Baltimore, Maryland (August 22, 2013): The United States District Court for the District of Maryland today granted Defendant Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company’s Motion for Summary Judgment, dismissing a pro se plaintiff’s defamation claim. The Court held that Defendant was “entitled to summary judgment because there is no genuine issue of material fact, Defendant is protected by a conditional privilege and Plaintiff has failed to establish claims of defamation and libel per quod.” The Defendant is represented by Donovan & Rainie, LLC.
The Court found that the Plaintiff, who was an independent insurance agent, failed to satisfy the elements required to succeed in a defamation suit. The Court stated that the alleged defamatory statement, which was made to the Plaintiff’s customer, was not facially defamatory and the Plaintiff failed to provide extrinsic evidence demonstrating the statement’s defamatory nature. The customer who received the letter did not believe the statement to be defamatory, continued to do business with the Plaintiff, and referred at least one person to Plaintiff’s business. Importantly, the Plaintiff was, when pressed in his deposition, unable to support any of his damage calculations, having relied on dissimilar examples of verdicts obtained through the internet site VerdictSearch.com.
A copy of the Court’s opinion may be obtained here and also viewed on Westlaw at 2013 WL 4506271