Rocha v. Rudd, No. 15-1538 (7th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
In 2005, FedEx delivery drivers, represented by Defendants (lawyers), filed suit, alleging that FedEx had misclassified them as independent contractors, citing the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA), 820 ILCS 115/1. In 2011, after the court granted partial summary judgment, holding that plaintiffs were IWPCA employees, Rocha joined the action. His agreement with Defendants limited the scope of representation because he was pursuing other claims against FedEx on behalf of his company with separate representation by Johnson (his spouse). The agreement affirmed Rocha’s right to accept or reject any settlement. In 2012, the parties notified the court of a tentative settlement. Defendants told Rocha and Johnson that FedEx required “a release of all claims against FedEx both individually and on behalf of any associated corporation,” but reasserted Rocha’s right to not join the settlement. After the court approved the settlement, it allowed Defendants to withdraw as Rocha's counsel, dismissed the case with prejudice for all named plaintiffs except Rocha, and dismissed Rocha's case without prejudice. Rocha was not required to pay attorney’s fees or expenses. The district court later dismissed Rocha’s separate suit. Before filing his state‐court complaint (still pending), Rocha sued Defendants, claiming breach of contract, malpractice, fraud, and violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. The Seventh Circuit affirmed dismissal, finding no plausible grounds for relief.