Economopoulos v. A. G. Pollard Co.

218 Mass. 294

 

RULE:

There is no publication of a statement where, on the evidence, the words could not have been heard by any one but the plaintiff.

FACTS:

Plaintiff brought a defamation action against defendant for statements allegedly made regarding accusations of larceny on plaintiff's part. The trial court directed the jury to enter a verdict for defendant. On appeal, the state supreme court denied plaintiff's exceptions and affirmed because there was no evidence of publication of defendant's statements as there was no evidence that the words were heard by anyone but the plaintiff, and there was no evidence that other words spoken by another employee in Greek were understood by anyone else but the plaintiff.

ISSUE:

Is there publication of a statement when no one one except people who do not speak the language hears the statement?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

Exceptions to the lower court's judgment entering a directed verdict were overruled because there was no evidence of publication of defendant's statements as there was no evidence defendant's words were heard by anyone but plaintiff, and no evidence that words spoken by another employee in Greek were understood by anyone else.

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