The Labor and Employment Department of Payne & Fears specializes in representing local, regional and national employers in all aspects of labor and employment law and related litigation.  We defend employers in employment cases, ranging from single-plaintiff wage and hour actions to complex disparate treatment cases brought on behalf of thousands of employees.  We deliver cost-effective results through early, comprehensive assessment of the facts and case strategy.  While many of our cases are resolved by dispositive motions and early resolution, we are also skilled trial attorneys who successfully take employment cases of every size and type through trial, arbitrations and administrative proceedings.  Our major areas of expertise include:

Successes

2015

$40 Million Settlement Reached for Craftwood Lumber Company

Payne & Fears secured final approval of the Interline class action settlement from Federal District Judge Amy J. St. Eve in Chicago. Under the settlement, Interline Brands will pay $40 million to an 80,000-member class of its junk fax recipients. The settlement is believed to be the largest junk fax recovery in history. The settlement also breaks new ground by automatically distributing funds to class members based on the number of faxes received, rather than requiring class members to submit claims. Judge St. Eve also awarded class representative Craftwood Lumber Company a $25,00 incentive award. 

A key factor in settlement was an August 2013 ruling by former Judge John F. Grady that barred Interline from asserting either the "prior express permission" or established business relationships defenses as sanctions for failing to comply with his discovery order. The ruling effectively stripped Interline of any defenses to the class' claims. 

Practice areas: Business Litigation

Attorneys: C. Darryl Cordero, Jared De Jong, Philip K. Lem

Apr 07

$3 Million "Fax Blast" Settlement Reached for Client Craftwood Lumber Co.

Payne & Fears client Craftwood Lumber Co. recently struck a $3 million settlement with Senco Brands Inc. over alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Junk Fax Protection Act.

In 2014, Craftwood, a regional hardware and lumber chain, sued power tool manufacturer, Senco, in the Northern District of Illinois claiming that between 2010 and 2014 it had been targeted in a “fax blasting” campaign advertising Senco’s air compressors, nail guns and other tools. The cover page of the fax contained the message “Attention Senco Dealers!! NEW!!!!!!!! AIR COMPRESSOR AND 3 TOOL COMBO KIT!!! … Please see attached flyer!!” followed by an advertising leaflet.

After contentious argument over discovery, two motions to stay, a motion to dismiss and a motion for summary judgment, the parties settled avoiding years of litigation if the case were to continue.

Craftwood is urging the Court to expeditiously certify the class and approve the settlement. Under the settlement terms, each proposed class member is anticipated to receive about $800 to be paid automatically without the need to opt-in to the class.

In 2014, the same year Craftwood filed the current suit, our firm helped Craftwood reach a $40 million settlement with Interline Brands Inc., to put to rest a similar class action over junk faxes.

Practice areas: Business Litigation

Attorneys: C. Darryl Cordero, Leilani L. Jones, Philip K. Lem, Scott O. Luskin