Joseph E. Toler, Jr. vs. Sud-Chemie, Inc.
Related SC Case: 2013-SC-000007
Granted Discretionary Review by Supreme Court of Kentucky on 10/16/2013
From Jefferson County – Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman
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BEFORE: CAPERTON AND WINE, JUDGES; LAMBERT,1 SENIOR JUDGE.
CAPERTON, JUDGE: The Appellant, Joseph Toler, appeals the September 1, 2009, order of the Jefferson Circuit Court granting a directed verdict to Appellees Sud-Chemie, Inc. and Glen Shull, and from a jury verdict in favor of Appellees Jude Ware, Mike Watson, and Don Votow, on the defamation claim filed by Toler against the Appellees below. On appeal, Toler argues that the trial court erroneously applied the constitutional “actual malice” standard for overcoming the qualified privilege in this case, instead of the more plaintiff-friendly common-law standard set forth in Stringer v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 151 S.W.3d 782 (Ky. 2004). Toler also argues that the court gave prejudicially erroneous liability instructions to the jury as to the individual defendants against whom claims remained. Having reviewed the record, the arguments of the parties, and the applicable law, we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.