Lawyer’s Opinion Not Capable of Being Defamatory

/ 28.Mar, 2013
The Legal Intelligencer reported on a decision by Judge Bartle of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania dismissing a defamation claim against Merck and its in-house counsel.  The plaintiff had requested Merck investigate his employer, a contractor for Merck, with respect to overbilling.  The plaintiff was then laid off from his employer.  The allegedly defamatory letter by in-house counsel was written to the plaintiff in response to his request for an investigation, and copied to other Merck executives and the plaintiff’s former attorney.  The letter stated the “unfounded” allegations of plaintiff had been investigated to the satisfaction of Merck.  Judge Bartle found the letter did not rise to the level of defamation, and was a “temperate” response to the plaintiff’s letter. –Josh J.T. Byrne, Esquire (H.T. Jeffrey McCarron, Esquire)