Federal Judge Enters Judgment in Favor of Orland Fire Protection District

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Federal Judge Enters Judgment in Favor of Orland Fire Protection District

After a week-long trial in the Northern District of Illinois, Federal Judge Thomas M. Durkin ruled in favor of the Orland Fire Protection District in a lawsuit filed against it by a major fire alarm monitoring company.  The lawsuit alleged that the Fire District violated antitrust laws by entering into an exclusive contract with a competing fire alarm company.

Attorney James J. Roche of James J. Roche & Associates, 642 North Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois, represented the Fire District at trial. Roche said the court ruled that the Fire District acted within its authority when it entered into the contract.

“The Fire District is a party to an exclusive contract under which an alarm monitoring company’s equipment is housed at the Orland Central Dispatch and receives alarm monitoring signals from commercial properties located in Orland Park, Orland Hills, and unincorporated areas of Cook County pursuant to Village direct connect ordinances and an Intergovernmental Agreement,” Roche said.

Judge Durkin, Roche said, concluded that that exclusive contract did not violate any of the existing antitrust laws, including the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act. The Judge similarly held in favor of the Fire District on 14th Amendment grounds.

The Judge further noted the contract was the “logical and intended result” of the ordinances established by the Village of Orland Hills and the Village of Orland Park.

“The Court agreed that the Fire District has immunity from any anticompetitive effects caused by its conduct and also ruled that any restraints in the market were a result of the Village ordinances and not of the contract between the parties,” Roche explained.

“Specifically, the Court ruled that any anticompetitive effects of the contract were apparent and endorsed as consistent with the State’s legislative intent and policy goals.”

Roche continued, “The Court agreed that the Fire District’s contract was consistent with the Fire District’s goals of providing fire protection for the communities it serves.”

“The most important consideration for Orland Fire Protection District is to protect the lives and property of its residents and businesses and we feel the existing arrangement does exactly that.”

Ray Hanania

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