Blackout Sealcoating, Inc. v. Peterson, No. 12-3352 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Blackout performs asphalt paving work and other construction services and had contracts with the Chicago Transit Authority that were terminable at will. The CTA informed Blackout that it would not do business with the firm for the next year (debarment) and did not give a reason. Illinois law allows judicial review of debarment by public bodies, but Blackout did not avail itself of that process, nor did it sue for libel, although it insists that public announcement of debarment is defamatory, but filed suit in federal court under 42 U.S.C. 1983, claiming deprivation of “occupational liberty” without due process. The district court dismissed, noting that that inability to work for a single employer is not deprivation of occupational liberty and that there was no allegation of inability to work for public or private entities other than the CTA. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, noting that Blackout won a school district contract after the CTA debarment.