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03/19/87 Counterdefendant- v. Beatrice Preston Et Al.

March 19, 1987

APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, SECOND DISTRICT ILLINOIS FARMERS INSURANCE COMPANY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE AND COUNTERDEFENDANT-APPELLEE

v.

BEATRICE PRESTON ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS (ROBERT L. KUFALK ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES; BEATRICE



Preston, Counterplaintiff-Appellant)

505 N.E.2d 1343, 153 Ill. App. 3d 644, 106 Ill. Dec. 552 1987.IL.344

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Winnebago County; the Hon. Robert C. Gill, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

Justice Woodward delivered the opinion of the court. Lindberg, P.J., and Inglis, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE WOODWARD

Defendant, Beatrice Preston, was named defendant in Kufalk v. Hart (N.D. Ill. 1985), 610 F. Supp. 1178, in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois; that Federal action was pending at the time the present suit was filed.

The defendant, Preston, tendered her defense in the Federal court action to her insurer, the plaintiff herein, Illinois Farmers Insurance Company (hereinafter IFIC). IFIC contended that the defendant was not covered under her homeowner's policy, refused to defend, and filed this action for declaratory judgment. The circuit court of Winnebago County granted summary judgment for IFIC.

The plaintiff in the Federal suit, Robert Kufalk, filed a fourcount complaint against the defendant, Preston, and others. The counts were set forth as follows:

(1) "DEPRIVATION OF RIGHTS UNDER 42 USC SEC. 1983"

(2) "MALICIOUS INTERFERENCE WITH EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP"

(3) "PUNITIVE DAMAGES"

(4) "BREACH OF EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP."

The incident giving rise to these claims was the alleged wrongful dismissal of Mr. Kufalk as administrator of the Barbara Olson School of Hope (hereinafter BOSH), an organization serving developmentally disabled adult clients with mental disabilities. In his complaint, Kufalk names Beatrice Preston as a defendant in her capacity as a member of the education committee of BOSH. He alleged in part that the defendant Preston entered into a conspiracy with other school and State officials to "injure plaintiff in his employment" and to deprive Mr. Kufalk of "rights secured to him under the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States." The defendant is alleged to have made certain "false, misleading and pretextual statements" that led to Kufalk's dismissal. Also in his deposition, Kufalk testified to having suffered severe emotional distress and high blood pressure, in addition to three personal injuries allegedly attributable to the circumstances of his wrongful discharge.

The defendant, in turn, submitted her defense to the plaintiff herein, IFIC, pursuant to her homeowner's ...


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