sufficient to withstand defendant's motion to dismiss.
The court finds plaintiff to have the better of the argument. Plaintiff's allegations state that defendants Foley, Pack and Nader "defamed" Guy by making "false comments to others, including her former co-workers, concerning her termination and the events leading to it." Compl. P 25. According to the allegations, these defendants "further embarked on a campaign to destroy Plaintiff's reputation" by "publicly defaming plaintiff" and "issuing false press releases. . . . These false statements and comments accused Guy of want of ability in her profession." Compl. PP 26-27. These allegations, albeit not as precise as they could have been, sufficiently allege the substance of defendants' statements. Based on the complaint, the allegedly "false" statements apparently accused plaintiff of professional incompetence and indicated that she was terminated on that basis. Plaintiff has further indicated who made the statements in question and to whom they were made. Remaining detail can be elicited through discovery. See Chisolm, 940 F. Supp. at 1284 (statement made by particular defendant that plaintiff had been fired for "double dealing" was sufficient to set forth substance of defendants' statements).
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
Plaintiff asserts a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress against all defendants but the State of Illinois. Defendants contend that the claim fails first, for want of allegations demonstrating extreme and outrageous conduct, and second, because it is preempted by the Illinois Human Rights Act.
Under Illinois law, the Illinois Human Rights Act ("IHRA") preempts state law tort claims if the underlying facts are "inextricably linked" to civil rights violations listed in the IHRA. Austin v. Lodging Unltd., Inc., 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14341, No. 94 C 5279, 1996 WL 563456, at *12 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 12, 1996). Thus, Illinois state courts (and federal courts sitting in their stead) lack jurisdiction over such claims, which proceed instead in front of the Illinois Human Rights Commission. Recently, the Illinois appellate court discussed the panoply of district court cases on the subject and found that intentional torts, such as infliction of emotional distress, are preempted by the IHRA where the underlying facts which support them are the same facts as underly a plaintiff's sexual harassment claims. Maksimovic v. Tsogalis, 668 N.E.2d 166, 172-73, 282 Ill. App. 3d 576, 585-86, 218 Ill. Dec. 3, 9-10 (Ill. App. Ct. 1996).
In the present case, plaintiff tries to distinguish her case from that of Maksimovic by stating that her intentional infliction of emotional distress claim is based on much more than "offensive touching." Plaintiff points to her allegations of retaliatory conduct and "a conspiracy between the individual defendants involving concocting false accusations against her and embarking on a campaign of defamation intended to destroy her reputation. . . ." She states that "these allegations readily stand apart from her allegations of offensive touching." Pl.'s Resp. Br. at 3.
Based on plaintiff's complaint and brief, her intentional infliction of emotional distress claim seems to be based on retaliation by defendants. However, the IHRA defines "retaliation" as a civil rights violation. 775 ILCS 5/6-101(A). Given that the underlying facts therefore appear to be "inextricably linked" as in the case of Maksimovic, plaintiff's state claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress is dismissed.
In conclusion, defendant State of Illinois' motion to dismiss is granted. The McHenry defendants' motion to cite additional authority in support of their motion to dismiss is granted. The McHenry defendants' motion to dismiss is granted in part and denied in part. Counts I and III are dismissed without prejudice to their refiling after proceedings in front of the EEOC.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED.
Harry D. Leinenweber, Judge
United States District Court
Dated: February 13, 1997