Legal Question in Personal Injury in Illinois

Last week, I filed a complaint with my insurance company about an incident in a referred dental practice. (Suspecting fraudulent billing and treatment, I left without treatment, telling the dentist/hygenist that I would be talking to the insurance company)

In retaliation, someone in the office then sent multiple "anonymous" emails to my employer (I am a teacher), lying, claiming they were someone else. The emails were so incredibly damaging - outright lies - to the effect I was a danger to children, "crazy", etc.

In doing an internet search, I was able to find who the email was registered to, and indeed it was an employee of the practice.

I am concerned on several levels - first that they could look up and use my personal information in this way - lying in such incredibly damaging ways (in one email, they ask what the school district "is going to do about this" as I should not be around children); and finally, that I do believe that even though "anonymous" and unfounded, the HR department did seem to at least in part belief it (I was "reminded" about "my behavior in public...")

I am new to this school district, but an award-winning teacher at both the state and local levels, and also am a university administrator. I have serious concern about what these communications have done to my reputation, especially as I know they were received and passed through many people in my school district.

Do I have any legal recourse? I've never been in a situation like this. Up to this point, I was highly regarded in my school community and feel by the nature of my employer's call to me today that they believe - if in part - what was written.

Asked on 10/23/13, 9:03 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Burton Padove Indiana and Illinois Lawyer, Burton A. Padove

How horrible!!!! You are definitely entitled to file suit. You certainly have a cause of action against the employee and possibly the dental practice. It sounds like punitive damages as well as injunctive relief would be available.

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Answered on 10/24/13, 4:47 am
Nima Taradji Taradji Law Offices

From what you have written you have a cause of action for defamation and possibly other basis (HIPAA violation?). You need to see an attorney (this is not a personal injury case) who practices in defamation and find out what resources you have. Call the Chicago Bar Association's lawyer referral service and request a referral for an attorney in that area of practice.

I hope this helps-

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Answered on 10/24/13, 7:40 am

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