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Simmons v. Campion

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Third District

June 25, 2013

GREG SIMMONS, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
MICHAEL A. CAMPION, and CAMPION, BARROW AND ASSOCIATES, Defendants-Appellees.

Rule 23 Order filed May 8, 2013

Motion to publish allowed June 25, 2013

Held [*]

Policeman’s actions for damages under section 15 of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act, tortious interference with a contractual or business relationship and fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation arising from the disclosure of a psychological evaluation ordered by the police chief were properly dismissed, since the Act gave the evaluator the discretion to disclose the evaluation based on his belief that plaintiff posed a threat of inflicting injury or disease on himself or another, the evaluator’s conduct was justified and privileged for purposes of the tortious interference claim, and for purposes of the fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation claims, the evaluator gave an opinion that plaintiff was not fit for duty, not a statement of fact, and there was no indication plaintiff relied on that opinion, but even if he did, the reliance was not reasonable.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Tazewell County, No. 08-L-46; the Hon. Scott A. Shore and the Hon. Stuart P. Borden, Judges, presiding.

Shane M. Voyles (argued), of Policemen's Benevolent Labor Committee, of Springfield, for appellant.

Robert Marc Chemers, Scott L. Anderson, Philip G. Brandt (argued), and Stephen C. Veltman, all of Pretzel & Stouffer, Chtrd., of Chicago, for appellees.

Panel JUSTICE CARTER delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Lytton and O'Brien concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

CARTER JUSTICE

¶ 1 In 2008, the plaintiff, Greg Simmons, filed a civil complaint against the defendants, Dr. Michael Campion and Campion, Barrow & Associates, in regard to a psychological evaluation that Dr. Campion performed on the plaintiff in 2006. In January 2012, the plaintiff was allowed to file a third amended complaint. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss, which the circuit court granted after a hearing. On appeal, the plaintiff argues that the court erred when it dismissed the complaint pursuant to section 2-615 of the Code of Civil Procedure (the Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-615 (West 2010)) and section 2-619 of the Code (735 ILCS 5/2-619 (West 2010)). We affirm.

¶ 2 FACTS

¶ 3 The city of Pekin hired the plaintiff as a police officer in 1995. In March 2006, the Pekin police chief ordered the plaintiff to submit to a psychological evaluation. Defendant Dr. Michael Campion, a psychologist, performed the evaluation at his place of business on March 23, 2006, where the plaintiff signed a form stating that he understood the process and that contained the following paragraph:

"It is important to remember that the testing experience IS NOT confidential in that, in most cases, an agency, physician, insurance company, or attorney has requested a report. You should have been informed of this prior to your participation in this process. However, if you have not been informed, please feel free to discuss this with Dr. Campion or a staff member. You will be asked to sign a Release of Information that will designate to whom the report will be sent." (Emphasis in original.)

The next day, the police department informed the plaintiff that he had been found unfit for duty and that he was prohibited from entering the police department.

¶ 4 On March 28, 2006, the plaintiff signed a form that stated he agreed the defendants could release the results of the psychological evaluation to the police chief or his designee. The form also stated that the plaintiff retained his right to confidentiality and other rights available to him under the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act (the Act) (740 ILCS 110/1 et seq. (West 2006)). On March 30, 2006, the plaintiff signed another form in which he agreed to allow the defendants to release the results of the psychological evaluation to the police chief and the Pekin police department.

¶ 5 Dr. Campion's written report was issued in mid-April 2006. In that report, Dr. Campion opined that the plaintiff suffered from a personality disorder, which included narcissistic, aggressive, and paranoid features. Dr. Campion recommended that the plaintiff undergo biweekly therapy with a licensed psychologist for a period of 12 months and that he submit to a psychiatric evaluation. In early May 2006, the Pekin police department ordered the plaintiff to comply with Dr. Campion's recommendations and to have his therapist report his progress to Dr. Campion.

ΒΆ 6 The plaintiff obtained three independent psychological evaluations between May and November 2006; all three psychologists disagreed with Dr. ...


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