Can You Sue for 1 Million Dollars for Defamation and Wrongful Discharge ?

In Gibson v. Philip Morris, Inc., 292 Ill. App. 3d 267 685 N.E.2d 638, 226 Ill. Dec. 383 (1997) Gibson sued his employer for defamation and wrongful discharge because his supervisors had accused him of stealing company property and selling it for personal profit. This court affirmed an award for punitive damages, saying "the statements were not the result of an investigation but were gratuitous gossip maliciously conjured into a reason for discharge." Gibson, 292 Ill. App. 3d at 280. The court also agreed that $ 1 million in punitive damages "was needed to adequately bring this matter to defendant Phillip Morris' attention." Gibson, 292 Ill. App. 3d at 280.