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Jenner & Block achieved an outstanding victory for its long-time client, Fleet Mortgage Corp., when the Illinois Supreme Court reversed an Appellate Court decision that had ordered punitive damages for Sandia Mortgage Corp., a company Fleet subsequently acquired.
In Voyles v. Sandia Mortgage Corp., the Appellate Court had recognized a new general tort in Illinois - breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing - after which many tort claims seeking punitive damages for such a breach were filed throughout the state. If the Appellate Court's decision had been upheld, Illinois tort law in consumer disputes would have changed dramatically. However, the Illinois Supreme Court rejected the new general tort and found that Sandia's conduct had been completely proper and legal in every respect.
Partner William von Hoene successfully argued the case before the Illinois Supreme Court, with assistance from Associate Jessie Liu and Partners Shelley Malinowski, David Sanders, and Barry Levenstam of the Appellate and Supreme Court Practice Group.