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Barnes v. Callaghan & Co.

decided: July 29, 1977.

MARIAN BARNES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT CROSS-APPELLEE,
v.
CALLAGHAN & COMPANY, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE CROSS-APPELLANT



Appeals from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division No. 73-C-1028 - John F. Grady, Judge.

Cummings and Pell, Circuit Judges, and Campbell, Senior District Judge.*fn*

Author: Cummings

CUMMINGS, Circuit Judge.

Four days after the commencement of trial, pursuant to prior leave, plaintiff filed her four-count Third Amended Complaint.*fn1 Count One was brought under Section 703(a)(1) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e-2(a)(1)). Plaintiff, a female resident of Des Plaines, Illinois, alleged that on September 25, 1972, she was discharged as head of its Editorial Department by defendant publisher of law books. She claimed that she was discharged and otherwise discriminated against because of sex and that she was succeeded by a male. She filed a timely charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on October 4, 1972. That agency issued her a notice of right-to-sue letter on April 13, 1973. Plaintiff asserted that after she filed her EEOC charge, defendant retaliated and harassed and intimidated her. In Count One she sought appropriate injunctive relief and reinstatement with back pay, plus $10,000 in punitive damages, costs and attorney's fees.*fn2

Count Four was a pendent claim for slander and asserted that on September 26, 1972, Rae Smith, defendant's executive vice president, made the following slanderous statements to her former co-employees (including Richard Young and Stephen Hill):

"Marian Barnes was terminated because she was a non-communicator."

"Marian Barnes was terminated because she failed to communicate."

Count Four also alleged that on December 14, 1972, Michael Cudahy, defendant's president, made the following slanderous statements to Roger Sekara, the personnel director of Baxter Laboratories, concerning plaintiff's abilities as an employee of defendant:

"That we had to let Marian Barnes go because in our opinion her managing abilities were not keeping up with what we needed."

"That Marian Barnes had been managing our editorial department and the demands of that position had gotten beyond her."

"That Marian Barnes was not communicating company policy to people."

"That Marian Barnes said management was a bunch of bums."

"That Marian Barnes was attempting to isolate people from Mr. Cudahy."

After asserting that malice was the gist of Count Four, plaintiff sought $560,000 in damages plus costs and attorneys' fees and an ...


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