TORTS – defamation, qualified privilege: Hawkins v. Miller (COA 11/6/2009)

Hawkins v. Miller
2008-CA-001224 11/06/09 2009 WL 3672873

Opinion by Judge Acree; Judges Taylor and Thompson concurred.

The Court affirmed a judgment of the circuit court dismissing appellant’s defamation action against his former supervisors and managers at his former place of employment. The Court reviewed the claims for manifest injustice after striking appellant’s briefs for failure to conform to CR 76.12(4). The Court then held that dismissal was appropriate. The trial court properly found that appellees had a qualified privilege because the statements complained of were made in response to appellant’s claim for unemployment benefits and his complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which were quasi-judicial settings.

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