J.T. Wilson III Obtains Summary Judgment for Municipal Client in Complex Employment Litigation Case

November 26, 2018 01:48 PM

A Lewis Brisbois Chicago team led by IADC member J.T. Wilson III recently obtained summary judgment for a local municipal client in a complex multi-plaintiff employment litigation case.

The plaintiffs, present and former police officers, say they were retaliated against for issuing a parking ticket to the mayor, then a candidate, of a local municipality. The complaint alleged numerous claims against the Village and its leaders, including: tortious interference with a continuing business relationship; intentional infliction of emotional distress against all defendants; retaliatory discharge under the Workers’ Compensation Act; and violation of the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act with attorneys’ fees under the Illinois Attorneys’ Fees in Wage Actions Act against all defendants.

In reaching its decision on summary judgment, the court determined that an employer authorized to terminate an at-will employee cannot tortuously interfere with its own employment relationship, and that the plaintiffs failed to show that the defendant acted maliciously and unrelated to the Village’s interest, in order to fit the recognized exception. Further, the plaintiffs failed to show that the defendants’ conduct was extreme or outrageous, or that any of the plaintiffs suffered emotional distress sufficient to support a claim. The court also determined that no reasonable jury could find that the plaintiff was fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim, and that the plaintiff failed to show any evidence for the claim of unpaid wages. Therefore, the court entered judgment on the merits in favor of our defendants on all of the plaintiffs’ claims and terminated the case.

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