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Gretchen Harris Sperry Discusses Illinois' Biggest Decisions of 2019

January 2, 2020

Hinshaw partner Gretchen Harris Sperry—the chair of the firm's Appellate practice—recently reviewed with Law360 some of the biggest Illinois court decisions of 2019.

Sperry specifically considered the hiring due diligence implications for employers following the Doe v. Coe decision, a case in which a church youth group and its pastor were accused of negligent hiring and supervision of a youth minister who allegedly assaulted a teenage church member. The court—for the first time—reviewed the elements required for making a negligent supervision claim, holding that evidence of prior notice of unfitness was not required.

While not addressed in the court’s ruling, Sperry said that the negligence claims at issue in the case raise questions about the extent of the obligations of an employer to engage in a Google search into the online public presence of a job applicant. If the youth group were held liable in this case, she suggested it would represent a “tremendous expansion” of an employer’s obligation in the hiring process.

Read the full article on the Law360 website (subscription may be required)

“Biggest Illinois Decisions of 2019” was published by Law360, December 19, 2019.

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP is a U.S. based law firm with offices nationwide and in London. The firm's national reputation spans the insurance industry, the financial services sector, and other highly regulated industries. Hinshaw also serves as counsel to the professional services sector, and provides business advisory and transactional services to clients of all sizes.