A lawyer in Illinois is suing her former employer over a car accident involving a friend and a coworker, alleging the company “has systematically discriminated against her clients.”
In a lawsuit filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court, attorney Sarah Loomis accuses the company of using the wrongful death lawsuit to push out its female attorneys.
She alleges that the company has systematically discriminated, over the years, against her client, her client’s mother and her daughter, and also against her daughter’s boyfriend, Loomi wrote.
The company is owned by the husband of Looman’s former client, a former partner in the Chicago law firm of Travia & Co. that she left in 2014 after more than two decades of work with the firm.
Loomin says her former client was on the brink of being deported when the car accident occurred.
Lomax is the first of two women who sued Travias parent company, Travian Corp., last year for its treatment of their clients.
The firm did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Lompis filed a lawsuit in the Cook County court against the company in November, accusing Traviacs attorney, Richard Wieck, of violating her rights under the Illinois Human Rights Act.
Wiecker has denied the claims.
The lawsuit alleges that Loomic was denied the right to sue for damages in violation of the Illinois law because she was denied an opportunity to be represented by a lawyer.
Loebs attorney, John Loeber, has also denied the lawsuit’s allegations.
In the lawsuit, Lomis says she was the sole survivor of the car crash and suffered serious injuries, including her head and neck.
In addition to her medical bills, she is seeking $1.4 million in compensatory damages, which are meant to compensate her for loss of income and the loss of her life savings, according to the complaint.
Loomis’ attorney, who was not named in the lawsuit but was named in a lawsuit related to the crash, told the Chicago Tribune that she has no interest in settling her lawsuit with the company.
“I’m not a lawyer,” Loomins attorney said.
“I don’t believe in settling.”
Loomi has since filed a counterclaim against Travie Corp., seeking a temporary restraining order against Wiecking and other defendants.
The counterclaim alleges that Wiecks wrongful death claim against Looms was based on false testimony and that the wrongful-death lawsuit was based upon false testimony.
In a separate lawsuit, a female attorney named Maria Corley, who has worked for TraviCare since 2011, has filed a similar wrongful-dead lawsuit against the Illinois attorney general, claiming that he did not follow procedure in the filing of her lawsuit.
In addition to Loom and Corley’s lawsuits, a number of women who have been injured by the company have filed similar lawsuits, including former employees, employees of Tritia, former employees of another law firm, former members of the Chicago police force and former employees from other law firms.
In an email to the Tribune, Tritias attorney, William F. Smith, said that Lomas lawsuit is not a good example of wrongful death.
Smith did not respond to a request for comment from the Tribune.
Lomax told the Tribune that her claims are not in dispute.
“They’re simply wrong,” Lomae said.
“The lawyers are claiming a wrongful death when they have no legal basis for doing so,” Lommax said.
The Illinois Human Right Act provides a broad range of protections for victims of discrimination and protects against retaliation for exercising a protected right, according the website of the National Association of Attorneys General.
In a written statement, the group said the law was designed to protect individuals from being subject to arbitrary discrimination or retaliation.
“This is a federal civil rights law, not a state law,” the group wrote.
“We know that these claims are baseless and that there is no basis for their claims,” the National Alliance for Women and Families said in a statement.
“The Illinois Law Commission is reviewing this lawsuit and will be making recommendations in due course.
We hope that all of the injured victims can get the support they need in the process.”
Follow Elizabeth Landau on Twitter at @elizabethlandau and Emily Sisk at @emilysisk.
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