Court upholds summary disposition of another defamation claim
In Patterson v. St. John's Bd. of Educ., the plaintiff attempted to hold the defendants accountable for their statements that suggested he was "involved in" a copper theft from a building being prepared for demolition. His contract was terminated based on the allegations, resulting in a significant financial loss. The trial court dismissed all of his theories, including defamation, gross negligence and tortious interference with a contract.
The Court of Appeals upheld the summary disposition of his case. The appellate judges ruled that he had not proved that the individual's statements were made with malicious intent or that they were made outside the course and scope of the individual defendant's governmental duties. Further, they were not deemed to be "so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency..."