ERIC J. MUÑOZ
Eric Muñoz joined Scandaglia Ryan LLP in September 2001 after serving a two-year clerkship with the Honorable Robert W. Pratt of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Muñoz taught middle school with the Long Beach Unified School District in California.
Mr. Muñoz regularly counsels clients involved in a wide range of complex commercial and business disputes, including: real estate litigation, hotel and hospitality litigation, lawsuits in the transportation industry, defense of broker liability and negligent selection of motor carrier claims, defense against elevator equipment and elevator maintenance accident claims, insurance coverage litigation, patent and trademark litigation, antitrust litigation, federal and state tort claims, municipal liability claims, and labor and employment disputes, including restrictive covenants and non-compete provisions.
Mr. Muñoz provides ongoing antitrust counsel to trade associations engaged in code development and standard-setting across multiple industries.
- Estate of Caulfield v. Aerco International, Inc., et al. (No. 13 L 1848, Third Judicial Circuit, Madison County, Illinois) – On behalf of a national manufacturer of electronic equipment used in parimutuel betting facilities, successfully defended against and obtained dismissal of claims for injury and damages arising from the plaintiffs' alleged exposure to asbestos in defendants' products.
- Williams v. C.H. Robinson et al. (13 L 4034) – Successfully defended against and resolved warehouse injury claims brought by a "borrowed" employee of the warehouse. This case raised novel issues of the "loaned servant" doctrine under Illinois law.
- CH South Michigan Apartments, LLC v. DV Roosevelt & Michigan, LLC et al. (No. 12 L 9852, Circuit Court of Cook County) – On behalf of a buyer of a high rise mix-use commercial and residential building in Chicago, successfully prosecuted and resolved a dispute arising from the parties' purchase and sale agreement, including restoring ownership rights in and to the relevant internet domain name.
- City of Chicago v. The Sports Authority (Department of Buildings, City of Chicago, NOV# 512VO341141) – On behalf of a national sporting goods retailer, successfully defended against and resolved administrative allegations by the City of Chicago regarding various HVAC and mechanical issues.
- Vasic v. Expressimi Trust, Ltd. et al. (2011 L 011523, Circuit Court of Cook County) – Obtained successful outcome on behalf of a freight broker against claims of negligent motor carrier selection by the plaintiff's estate. Critical to this outcome was demonstrating that it was not unreasonable for the client to contract with an unrated motor carrier with a "new entrant" safety audit.
- Midtronics, Inc. v. Pettit (No. 11 CH 3110, DuPage County, Illinois) – Successfully defended against claims based on non-competition and restrictive covenant provisions of an employment contract.
- Hayward v. C.H. Robinson Company (No. 09 L 68, Circuit Court of Peoria County) – Successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of a freight broker in a personal injury/wrongful death action brought by the estate of a Peoria, Illinois woman. After a tractor trailer accident, the plaintiff asserted claims against the broker for agency liability and the negligent hiring of the motor carrier and truck driver. In its written ruling, the court agreed there was no agency relationship between the broker and motor carrier (and its driver) and no negligent hiring liability for merely contracting with an independent contractor trucking company. Summary judgment affirmed on appeal by, 2014 IL App (3d) 130530 (Dec. 9, 2014).
- Richard Williams, et al. v. Charles L. Sanders, Jr., et al. (No. 08 L 8521, Circuit Court of Cook County)– Secured summary judgment on behalf of a national transportation broker in two consolidated personal injury lawsuits brought in connection with a trucking accident on Interstate 294 in 2007. Finding in favor of the client and against the plaintiffs, the Court rejected all claims of vicarious liability and all claims of liability based on an alleged negligent hiring of the truck driver.
- John A. Greager M.D. v. NIEW Legal Partners, Inc. et al. – On behalf of a Minnesota-based insurer, prevailed over a claim brought by a policyholder against the insurance company, asserting, amongst other things, vicarious liability for fiduciary breaches alleged against a producer who recommended and sold our client's insurance products.
- Amakua Development LLC v. H. Ty Warner, et al. (No. 05 C 3082) – Secured a jury verdict of no liability for H. Ty Warner, Ty Inc., Ty Warner Hotels & Resorts LLC and JTL Capital Corporation in a lawsuit in which Amakua sought more than $30 million in damages plus punitives, in relation to the sale of the Las Ventanas Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico from JTL Capital to Ty Warner Hotels & Resorts.
