Section 2-107 of the Illinois Local Governmental and Government Tort Immunity Act provides that “A local public entity is not liable for injury caused by any action of its employees that is libelous or slanderous or for the provision of information either orally, in writing, by computer or any other electronic transmission or in a book or other form of library material.” The language “for the provision of information” was a key issue in Plaintiff 1 v. Bd. of Educ. of Lake Forest High School Dist.115, 2024 IL App (2d) 230173. The plaintiffs in this case had gone to great lengths to maintain the confidentiality of their identities in an underlying suit that had been settled. The settlement agreement in the case contained a confidentiality agreement and a mutual non-disparagement provision. Before being approved by the board and executed by the plaintiff, a link containing the agenda for an upcoming board meeting also included an unredacted copy of the settlement agreement divulging the plaintiffs’ identities. Following this transmission, members of the public contacted the District informing them of the transmission. At the board meeting, the agreement was approved and was executed by the plaintiffs the following day. No mention of the plaintiffs’ identities was made at the meeting. The plaintiffs further alleged that the District impermissibly disclosed their identities after the execution of the agreement through a series of email communications.

               The court held that the District was immune from the plaintiffs’ claims sounding in public disclosure of private facts and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress under Section 2-107 of the Illinois Local Governmental and Government Tort Immunity Act. The Court held that the plain language of the statute, i.e. the clause stating “for the provision of information” was written by the legislature to be intentionally broad. Per the court, the plain language grants immunity against tort claims based on the release of personal information which was precisely what the court dealt with.

               Nonetheless, the court was left with a breach of contract claim raised by plaintiffs. The court held that the settlement agreement was not yet in effect at the time of the initial disclosures before the board meeting and before the execution of the agreement. The court recognized that the Illinois School Code requires that any contract involving the expenditure of public funds be approved at a public meeting. Moreover, the agreement itself provided that the effective date of the agreement would be the latest date on which a party had signed it. With respect to the alleged disclosures following the execution of the agreement, the court held that the plaintiffs did not allege the list of persons to whom the unredacted agreement was sent was exhaustive. The court remanded the proceedings on this issue to determine whether the District had disseminated the agreement beyond its agents and employees.

               While this case was overall a positive result for the defendant, local public entities should ensure that any confidential information is removed from or at a minimum redacted from any materials that are to be disseminated publicly or are accessible through a publicly available link.

For more information about this article, contact Tressler attorney Carter Frambes at