Not a Lexis+ subscriber? Try it out for free.
LexisNexis® CLE On-Demand features premium content from partners like American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education and Pozner & Dodd. Choose from a broad listing of topics suited for law firms, corporate legal departments, and government entities. Individual courses and subscriptions available.
In Virginia, as in other states, potentially defamatory
statements made in official government proceedings receive protection from defamation claims.
But some such statements get the benefit of absolute privilege, which means
that even a knowingly false statement can't be the basis of liability, while a
larger category of statements receive only a qualified privilege. A qualified
privilege gives the plaintiff an opportunity to show that the statement was
made with malice -- and to recover damages if he or she can prove that it was.
In Small v. Nogiec, the Supreme Court of Virginia examined
remarks made by a county assistant administrator during a meeting of the Board
of Supervisors of Isle of Wight County, and concluded that only a qualified
privilege applies to the statements since they were not made in a legislative
context. The court therefore unanimously upheld a jury verdict for the
In March 2007, Alan Nogiec retired from his job as the
county's director of Parks and Recreation. A few months before he retired, the
county's museum was damaged by heavy rains. In May 2007, Assistant County
Administrator Patrick Small gave a report at a board meeting about efforts
being undertaken to repair the museum. He said that before the storm,
information about the likelihood of flooding "had been suppressed" by
the parks director and that this "borders on negligence in my
Read the rest of the article
at the Virginia
Business Litigation Lawyer blog
more information about LexisNexis products and solutions connect with us
through our corporate site.