Proper venue for "per se" defamation case is location of original publication
Marcus Yono and the Suttons Pointe Development, L.L.C., sued the Leelanau Enterprise, alleging that an article about their Suttons Bay "Bay View" project had damaged Yono's and the corporation's reputation and caused cancellation of condo purchase agreements signed by residents of Livingston County. Relying on medical malpractice cases holding that venue is properly placed where the "actual injury" is suffered, they attempted to secure a trial of the claim in Livingston County.
The Court of Appeals rejected that effort and confirmed that venue should be in Leelanau County where the original alleged defamatory comments were published. Since the published comments were defamatory "per se", (i.e., injurious to the reputation and presumed to result in general damages), the first injury occurred in the location of the initial publication.