University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Breedlove v. Tele-Trip Co. Inc. EE-IL-0275
Docket / Court 1:91-CV-5702 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
On September 9, 1991, employees of Tele-Trip Co. filed a lawsuit against their employer, its owner Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company, and their retirement plan, Mutual of Omaha Retirement Income Plan, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiffs alleged ... read more >
On September 9, 1991, employees of Tele-Trip Co. filed a lawsuit against their employer, its owner Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company, and their retirement plan, Mutual of Omaha Retirement Income Plan, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant had violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. § 1132a and had engaged in age discrimination.

The plaintiffs were originally employees of Tele-Trip, but were reclassified as "independent operators" before they were eventually discharged. As independent operators, they performed the same duties as they did when they were employees and were subject to the same oversight. Since they were no longer classified as employees, however, they were not given pension benefits for their years as independent operators. They alleged that this was age discrimination and a violation of ERISA.

On June 22, 1992 the plaintiffs dismissed their age discrimination claims. On July 27, 1993, the court (Judge Harry D. Leinenweber) approved the plaintiffs' motion for class certification. The class consisted of "all persons who have been or are being characterized as independent operators of Tele-Trip airport locations, and the employees of such independent operators." The court also denied the defendants' motion for summary judgment on the basis that it could not disqualify the plaintiffs as a matter of law as employees since they were the functional equivalent of employees. Finally, the court dismissed Tele-Trip and Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company from the case. The parties thereafter reached a settlement that the court (Judge Leinenweber) approved on November 7, 1994. The details of the settlement are not known.

Michael Perry - 08/05/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Pay / Benefits
Discrimination-basis
Age discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. § 1001
Defendant(s) Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company
Plaintiff Description All persons who had been or were characterized as independent operators of Tele-Trip airport locations and any employees of such independent operators.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1997
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Written: Mar. 01, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:91−cv−05702 (N.D. Ill.) 07/25/1997
EE-IL-0275-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion (Granting plaintiff permission to interview former employees of the defendant) 08/12/1992 (1992 WL 202147 / 1992 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 12149) (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0275-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion (Granting class certification, denying defendants' motions for summary judgment, and dismissing two defendants) 07/27/1993 (1993 WL 284327) (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0275-0002 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Bucklo, Elaine E. (N.D. Ill.) [Magistrate]
EE-IL-0275-9000
Leinenweber, Harry Daniel (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0275-0001 | EE-IL-0275-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Allison, Robert D. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0275-9000
Hellman, Joel M. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0275-9000
Howard, Bruce C. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0275-9000
Karsh, Joshua (Illinois)
EE-IL-0275-9000
Kralovec, Clare Marie (Illinois)
EE-IL-0275-9000
Mikva, Mary Lane (Illinois)
EE-IL-0275-9000
Seliger, Stephen G (Illinois)
EE-IL-0275-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Hedrick, Janet Marie (Illinois)
EE-IL-0275-9000
Wolf, Charles Benno (Illinois)
EE-IL-0275-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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