Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Illinois

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Plaintiffs are partners in the business of dairy farming. Defendant is an agricultural cooperative in the business of producing and supplying dairy products. In 1980, plaintiffs became members of defendant’s cooperative, paid $15 for shares of defendant’s common stock, and entered into a “Milk Marketing Agreement” with defendant. In 2005, plaintiffs temporarily ceased milk production. Defendant notified plaintiffs that it had terminated their agreement and plaintiffs’ membership in the cooperative and tendered $15 to plaintiffs to redeem the shares of common stock. Plaintiffs rejected the payment and sought shareholder remedies pursuant to the Business Corporation Act (805 ILCS 5/12.56). Based on defendant’s alleged concealment, suppression, or omission of its interpretation of its by-laws, count II alleged a claim under the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (815 ILCS 505/1), and count III alleged common-law fraud. Plaintiffs’ counsel withdrew and they obtained multiple extensions. After a voluntary dismissal, plaintiffs refiled. The circuit court dismissed the refiled action on grounds of res judicata and the statute of limitations. The appellate court reversed and remanded and the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed. Although nearly five years elapsed between the time plaintiffs were granted leave to file an amended complaint and their voluntary dismissal, defendant did not seek a final order dismissing the matter with prejudice, definitively ending the action. View "Richter v. Prairie Farms Dairy" on Justia Law