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Parker v. House O’Lite Corp., 756 N.E.2d 286 (Ill. App. Ct. 2001)

This case involved a claim for defamation.  The plaintiff was an engineer who the defendants accused of bid-rigging in connection with a public hospital project.  When VBLH&C filed suit on behalf of the plaintiff, the defendants argued, among other things, that the claim was barred because the allegedly defamatory statements were not false.  In addition, the defendants argued that, because of public interest in the project, the allegedly defamatory statements were protected by a qualified privilege.  Based on the qualified-privilege argument, the trial court granted summary judgment for the defendants.  The appellate court reversed.  In so doing, the appellate court found that there was a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether the qualified privilege had been abused and whether the statements were false.