Appeals Court: DIANNE LAWLESS v. CHERYL ESTRELLA

DOWNLOAD – Appeals Court Decision

KeywordsLibel and Slander. Municipal Corporations, Officers and employees. Privileged Communication. Practice, Civil, Summary judgment

[Excerpt] –

“The plaintiff, Diane Lawless, a former municipal employee, appeals from the entry of summary judgment in favor of a former subordinate, the defendant, Cheryl Estrella, on the plaintiff’s claim of defamation.  We conclude that an opinion based on disclosed, nondefamatory facts is not defamatory and that many of the allegedly defamatory statements constitute such opinions.  Further concluding that an employee has a conditional privilege to provide information concerning another employee upon the request of a supervisor and that the plaintiff failed to raise a genuine issue of material fact that would allow a jury to find that this privilege was abused regarding the other statements, we affirm.”

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