FKB’s Rachel Aghassi and Christopher D. Skoczen obtained a pre-answer dismissal of a defamation action in Supreme Court, New York County brought against FKB’s client, an attorney who made comments to the New York Post regarding a pending action involving his client in U.S. District Court.
In its successful pre-answer motion to dismiss, FKB argued that its client’s statements were protected by the “fair report” privilege, barring plaintiff’s claims of defamation and prima facie tort. The Court (Supreme Court Justice Verna Saunders) agreed with FKB’s argument that the statements to “the press are privileged insofar as they represent a fair and true report of the allegations referenced in the federal action.” See New York Civil Rights Law § 74; Branca v. Mayesh, 101 A.D.2d 872 (2nd Dept. 1984). The Court also agreed with FKB’s argument that the plaintiff had failed to set forth the requisite elements of the other causes of action: prima facie tort, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and tortious interference with business relations.