Ex-@properties agent fired after attending Jan. 6 rally loses appeal

Libby Andrews stormed U.S. Capitol in 2021, and later filed a defamation lawsuit

A photo illustration of former @properties agent Libby Andrews (Getty, Facebook/Libby Andrews)

A photo illustration of former @properties agent Libby Andrews (Getty, Facebook/Libby Andrews)

A former agent of Chicago’s largest residential brokerage @properties hit a dead end in court after suing the firm for firing her in the wake of her sharing photos of herself at the Jan. 6 rally in Washington that led to the storming of the U.S. Capitol.

Former @properties agent Libby Andrews, who posted pictures of herself at the Capitol in January 2021, filed a defamation lawsuit against the brokerage, claiming it ruined her reputation. But the Illinois Appellate Court ruled that Andrews’ own social media posts were the cause of any damage to her reputation, Crain’s reported.

The ruling upholds a Cook County Circuit Court’s decision to dismiss the defamation suit Andrews filed against the firm. Her social media posts included a photo of her smiling with a hat that supported Donal Trump’s presidency, and a caption that read “storming the capital.”

Shortly after the photos came to light, @properties issued a statement that it “unequivocally condemns these actions, and the company has severed ties with this agent effective immediately.”

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Andrews then sued the brokerage for defamation and intentional interference with a business expectancy, alleging that her firing falsely implied that she “engaged in violence, property destruction and criminal activity, and also that she lacked the character to perform her professional duties.”

Andrews claimed that she didn’t engage in any sort of violence and that she didn’t witness any destructive behavior while attending the rally. Andrews’ attorneys argued that she was exercising her rights to free speech and free assembly by going to the rally, and that @properties made her out to be a “lawless rioter, committing violent, illegal criminal activity,” the outlet reported.

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The brokerage faced backlash after people realized Andrews was involved in the riots, as some declared they would boycott the business. The court ultimately ruled that Andrews’ actions caused the damage she was alleging occurred, and that @properties simply defended its reputation by sacking her.

— Quinn Donoghue