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Monday, June 3, 2024

Appellate Court Addresses Claims Relating to Confidentiality Provision in Settlement Agreement

A high school district was sued by a student and parents regarding a settlement agreement between the parties. The student and parents claimed the school district released confidential information about the settlement in response to FOIA requests and otherwise that caused them injury and breached the confidentiality provision in the settlement agreement. The school district filed a motion to dismiss the case based on several arguments, including that the Tort Immunity Act applied to several claims. The trial court dismissed the entire case, and the student and parents appealed.

On appeal, the Illinois Appellate Court upheld the dismissal of three of the counts in the lawsuit based on the Tort Immunity Act. The Court noted that Section 2-107 of the Tort Immunity Act provides that a local public entity is immune from liability for injuries caused by "the provision of information either orally, in writing, or by computer or any other electronic transmission..." Here, the Court found that the tort claims against the school district for public disclosure of private facts and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress were covered by this section of the Tort Immunity Act, and the trial court's dismissal of these claims was proper.

However, the Court disagreed with the trial court on its dismissal of the breach of contract count, finding that this claim could move forward to the next stage of litigation to flesh out the factual disputes between the parties as to when disclosures were made and whether the disclosures constituted a breach of the confidentiality provisions of the settlement agreement.

Plaintiff 1, et al. v. Board of Education of Lake Forest High School District 115, 2024 IL App (2d) 230173.


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