ERIC J. MUÑOZ
Eric Muñoz joined Scandaglia & Ryan 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 insurance coverage litigation, complex contract and commercial disputes, real estate litigation, transportation lawsuits, patent and trademark litigation, federal and state tort claims, municipal liability, and labor and employment disputes.
Cases in Point
- 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-U.
- 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
- 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), Author.
- "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 Catolica de Chile, Santiago Chile
- Overseas Studies Program, 1990 - 1991