Results + Publications

Defamation

Attorneys Involved | Kevin R. Kratzer, Timothy R. Scannell

Boyle | Shaughnessy Law attorneys Kevin Kratzer and Timothy Scannell recently obtained judgment as a matter of law in favor of their client, a defendant in a defamation action filed in the Milford Superior Court in Connecticut. The lawsuit arose as a result of several letters authored by the defendant, a local deputy fire marshal, regarding the plaintiff’s actions as a local fire marshal. The letters were published to the Mayor and several other officials within the municipality, and led to local and state investigation into the plaintiff’s capacity to serve.  Both investigations resulted in findings favorable to the plaintiff.

Thereafter, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant defamed him by making statements about the plaintiff which were “false, outrageous, and disparaging” with respect to his competence to perform his official duties as the Fire Marshal. The plaintiff also brought claims for tortuously interference with his business relations and intentional infliction of emotional distress upon the plaintiff. The plaintiff demanded $300,000.00 to settle the case.

Boyle | Shaughnessy Law moved for summary judgment as to all claims arguing that the alleged defamatory statements were made in the context of initiating and furthering quasi-judicial proceedings to which the privilege of absolute immunity attaches.  The plaintiff argued that the circumstances in which the defendant made his complaint amounted to a vicious personal attack made before any proceedings were initiated. Moreover, the plaintiff argued that publication of the subject letters to additional third parties outside of the mayor’s office (including the defendant’s wife, who was a local alderman) who had no supervising authority over the plaintiff did not fall under the aegis of absolute immunity. 

Ultimately, the Court agreed with our argument that the investigations that occurred as a result of the defendant’s statements were quasi judicial proceedings under the law, and that the defendant’s statements should be regarded as a complaint that initiated the proceedings, which warranted the same protection as any statements made during the investigations. The Court also agreed with our argument that the statements to parties outside the Mayor’s office did not eradicate the application of immunity because all parties who received the letters had reason to have first hand knowledge about the plaintiff and his dealings due to their official position within the town, even if they did not have direct supervisor authority over the plaintiff. 

Results


Contact Us

We invite you to contact our office to learn more about our services, and to discover further information about our attorneys and services. Our team looks forward to serving your needs in the future.

Boston

695 Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA 02111, USA

BRAINTREE

25 Braintree Hill Office Park #301, Braintree, MA 02184

HARTFORD

280 Trumbull Street, 22nd Floor Hartford, CT 06103

MANCHESTER

650 Elm Street, Manchester, NH, USA

NORWALK

162 East Avenue, Suite 1C Norwalk, CT 06851

PORTLAND

477 Congress Street, Fifth Floor Portland, ME 04101

PROVIDENCE

1 Turks Head Place, Providence, RI

Vermont

46 Lincoln Corners Way, Suite 1, Woodstock, VT 05091

WHITE PLAINS

One North Broadway, Suite 410 White Plains, NY 10606

WOODSTOCK, VT

423 W Broadway, Boston, MA 02127, USA

WORCESTER

446 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608, USA

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.