Justia U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Vesely v. Armslist LLC
Jitka Vesel was shot with a handgun that was illegally purchased by Demetry Smirnov who found the weapon available for purchase on Armslist.com, a website that facilitates the sale of guns between private owners. Plaintiff filed suit on behalf of Jitka, alleging that Armslist's negligence in facilitating the sale proximately caused Jitka's death. The court concluded that plaintiff failed to allege any cognizable negligence claim for which Armslist could be held responsible for Smirnov's acts where no special relationship exists between the parties nor has one been alleged in the complaint; the district court did not err in denying plaintiff's motion to reconsider; the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying plaintiff leave to amend; and, therefore, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the complaint for failure to state a claim. View "Vesely v. Armslist LLC" on Justia Law
Hahn, et al. v. Walsh, et al.
After Janet Hahn died of diabetic ketoacidosis when she was a pretrial detainee at a correctional center, her husband and the administrator of her estate filed suit alleging that various government officials and private contractors failed to provide her adequate medical treatment. The district court dismissed some of plaintiffs' claims and granted summary judgment in favor of defendants on the remaining claims. The court concluded that the district court correctly dismissed the wrongful death claim but erred in dismissing it with prejudice where plaintiffs produced insufficient evidence to permit their claims against Sheriff Walsh and the jail's medical contractor to survive summary judgment. Therefore, the court reversed the district court's judgment insofar as it dismissed the wrongful death claim with prejudice. The court affirmed in all other respects. View "Hahn, et al. v. Walsh, et al." on Justia Law
Han v. United Continental Holdings, et al.
Plaintiff filed a putative class action against United, alleging that United breached the terms of its frequent-flyer program. Plaintiff argued that United breached the program contract by crediting him for mileage determined by the distance between the airports, instead of the number of miles the airplanes actually flew (including such things as weather diversions and landing delays). The court concluded that plaintiff failed to state a claim for breach of the program because United has discretion to interpret the meaning of "mileage" and the interpretation United gave that term was reasonable. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the complaint with prejudice. View "Han v. United Continental Holdings, et al." on Justia Law
Mathews, Jr. v. Rio
Petitioner, convicted of possession of a firearm by a felon, appealed the district court's denial of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. 2241. Petitioner was sentenced under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. 924(e), and one of the predicate state felony convictions upon which the district court relied was a federal conviction under Illinois's felon-in-possession statute. The court concluded that the petition was blocked by 28 U.S.C. 2255(e), which restricts a prisoner from applying for habeas review where a prisoner's 28 U.S.C. 2255 motion already has been denied and that motion was not inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention. Petitioner presented the same argument that he made to the initial sentencing court - the court misconstrued the text of the Illinois statute, to this court on appeal, and to the district court in his motion for relief under section 2255. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Mathews, Jr. v. Rio" on Justia Law
Int’l Brotherhood of Electrical Workers v. NextEra Energy Point Beach LLC
The Union filed suit against a nuclear energy facility to compel arbitration after a union employee was discharged without just cause. The court reversed the district court's denial of the Union's motion to compel arbitration where the Union's grievance, on its face, clearly falls within the scope of the arbitration clause. View "Int'l Brotherhood of Electrical Workers v. NextEra Energy Point Beach LLC" on Justia Law
Hill v. United States
Plaintiff filed suit against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. 2671 et seq., after he was attacked by a fellow prisoner which resulted in blindness in one eye and serious impairment in the other eye. Plaintiff was released from prison while his suit was pending and failed to notify the court of his new address. Consequently, the suit was dismissed for failure to prosecute. Plaintiff, through counsel, later sought to set aside the dismissal twice and the district court denied his motion both times. Given the unusual gravity of plaintiff's injuries, the absence of any suggestion of prejudice to defendant from the delay in suing, and the district court's cursory treatment of the issue of equitable tolling, the court vacated and remanded to the district court for further consideration of the tolling issue. View "Hill v. United States" on Justia Law
Mosley v. Butler
The State appealed for the second time the district court's grant of petitioner's petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. 2254. On remand, the district court held that petitioner's trial attorney rendered ineffective assistance of counsel under Strickland v. Washington and granted the petition. The State appealed, arguing that the district court analyzed the state court's decision under section 2254(d), instead of analyzing independently whether petitioner was being held unconstitutionally under section 2254(a). The court concluded that, although the district court used incorrect language to describe its job on remand, it recognized its duty to correctly review petitioner's claim under section 2254(a). The court agreed with the district court's assessment that counsel rendered ineffective assistance in violation of petitioner's Sixth Amendment rights and affirmed the district court's order to release or retry petitioner. View "Mosley v. Butler" on Justia Law
Lindner v. Union Pacific Railroad Co.
Plaintiff filed a wrongful death action against Union Pacific in state court after his parents were killed when a Union Pacific train derailed and caused a bridge to collapse. Union Pacific removed to federal court based on diversity jurisdiction where plaintiff's parents were domiciled in Illinois and Union Pacific is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Nebraska. On appeal, Union Pacific challenged the district court's grant of plaintiff's request for leave to amend his complaint to add claims against two Illinois residents. The court held that, because the order granting leave to amend can be reviewed in state court, mandamus relief is neither necessary nor appropriate. In this instance, Union Pacific's appeal and request for a writ of mandamus must be dismissed. View "Lindner v. Union Pacific Railroad Co." on Justia Law
Marshall v. City of Chicago, et al.
Plaintiff filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against the City and law enforcement officers, alleging that plaintiff's arrest was not supported by probable cause. The court rejected plaintiff's argument that the district court abused its discretion by denying his motion to excuse a prospective juror for cause on the grounds that she held a prior belief concerning the possession of firearms by convicted felons, which plaintiff believed made her unfit to serve. The court also rejected plaintiff's argument that the district court erred by refusing to agree to an ad hoc alteration of the parties' agreed-upon jury selection procedures for the express purpose of ensuring that the petit jury would include jurors of a certain race. The district court did not abuse its discretion by refusing to remove the prospective juror for cause, nor did it do so by denying plaintiff's motion to adjust the agreed-upon size of the petit jury. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Marshall v. City of Chicago, et al." on Justia Law
Estate of Edmund M. Carman v. Tinkes, et al.
Edmund Carman died after crashing his car into the back of a commercial pickup truck. His estate filed suit alleging state negligence claims in federal district court against the truck's driver (Daniel Tinkes), the driver's employer, and the truck's owner, invoking the court's diversity jurisdiction. The court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants where a jury could find that Tinkes had illegally passed the other truck on the right but that a jury could not find that Tinkes's violation caused Carman to crash into his truck from the rear in the lane that Tinkes was leaving. View "Estate of Edmund M. Carman v. Tinkes, et al." on Justia Law