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The Collaborative Clearinghouse for Lawsuits and Other Claims Against ACE Group Insurance Companies

Former ACE Group Manager Sues in Job Dispute

January 14th, 2013 - A former manager for Combined Insurance Co. of America sued by that ACE Group unit after he went to work for a competitor has responded with his own lawsuit - that charges it with racially discriminating against him.

Elgin Barnett first went to work for Glenview, Ill.-based Combined in 1998. Between February, 2009, and March 12, 2012, he served as its market director for southern Illinois.

On the latter date, Barnett resigned from Combined and then went to work for rival insurer Liberty National Life Insurance Co.

By August 1st, Combined had sued Barnett, claiming that he had violated his employment agreement with the ACE Group unit by soliciting its employees to likewise quit and join him at Liberty National.

Barnett, who is African American, said that Combined knew of other former employees of Combined who were not African American who also left their employment there to work for Liberty National. Yet, Combined, he said, has not taken any legal action against them.

Barnett, who filed his suit in U.S. District Court for Southern District of Illinois, East St. Louis Division, accused Combined of violating his right to make and enforce contracts by subjecting him to different terms and conditions from other similarly situated workers solely because of his race. He also accused his former employer of tortious interference by intentionally and improperly interfering with his contracts with Liberty National.

Barnett asked that the court declare that Combined violated federal law prohibiting racial discrimination. And he further asked for compensatory, consequential and emotional distress damages. He also requested punitive damages.

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