Aug. 30, 2011
court ruling that threw out a lawsuit by her two
children who had sued her for allegedly being a bad
"We are very pleased with the court's decision," said
Shelley Smith, Garrity's attorney.
In court papers, Smith called the complaint a "litany of
childish complaints and ingratitude."
Garrity, 55, battled her kids Steven Miner, 23, and
Kathryn Miner, 20, for two years. The children sought
$50,000 for emotional distress stemming from the
damage of her supposed bad mothering.
The case was originally tossed by a Cook County
circuit court, but the kids appealed. Last week, an
Illinois appellate court also dismissed it.
Raised in a $1.5 million home by their father, the
children alleged the Garrity was a lousy mom because
she failed to send money for birthdays, called her
daughter home early from homecoming, and
threatened to call the police on her son, then 7, if he
didn't buckle up in the car.
Steven also accused his mother of once smacking him
on the head, saying that he still suffers from
headaches. One of the exhibits in the case included a
birthday card that Steven called "inappropriate"
because it failed to include cash or a check.
The card did include the inscription, "Son I got you
this Birthday card because it's just like you ? different
from all the rest!" On the inside Garrity wrote, "Have a
great day! Love & Hugs, Mom xoxoxo," according to
court documents cited by the Chicago Tribune.
When contacted by ABC News, Kathryn Miner said, "I
have no comment."
In its ruling, the appellate court said that it found that
none of Garrity's behavior could be ruled "extreme or
insensitive, and some would arguably fall outside the
realm of 'good mothering,' but they are not so
shocking as to form a basis for a claim for intentional
infliction of emotional distress," the court ruled.
The children's lawyer was Garrity's ex-husband and
the children's father Steven Miner. Garrity's lawyer
wrote in court papers that the lawsuit was an attempt
by Steven Miner to "seek the ultimate revenge" of
having her children accuse her of "being an
Miner and Garrity were married and then divorced in
1995, records show.
Miner did not immediately respond to messages left
by ABC News, but said in court papers that he filed
the lawsuit after much legal research and had tried to
dissuade his children from bringing the case. He
compared this case to one of a patient suing a doctor.
Bruce Ottley, a law professor at DePaul University and
author of Illinois Tort Law, said the circuit court w
hich first heard the case was right in throwing it
out. "Illinois law is so clear on this. You have to
prove extreme and outrageous conduct and that's not
what this is," said Ottley.
the husband trying to get back at his wife. It doesn't
look like an impartial lawsuit," Ottley said.
In spite of the suit, the Tribune reports that Garrity, in
court filings, said that she still loved her children.