Decision filed 09/16/08. The text of
this dec ision may be changed or
corrected prior to the filing of a
Petition for Rehea ring or the
disposition of the same.
APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS
LELA WILLEFORD, ) Appeal from the
) Circuit Court of
Plaintiff-Appellee, ) St. Clair County.
v. ) No. 03-L-134
TOYS "R" US-DELAWARE, INC., TOYS "R" US, )
INC., JANET STUBBLEFIELD, and CAROL )
POST MEYERS, ) Honorable
) Lloyd A. Cueto,
Defendants-Appellants. ) Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE CHAPMAN delivered the opinion of the court:
The plaintiff, Lela Willeford, was injured when an easel fell from a shelf and struck
her at a Toys "R" Us store. The defendants are Toys "R" Us-Delaware, Inc., Toys "R" Us,
Inc., and two managers at the Toys "R" Us store where the plaintiff was injured. The
defendants filed a motion for a protective order, which addressed documents that were the
subject of an order compelling discovery. When they refused to comply with the discovery
order absent a protective order, the court granted the plaintiff's motion for sanctions and
ordered the defendants to pay $1,000 and the plaintiff's reasonable attorney fees for services
rendered after February 13, 2007. The defendants appeal both the sanctions order and the
order denying their motion for a protective order. They argue that (1) the court erred in
refusing to grant the protective order and (2) the sanctions should be vacated because it was
a "friendly contempt" order, sought by the defendants as a good-faith way of testing the
court's pretrial discovery orders. We affirm.
On December 15, 2001, the plaintiff was injured when an easel fell on her from a