News Brief

Proctor Successfully Defends Hospital CEO against Claims of Defamation and Intentional Interference with a Contract

December 2, 2022

Lori Proctor (Partner-Houston, Dallas, Denver) represented a public employee and CEO of a hospital district before the Colorado Court of Appeals. In the underlying case before the Kit Carson County District Court, plaintiffs alleged that during a Board Meeting our client made false and slanderous statements against them with the intent to convince the Board to alter or cancel its contract with the Hospital District. The Colorado Governmental Immunity Act requires a claimant in a tort action to provide a demand to the public entity prior to filing suit and further requires the court to stay discovery until the issue is decided. The trial court, upon Lori’s Jurisdictional Motion to Dismiss and Stay Discovery, refused to stay discovery and after a Trinity hearing found the claimant substantially complied with the Notice requirement, although a monetary demand was not made pre-suit. Lori appealed arguing substantial compliance is not enough with respect to the monetary demand provision and the case should be remanded for dismissal. The Appellate Court agreed and, only one week after oral argument, issued an Opinion reversing the District Court Judgment and remanding the case for dismissal with prejudice.

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