VII failure to promote/retaliation case. Employee denied promotion in retaliation for filing EEOC charges and complaining about sex discrimination. Jury award $850,000. (May 2001)
  15. Palmer v. Combined Insurance Company of America,Case No. 02-C-1764; Radmanovich v. Combined Insurance Company of America, Case No. 01-C-9502. Lead Plaintiff's co-counsel and class counsel for individual women and class member who alleged sexual harassment and sex discrimination in wages, job assignments, promotions and other terms and conditions of employment. Consent Decree and class settlement in the amount of 8.5 million dollars as well as extensive changes in working conditions, promotion practices, complaint procedures, human resource procedures and court-appointed monitors. (2005)

Disability Discrimination

  1. Eugene Freeman v. Freeman United Coal Mining Company, Human Rights Department No. 1980-CN-0215. Handicap discrimination case due to bad back. Case settled favorably to Plaintiff after lengthy litigation preparation.
  2. Leslie Linton v. Chicago & Northwestern Transportation Company, Human Rights Department No. 19982-CN-1225. Handicap case due to diabetes. Case settled after Defendant refused to comply with discovery requests and orders. Plaintiff received wages, training benefits and job guarantees valued in excess of $400,000.
  3. John Leddy v. Chicago & Northwestern Transportation Company, Human Rights Department No. 1984-CN-2209. Handicap discrimination case due to bad back. Case settled favorably to Plaintiff.
  4. Ahlstrand v. Aratex, Charge No. 1991-CA-2447. Discrimination against employee due to back problems. Case settled favorably to employee. Settlement confidential. (1995)
  5. Piquard & Duran v. East Peoria Police Dept. Pension Board, Federal District Court Case No. 94-1131. Plaintiffs' counsel on behalf of two police officers who were denied disability benefits in violation of ADA. Prevailed in summary judgement motion. Case settled with full benefits paid for by local governmental entities.

Whistleblower Litigation Under Atomic Energy Act and Nuclear Regulatory Act

Donald Richter, et al. v. Baldwin Associates, Case Nos. 84-ERA-9 through 84-ERA-12. Representation of four management employees terminated in retaliation for enforcing safety standards at Clinton Nuclear Plant. Case originally dismissed on summary judgment motion filed by Defendant. This was appealed by Plaintiffs and was reversed. A ten-day trial took place in December, 1987 and January, 1988. Two months after the trial ended, the case settled. Settlement confidential at request of employer.

Civil Rights Litigation

  1. Terry C. Knapp v. Whitaker, et al. 757 F.2d. 827 (7th Cir. 1985). Plaintiff's counsel in a First Amendment jury trial in which issues involved retaliation for protected free speech. Case won before a jury with a verdict of $517,000. Case was appealed by the school district. Won case in the Seventh Circuit, although verdict was reduced to between $200,000 and $400,000. Second trial seeking equitable relief in the form of transfer to original job and expungement of records was won in its entirety. Plaintiff received damages of approximately $350,000. Defendant paid in excess of $875,000 in combined damages and attorney's fees.
  2. Johnnie Loretta Hall v. Village of Creve Coeur, et al., Federal District Court No. 87-2052. Plaintiff's counsel in First Amendment litigation involving discharge for First Amendment protected activities. Case settled favorably to Plaintiff after seven days of trial and at the conclusion of Plaintiff's case. Settlement figure confidential at request of Defendants.
  3. Vivian Volk v. Gregory Coler, et al., 845 F.2d 1422 (7th Cir. 1988). Plaintiff's counsel in ten-day jury trial involving issues of sex discrimination and retaliation due to First Amendment protected activities. Case won before jury. Partial appeal to the Seventh Circuit on issues lost in the district court. District court decisions were reversed, and the case was won in the Seventh District. (See companion case below for results.)
  4. Mary Wegrzyn v. Dept. of Children & Family Service, et al., Federal District Court No. 85-1216. Plaintiff's counsel in sex discrimination and First Amendment case. This was a companion case to the Volk v. Coler case. Wegrzyn was a co-worker of Volk who assisted Volk in the prosecution of her claims and who was retaliated against because of that assistance. Total amount collected from the State of Illinois for both cases was over $525,000.
  5. John Hlavach v. Board of Education of Bartonville Public School District 66, et al., Federal District Court No. 86-1254. Plaintiff's counsel in case involving termination of school superintendent for First Amendment activities, violation of due process and other constitutional rights. Case settled favorably to Plaintiff for $250,000 after Plaintiff successfully defeated numerous motions by Defendants to dismiss his claim.
  6. Luke Crowley v. City of Henry, et al., Federal District Court No. 84-1314. Plaintiff's counsel in case involving termination of police officer in retaliation for First Amendment political activities. Case settled for $185,000 following defeat of Defendants' motions to dismiss and shortly after the beginning of discovery.
  7. Delores I. Wills v. County of Peoria, et al., Federal District Court No. 87-2328. Plaintiff's counsel in case involving discharge against employee for cooperating with law enforcement officials and engaging in other First Amendment protected activities. Case settled favorably to Plaintiff. Settlement confidential at request of Defendants.
  8. Rosenberg v. Tazewell County, Federal District Court No. 87-1289. Defended Tazewell County in a civil rights case dealing with Fourteenth Amendment due process issues. Won a Motion for Summary Judgment on behalf of Tazewell County shortly after case was filed by Plaintiff. Summary Judgment upheld on appeal.
  9. Davidson v. Peoria School District 150, et al., Federal District Court No. 92-1374. Plaintiff's counsel for school district principal in a First Amendment retaliation case. Case settled favorably for Plaintiff. Results confidential. (1994)
  10. Zorzi v. Putnam County , et al., 30 F.3d 885 (7th Cir. 1994). Plaintiffs' counsel for county employee terminated in retaliation for protected political activities and other conduct protected by First Amendment. Employee reinstated. Case settled favorably for Plaintiff. Results confidential. (1994)
  11. Wright v. DCFS, et al., 40 F.3d 1492 (7th Cir. 1994). Plaintiffs counsel in a First Amendment and retaliation claim by DCFS case worker who was terminated for testifying in state court. Employee was reinstated and Defendant paid over $500,000. (1997)
  12. Ryan v. DCFS, et al., Federal District Court No. 92-3079, Gillespie v. DCFS, et al., Federal District Court No. 92-3082. Plaintiff's counsel in constitutional equal protection and due process case. Jury awarded $4,900,000. Case settled June 2004.

Contract Negotiations

  1. Represented the five construction unions in both Pabst plant closings, securing favorable closing agreements and pension relief for the members of the unions. The agreements negotiated were much more favorable than those negotiated by other unions represented by different counsel. Also prosecuted various causes of actions against Pabst Brewing Co. before the NLRB, State Department of Labor and the EEOC which assisted in obtaining favorable plant closing benefits.
  2. Represented Newspaper Guild in contract negotiations with the Peoria Journal Star in October, 1989, assisting in the successful conclusion of negotiations and avoidance of a strike.
  3. Represented the Illinois Central College faculty negotiating committee since 1982 on various unfair labor practices and as an adviser during negotiations.

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