- Brookfield Retail Centers, Inc. v. 700 North Michigan Ave., LLC (No. 05 C 5091, N.D. Illinois) — Represented commercial building owners in defense of an action seeking recovery of rents. Successfully prosecuted counterclaims for breach of lease agreement, and negotiated a financial settlement resulting in the dismissal of the underlying claims and recovery of our client's litigation costs.
- Compass Environmental Inc. v. IDRA, Inc. (No. 05 C 4057, N.D. Illinois) — Litigated a million-dollar breach of contract action for an environmental remediation firm. Defeated plaintiff’s challenge to Illinois venue and fraud counterclaim. Successfully negotiated a favorable settlement for the client.
- Elite Valet Systems, Inc. v. Elite Valet Services, LLC (No. 05 C 3230, N.D. Illinois) — On behalf of Chicago-based valet services firm, successfully defended and negotiated dismissal of federal and state law claims of trademark infringement, and defeated plaintiff's request for damages.
- FagelHaber, LLC v. 55 East Monroe Investors IV, LLC (No. 06 CH 04862, Circuit Court of Cook County) — Represented a Chicago Loop office building in a lease dispute arising out of a multimillion-dollar redevelopment and condominium renovation plan.
- Salazar v. CH Robinson (No. 04 L 6336, Circuit Court of Cook County) — Represented a national transportation broker and obtained dismissal of all broker liability claims arising from an off-loading accident.
- Main Place - Orland Park Associates, LLC v. MaggieMoo's International, LLC (No. 06 CH 14938, Circuit Court of Cook County) — Represented a shopping center development in prosecution of claims for specific performance and breach of contract against national franchisor/lessee. Successfully defeated pleading challenge by lessee, and thereafter negotiated recovery of a substantial portion of the value of the parties' 10-year lease.
- In re Lunn (No. 05 B 04533, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, N.D. Illinois) — Represented a California-based development group in the acquisition of a $62 million shopping center from a debtor entity whose holdings were the subject of both Illinois foreclosure and bankruptcy proceedings.
- Continental Casualty Co. v. Educational and Healthcare Development Foundation et al. (No. 94 CH 2397, Circuit Court of Cook County) — Represented a secured party/bond holder in an Illinois foreclosure action. Litigated the foreclosure judgment, judicial sale and confirmation, and secured title to a $64 million commercial property.
- Frazier v. Chicago Board of Education (No. 03 C 755, N.D. Illinois) — Represented a City of Chicago high school principal and obtained dismissal of federal and common law tort claims brought by a former teacher.
- Pliant Corp. v. Pactiv Corp. (No. IP 02-855, S.D. Indiana) — Represented a leading packaging company in a patent infringement lawsuit related to the use of slider-zipper technology in form, fill and seal processes.
- Lou Mitchell's Inc. v. Original Uncle Lou's Restaurant, Inc. (No. 01 C 8114, N.D. Illinois) — Successfully defended trademark rights of a famous Chicago restaurant.
- Auberge Resorts, LLC v. San Ysidro BB Property, LLC (No. 72 Y 181 00035 03 TMS, American Arbitration Assoc.) — Defended a California-based hotel and spa in a multimillion-dollar litigation brought by a management company over issues involving breach of contract and fiduciary duties.
- Roi v. Wick et al. (No. 00 CH 16473, Circuit Court Cook County) — Represented the principal of a global marketing firm in his individual capacity, and successfully defended against claims for fraud and unjust enrichment.
Selected Publications and Speaking Engagements
- "Lawlor: A Roadmap for Limiting Exposure to Punitive Damages," Illinois Bar Journal (June 2013).
- "The Commercial Foreclosure Process in Illinois," DePaul Business & Commercial Law Journal (Vol. 2, No. 2), Winter 2004, Co-author.
- "The Internal Corporate Investigation," DePaul Business & Commercial Law Journal (Vol. 1, 2002), Co-author.
- "Illinois General Not For Profit Corporation Act of 1986: A Commentary and Annotated Summary" (2002), Co-author.
Admissions, Affiliations and Honors
- Federal Bars: Northern District of Illinois and Central District of Illinois
- State Bars: Illinois and Iowa
- Chicago Bar Association
- Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois
- The World Bank, Washington D.C. (1991), Researcher
- University of Iowa, College of Law, Iowa City, Iowa
- Juris Doctor, with distinction, 1999
- Symposium Editor, Iowa Journal of Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems, 1998 - 1999
- Stanford University, Stanford, California
- Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, 1992
- Departmental Honors
- La Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago Chile
- Overseas Studies Program, 1990 - 1991