Insurance company employee claims retaliation in civil suit

Ann Knef Aug. 27, 2008, 9:14am

Judy Chin of Waterloo has filed suit against Combined Insurance Inc. and AON Corp., claiming she has been harassed since reporting the defendants allegedly filed false reports with state and local governments.

According to a complaint filed Aug. 22 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, Chin worked for Combined Insurance and AON in 2006, 2007 and a portion of 2008 as a regional sales assistant, whose job was to prepare weekly reports tracking sales, employees and other statistics.

"During the year 2007 plaintiff was made aware that the defendant was engaging in various fraudulent activities including, but not limited to, falsely stating the number of employees working for the defendant and false sales information on documents prepared for both State and local government," the complaint states.

Chin claims that once she "verified" that the defendants were allegedly filing fraudulent forms she reported it to the state's Department of Insurance in February 2007.

"As a direct and proximate result of the plaintiff reporting the above mentioned behavior to the State of Illinois, the defendant began harassing and retaliating against the plaintiff," the complaint states.

She claims she was terminated on March 12 "in contradiction to a clearly mandated public policy in the State of Illinois which allows employees to report corporations for fraudulent activity and in violation of her free speech rights," the complaint states.

Chin claims mental anguish, medical bills incurred as a result of mental anguish and lost income, benefits and insurance.

She is seeking in excess of $200,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.

She claims the defendants "willfully, wantonly and with callus (sic) disregard for the welfare and rights of the plaintiff terminated her in retaliation for exercising her protected rights."

Chin is represented by Jon E. Rosenstengel of Bonifield & Rosenstengel of Belleville.

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