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Published opinion

Before HIGGINBOTHAM and STEWART, Circuit Judges, and ENGELHARDT, District Judge.*fn1

Marathon Financial Insurance Company, Inc. (“Marathon”) insures vehicle service contracts sold by Automotive Professionals, Inc. (“API”), which were sold at the dealerships of Ford Motor Company.*fn2 In 2004, Ford changed its policy and would no longer finance purchases of vehicle service contracts unless the insurer had a stability rating of A- or better. Marathon did not have an A- or better rating. Marathon filed suit against Ford, bringing claims of tortious interference with contract and tortious interference with prospective business relations. In March 2006 the district court dismissed the latter claim under Rule 12(b)(6). More than two years later, Marathon filed motions to amend to reassert tortious interference with prospective business relations and to reopen discovery. The motions were denied and the district court later granted summary judgment in favor of Ford. Marathon appeals on the grounds that, under Illinois law, the district court erred by placing the burden of proof on Marathon to show lack of justification for Ford’s alleged tortious interference with contract, and by concluding that Ford’s conduct was justified as a matter of law, and that the court abused its discretion by denying Marathon additional discovery and denying Marathon leave to file its Fifth Amended Complaint.

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