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Illinois Attorneys Raise Motion to Dismiss Against Federal Class Action

Chicago attorneys Jason E. Hunter and Bryan E. Curry successfully raised a Motion to Dismiss on behalf of a downtown Chicago hotel client against a federal class action complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The individual Plaintiff alleged that he, along with others similarly situated, were charged an “Urban Fee” in addition to the base room rate in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. Our attorneys’ motion was ruled upon in August 2021, which resulted in a complete dismissal with prejudice of all allegations.

The Plaintiff accused our client of deceptive practices, asserting that the hotel engaged in “drip pricing” by assessing an Urban Fee and Urban Tax without first disclosing the additional fees as part of the advertised “true” price of the room. The Plaintiff further sought to raise class claims on behalf of all United States citizens who have booked a hotel room at our client’s hotel in Chicago through a telephone call or on a website, as well as all other hotels throughout the nation, that are owned, operated or managed by any of the named Defendants, and that assess similar fees.

In granting our Motion to Dismiss, the Court agreed with Litchfield Cavo LLP attorneys Jason and Bryan’s defense position that the Plaintiff, who allegedly reserved his room over the telephone, could not represent the proposed class of plaintiffs with respect to any web-based bookings. The Court also agreed that the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act did not apply to potential claims against any hotel properties outside Illinois. Further, the Court sided with the Defendants in finding that the Plaintiff failed to allege deceptive conduct in the complaint with particularity, and took note that the alleged improper fee and tax were clearly disclosed on the Hotel’s website. Additionally, the Court dismissed the Plaintiff’s companion claim for unjust enrichment, and denied the Plaintiff a fourth opportunity to file an amended complaint.

Jason is a Partner at Litchfield Cavo LLC and represents corporate and individual clients in class action as well as those involving construction liability, trucking/automobile litigation, catastrophic personal injury and medical malpractice defense. He is routinely retained to represent business and commercial entities in matters involving multi-million dollar exposures.

Bryan is Of Counsel at the Firm. His legal practice includes defending clients in complex cases including commercial disputes, employment litigation, catastrophic personal injuries and wrongful death claims. He has successfully litigated insurance coverage disputes at the trial court level and has represented clients on appeal in Illinois and before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Jason and Bryan both are members of the Firm’s financial institutions class action team.