Commercial Division Blog
Libel Claim Based on Press Release Relating to Ongoing Litigation Dismissed
On March 1, 2018, the First Department issued a decision in FCRC Modular, LLC v. Skanska Modular LLC, 2018 NY Slip Op. 01399, affirming the dismissal of a libel claim based on a press release relating to ongoing litigation, explaining:
Appellants failed to state a claim for libel. The challenged statement in a press release regarding defendant/third-party plaintiff Kennedy is protected by section 74 of the Civil Rights Law. As the press release merely restated the allegations of the complaint, the basis for which Kennedy does not dispute, the reporting is fair and true. Kennedy's allegations of malice are conclusory and insufficient to invoke the exception in Williams v Williams.
(Internal quotations and citations omitted).
Civil litigation can involve claims that cause real reputational harm, but not every statement can be the subject of a defamation claim. Contact Schlam Stone & Dolan partner John Lundin at firstname.lastname@example.org if you or a client have questions about whether statements about you or your business can be the basis for a claim for defamation.