Case management set in Collinsville Board of Education breach of contract suit

By Amelia Flood | Aug 24, 2009

A reading teacher's breach of contract suit and the Collinsville school district's counterclaim against her is scheduled for case management Aug. 26 at 9:30 a.m.

Plaintiff Karen Eastby had moved to set a new discovery schedule July 28.

Eastby is suing the district for what she claims was its failure to live up to the settlement agreement that ended her federal lawsuit against it.

The district claims Eastby did not enter the settlement in good faith and that she did not live up to her obligations to it by failing to drop the federal complaint and by filing a second federal suit against the district and some of its personnel.

Eastby originally sued the Collinsville Community School District 10 and seven of its staffers in federal court in 2004.

That original complaint contended Eastby's First Amendment rights had been violated; she was discriminated because her age and she was defamed among other charges. Her second federal complaint included charges of retaliatory discharge that violated the federal Civil Rights Act.

The current Madison County complaint alleges that the district has failed to pay Eastby $25,000, failed to reinstate her to the district's reading team, and has failed to correct her personnel file. Eastby further alleges that she has been the victim of the infliction of intentional emotional distress due to the district's moving her class room, failing to provide her access to teaching space, materials and disciplinary actions.

Eastby seeks damages of at least $150,000 and costs.

The district has a counterclaim for breach of contract against Eastby, citing her behavior during settlement talks over the first complaint.

The district does not deny that it hasn't complied with the settlement. It offers the affirmative defense that Eastby has not lived up to her end of the bargain either.

The district alleges Eastby breached the settlement agreement by failing to dismiss her first federal complaint, filing the second federal complaint and other actions.

The district is seeking damages of at least $100,000 per count of its counterclaim.

Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla is presiding.

Eastby is represented by Greg Roosevelt of Edwardsville. The district and its seven staffers are represented by Christi Flaherty of Collinsville.

The seven district staffers named as defendants are:
- Superintendent Dennis Craft
- Patrick Murphy
- Julie Miller Brown
- Kathy Pitzer
- Lynn Ashcroft
- Peggy Marlin
- Candice Swift
The case is Madison case number 08-L-137

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